We can be polarized in our relationship with God. We cry out for help when things are bad and praise Him when things are good. Yet, it is in the routine stages of life or in the midst of perceived normalcy that we tend to forget about him. We are inclined toward spiritual apathy when we’re just going through schedules at work, preparing for normal activities, or taking our kids to soccer practice.
One of the great attributes of God is his capacity to sustain us in everyday life and to provide spiritual nourishment in every moment. He is the I AM in the valley and on the mountain top but he is also the I AM on the beaten path. The following are the ways that God sustains us in the margins of life:
He Provides Direction, Encouragement and Strength
There is no greater word picture in the N.T. that shows how God sustains us with spiritual power than the vine and branches in John 15. The vine gives us sustenance or the ability to grow while the gardener constantly shapes and changes us. Without this connection, we can do nothing that glorifies God, but with this relationship, even the down times are sacred and the small decisions are impacted. Let’s be honest, we are all in need of encouragement, direction and strength in the minor as well as the major. Sometimes, just getting through the day requires a spiritual pick me up. God can sustain us if we’ll remain in him.
He’s Given Us Everything Pertaining to Life and Godliness
II Peter 1:3 says, “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.” An ordinary life can also be a Godly life. Godliness is sustainable in normal circumstances; in tempered situations; in harmonious relationships; sitting in traffic; while working out; parenting the kids; and shopping. The sexy thing is to unpack how our faith is meted out when life is overwhelming but it is in the tedious moments that we have an opportunity to really advance in our walk with Christ. God’s great promises form the backdrop to our perpetual existence and we lack nothing in every day.
He Grants Perpetual Victory Over the Enemy
The human faculty that comes under siege more than any other during our routines is the mind. The enemy knows our proclivity to let the guard down and attacks while our lives are seemingly idle. This is how the mundane moments become breeding grounds for sin, life-altering circumstances and painful decisions. See if this particular down time rings a bell. A guy takes a day off of work; sleeps in; gets some things done around the house; goes outside for a walk to get some fresh air; sees his naked female neighbor; is overcome with lust; has an affair with her; gets her pregnant; and authorizes the murder of her husband. Sound familiar? This was King David falling prey to a lustful thought during a routine stroll. This chain of events was set off by the enemy’s attack on his mind in the middle of an otherwise boring moment. What a strong warning to us that the customary hours of our day can be some of the most dangerous if we break our connection with the vine, neglect the development of Godliness and allow Satan to control our thoughts. If we do not rely on God’s sustaining authority over Satan to protect our minds then the uneventful seasons we enjoy can quickly become chaotic.