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The Ordinary Life

It seems like the overwhelming temptation is for us to live a very ordinary life. The social, and sometimes even the church, expectation is for us to finish high school, go to university, find a respectable job, settle down with a spouse, buy a house and then have children. Now while there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with any of these things, God doesn’t always want us to live the predictable existence that goes with the grain. In fact, often the things that God calls us to are quite out of the ordinary, and if we want to be used of Him, we must be prepared for that.

I know in my own life I’m definitely not living an ordinary existence, and even though many days I’m OK with that, there are other days where something inside of me longs for stability and even predictability. It can be difficult to press ahead when you can’t see what you’re pressing toward. It can be really tough to move toward where God wants us when we are comfortable where we are. It can also be hard to move from where we are when we see that by doing so we are going to be different from everyone else.

We can look around and see many people who seem to be successfully living the “same old, same old” mentality, but sometimes God has a different plan for His children. Throughout the Bible we can see this truth. Most of those who were mentioned in His Holy Word were ordinary people who were, with God, living an extraordinary existence. We see stories of shepherds becoming kings, of fishermen walking on water and of those caught up in legalism being chosen to tell the world of God’s grace. We see examples of men and women of faith who were willing to toss tradition out the window and embrace a radical life where they followed only where God led.

So how does this apply to you and me today? We often face the temptation to live the ordinary life, and while it works for some, that is not always where God wants us. You and I have to be prepared to walk through the doors that God opens.

In the song “Ordinary Life,” Matthew West writes: “Well come to find I was standing at the edge of my dreams for all these years.” I believe that line speaks great truth as to what happens to many of us. We know God has called us to do something, but for some reason we remain standing on the edge, waiting for God to move when really it should be us making the step of faith.

Wouldn’t it be a tragedy to arrive in eternity only to find out that we missed the boat and actually played a part in slamming shut the doors that God Himself opened? For years I was guilty of thinking that if God wanted me to do something, it would be up to Him to line everything up perfectly, and it would be up to Him to explain everything entirely before I followed. Now I see that I couldn’t have been further away from the truth.

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Yes, God does open doors for us, but more often than not, there will be a step of faith that is required on our part. Again, this is true throughout the Bible. Peter had to step out of the boat to walk on water. Abraham had to leave what he knew to be where God wanted him. Moses had to step into the sea before it parted. The people of Israel had to walk around Jericho in order for the walls to fall. When we take a small step of faith, extraordinary things happen.

So how about you? What sea is God asking you to step in? What city is He asking you to walk around? If God is calling you beyond the ordinary, why aren’t you taking that step of faith? Yes, it can be a hard thing to do sometimes, but the good news is that God doesn’t require us to go alone. All He requires of us is to take one small step to start the journey, and He guides the rest.

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