This is part 5 of a series of posts I will be sending out every Friday, relevant to the theme of this year’s ENGAGE Family Discipleship & Home Education Conference (only 5 weeks to go!!!). The posts will be short, to the point, and practical – designed to help you/your family in preparation for the conference (you will still benefit if you’re not coming to the conference!). Here goes with the fifth post…
Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Crazy-Paced World…“Thermometer or Thermostat?”.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV – 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
In the last post, we talked about the importance of “slowing down to speed up”, and why it’s not always the amount of time we spend doing something, that makes it valuable or worthwhile – but rather it’s about what we are actually doing.
As we consider the theme ENGAGE 2017, it’s important to acknowledge that a “grace-paced” life, is not an easy life, or an unbusy life, or a care-free life. There are too many misunderstandings about the grace of God such as this, that incorrectly shape the thinking of some Christians. So what is a “grace-paced” life?
Essentially, it boils down to one thing – and that is a life that is centered around Christ. By way of analogy, it’s the difference between living your life like a thermometer or living your life like a thermostat.
Think about it – a thermometer is constantly changing, according to the external conditions and influences around it. Alternatively, a thermostat is stable, and once set in place, plays a vital part in changing and influencing the external conditions around it.
So one of the ways in which we can experience “grace-paced” living, is by acknowledging God in any and every situation. Our relationship with God is not to be confined to Sunday mornings and personal devotions – God should permeate every area of our lives.
Therefore, when you next (and it probably won’t be long!) find yourself in one of those frustrating/why did this happen/inconvenient/stressful situations in daily life – take a moment to step back. Then, ask yourself if you are looking at this situation in a way that declares “God-is-nowhere”? Or – with the eyes of faith, can you look at this situation in a way that declares, “God-is-now-here”? A subtle but significant difference!
“Our relationship with God is not to be confined to Sunday mornings and personal devotions – God should permeate every area of our lives”.
As a family, we are currently dealing with some “home maintenance” challenges – nothing life-threatening, but the kind of thing that can easily add unwanted stress and strife to daily life. We found comfort during family devotions this morning, reminding ourselves that several years ago a long-drawn out, frustrating, time-consuming issue we had with our carpet, actually gave us a really good opportunity to build a relationship with a certain tradesman and share the gospel! By God’s grace we became less changeable (thermometer), spending less time wondering why God had allowed the situation – and instead became more constant (thermostat) seeing God in the situation.
It was a good reminder that God is weaving His will into every part of our lives – and the more we center our lives around Him, the more we, and others will see Him in all situations.
For thought, prayer and application: What is your first thought when you hit one of those annoying, everyday life challenges? Do you wonder why God would allow such a thing to happen, or do you stop and consider that God may have actually orchestrated that thing to happen? Whether it’s a challenge with an appliance, a strained working-relationship, a difficulty with one of your children, or a persistent but aggravating home maintenance issue – try to pause, and acknowledge that God is in control, and that He may have divinely prepared this situation for your life, to help you become more like Christ. Bring the situation to prayer, and seek in God’s strength to be the thermostat that remains unchanged, rather than the thermometer that goes up and down.
Click Below To Read Previous Posts in This Series…
Part 3 – “The Performance Trap”
Part 1 – “It is Finished!”
Part 2 – “Intention vs Intentions”
Part 4 – “Slowing Down to Speed Up”
Have you registered for this year’s ENGAGE 2017 Family Discipleship & Home Education Conference (Christchurch & Auckland)? Click here to find out more and register. REGISTRATIONS CLOSE 23 August (ChCh) & 30 August (Akl).