Status quo – the existing order of things; present conditions, customs, and power relations; no change.
Are you maintaining the status quo…work, dinner, yard work, carpools, bills, bad habits, unrealized dreams, gifts gone unused? Up at 6:00, down at 11:00 and repeat? Keeping the order of things, but not really on purpose? Standing by the “quo,” long after it’s lost its status?
Jesus came and turned the status quo upside down. Why do we keep trying to turn it upright again? He calls us to a radical way of life and at the very least, the call to discipleship is a call to live counter-culturally, to look at life differently and to order our lives according to the eternal. The work we do in Jesus’ name is to bring change and life to a world who has no idea how amazing the abundant life is.
There is a short verse in 2 Chronicles about a little known king, but the impact of the verse can be powerful in our lives when we meditate on what it means and how we can apply it.
“So Jotham became mighty because he ordered his ways before the Lord
His God.” (27:6)
To challenge the status quo of a dying world, we have to reorder our lives to the call of God. We know that without faith we cannot please God and that we are powerless to “gut it out.” We need His mighty Spirit to faithfully order our way before Him. Then we will be mighty for His purposes.
Here are some principles and encouragements in the way of the Lord:
1. To order our lives before the Lord we will need to give up some things. In Luke 9:23 Jesus says, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” Amy Charmichael would say of anything she lacked, any hurt she felt, any pain she endured, that they were all just “chances to die” and find true life.
2. Most of God’s will in the Bible is clearly put and has to do with matters of faith, character and conformity to the image of His son. Don’t miss God’s will for you this day by looking for some great and wild plan that falls from the sky. Obedience in even the smallest of things will bring days of fruit and years of joy. A legacy is left as we make moment-by-moment choices to follow Jesus. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Rom. 12:2)
3. Don’t let the urgent things crowd out the vital things. Time in God’s word, prayer, and fellowship are not optional in this journey of faith. Sometimes life can get hectic and we are bumped off the path of discipline. When this happens quickly reorder your life to the things of God. “For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? (Matt. 16:26) –
4. God has written your story and it is perfect for the plan He has for you and your impact on this world. Comparing our story to someone else’s only steals from the beauty and power of all that God has specifically planned for us
5. We will all experience failures. Many times failures may feel fatal, convincing us that God has nothing left for us to do. Biblically, however, it was often a great failure that led God’s people to a more dynamic relationship with Him and to greater influence and impact in the world. Remember God specializes in raising up dead bones and breathing life into them. (Ezekiel 37:3-14 ) Persevere during difficult days.
6. Praise, praise, praise. Unstoppable power and freedom are the outcome of a life of praise to God. Paul and Silas were in chains in prison, it was as they lifted their voices in song to praise God that their chains were broken and prison doors flew open.
7. Keep it simple. The enemy of our souls wants to convince us that we cannot possibly reorient our lives according to God’s will. He’ll tell us (often in our own voices) that any changes we try to make won’t last, that we are too sinful for God to use us, that compared to other believers we will never measure up, that it’s too difficult to change. Basically, Satan wants to keep the defeated status quo in our lives alive and well. Don’t listen to that voice. Talk to yourself with the truth of the gospel! Make small choices daily to follow God and the gates of hell will not be able to stand against the power that is ours in Christ Jesus.
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”-—Apple, Inc.
“Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” 2 Cor. 5:17-18
Goodbye status quo, new life, hello.