In the beginning, the earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the surface of the deep (Genesis 1:2). When God spoke, creation took shape. Out of chaos came order with each creation in its rightful place, functioning according to its divine purpose. God is a God of order and not only does creation testify to this but throughout Scriptures, we see divine’s admonishments to live an orderly life.
When God led his people out of Egypt, one of the very first things the people learned in the desert was order. At Mount Sinai, God gave the Israelites the ten commandments (Exodus 20) and divine laws that cover a wide range of activities and relationships. God also gave them the blueprint for the first house of worship, the tabernacle. The instructions for the building and setting up of the tabernacle and everything pertaining to it, including the offerings are given in great details (Exodus 25-30). In the book of Numbers, we find the organisation of the twelve tribes of Israel, with each tribe assigned their respective leader, position and duty (Numbers 1-2).
Order is the proper or harmonious arrangement or organisation of life. It governs everything that God created. Order creates peace and frees us from confusion, inefficiency and breakdown. The opposite of order is chaos. This happens when things are in disarray, when they are not functioning as they should. When any part of creation is in disarray, we suffer negative and painful consequences. We see this in the breakdown of the family, society or nature or even our body.
As part of divine creation, we need to live our lives in an orderly manner.
The need to be orderly applies to every aspect of our lives. It applies to the stewardship of our resources like time, finances, talents and space. It applies to the management of our work and health. It applies to our priorities in life and it applies to our family, church and relationships.
Whether we realise it or not, much resources are wasted when our lives are disorderly. The disorganised life is often distressing. Whether we work on a messy desk or live in a messy space, our efficiency is affected. We all know people who are constantly misplacing things. They often waste time searching for what they need since they can’t remember where they placed what. Then there are those who are habitually late, miss datelines, or simply forget to do what they need to do. These are all the results of the disorders that we have allowed to overrun our lives.
It is even worse when we don’t organise our priorities or don’t understand divine order. When we dishonour God or leadership at home, at work or in church, we are out of order.
If you are struggling with disarray, you need to bring order into your life. Creating order is all about managing your priorities, relationships, time, tasks, finances, space, stuffs properly. It will save you tons of wasted energy and time. It will relieve you from a lot of unnecessary stress. It will help you to stop fighting fires and break you out of the cycle of similar problems and crisis. And it will make working and living with you less stressful for other people!
Beginning with your priorities, create order in your life. As Christians, our lives should be organised properly into four areas — relationships, work/study, ministry/service, rest/recreation. This does not mean that we spend equal amount of time or resources on each area. It means that we need to manage our time and resources (finance, energy, talents) in all four areas appropriately.
When we neglect any area or overdo any area, our lives become disorderly. Overdoing work and neglecting our family for example create disarray in our family. Overdoing personal recreation and neglecting ministry creates disconnection with God while overdoing ministry and neglecting rest creates burnout.
Organise your time by setting a calendar so that you can manage all the four areas of your life. A calendar is the best way to help us minimise the wastage of time. And if you do it well, it can help you cure your unpunctuality. Many Christians neglect ministry/service, because they mistakenly believe that they don’t have enough time to serve God. No wonder so many believers are apathetic and feel no genuine intimacy or excitement about God.
If you are not serving, ask yourself why. You are likely to find that you have overspent your resources in at least one area of your life.
Not only must time be organised, our finances, energy and space need to be orderly. Learn the basic principles of order. For example the simple rule for organising finance is budgeting, and for organising space is “A Place For Everything.”
Order does not mean we don’t enjoy creativity or even the bursts of spontaneity. All of creation is simultaneously orderly and creative. Rather order is aligning ourselves to the divine design for us.
As you create order in your life, you will find fiction easing as life comes together in an easier rhythm and greater harmony. But more importantly, order helps us to fulfil God’s purpose for us so that God can be glorified in our lives.