Living In These Daze:
“Skills For Living Day by Day”
“God made man simple; man’s complex problems are of his own devising.” Ecclesiastes 7:30 JB
Many find life to be very complicated or at least they make it that way. It’s actually very simple if you take it as God directed; “one day at a time”. God in the creation account makes it one day at a time. One of the truths revealed through Israel’s History – Salvation History is that there is one God; a singularity & unity - Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (ESV) 4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 8:4-6 (ESV) 4 Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “an idol has no real existence,” and that “there is no God but one.” 5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”— 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
And in Ephesians 4:4-6 (ESV)
4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
This truth is manifested in the concept of living one day at a time. Trying to live more that one day at time is like dividing yourself: mentally, emotionally and spiritually between “many gods – many lords – “pantheistic idolatry.”
One day – this day – is “where the rubber meets the road.” The day - now past – like the tire rotated - has lost contact with life. The day – not here yet – has yet to have touched the road. As the saying goes “tomorrow never comes for when it gets here – it’s today.” One day – one road – is the way to “keep on trucking.”
Take some time to explore the sciences of systems, chaos, and complexity. What we find is many things happening or working together but doing it from a simple organizing principle. Discerning that principle is key to managing it all. “One day at a time.”
Cancer seems to be a scary, chaotic growth. Simply, it is one cell that reproduces itself over and over with no purpose or boundary. The stock market is an animal unto itself, who knows where it’s going. Actually, it’s very simple process: “buy low, sell high.” What makes it chaotic is everyone trying to apply the same simple principle at the same time; usually, in response to fluctuating emotions of fear, anxiety, or perceived world issues. As mentioned before, “people tossed back and forth by the waves of the sea” in response to a false god – money! Have you seen a graph of the stock market?
Life; like a large building project: brick wall, building, etc.; calls for a simple process iterated over and over. One brick at a time – over and over again – one beam attached to another etc. Of upmost importance is how they are related / connected to one another. But this is exactly what the scriptures call us to; in order build a great life.
Israel was provided for daily - manna in the wilderness; the Lord’s Prayer asks for “daily bread”; in order to be a disciple - one must take up “your cross daily”; and the church devoted themselves - daily to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. As in all cases; your life is built one day at time. How do I manage this and what skills do I need to make this work? There are so many voices calling for my attention how do I choose? Here are a few concepts:
First: Devotion to the Lord – daily faith commitment to obeying the Lord. Devotion to any other, as previously shown leads to confusion and doublemindeness. Singlemindness is not simple but it does lead to simplicity. Simplicity is an inward reality that results in an outward life-style. Both the inward and outward aspects are essential.
Luke 6:46-48 (ESV) 46 “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?
47 Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock.”
Matthew 6:24 (ESV) 24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Second: Devotion to Spiritual Practices – exercise of your faith relationship with the Lord. Practicing any behavior creates habits and character. Many practices – not just alcohol and drugs - are actually addictive. These disciplines are best exercised in the midst of our relationships with our husband or wife, our brothers and sisters, our friends and neighbors. Be careful what you “devote” yourself to.
Acts 2:42 (ESV) “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
2 Corinthians 4:16 (ESV) 16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
Third: Devotion to good (God) works – putting your faith to work. The scripture shows that “faith grows / proceeds from faith” and “keeping the faith - keeps you”
James 1:27 (ESV) 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
1 Corinthians 16:15-16 (ESV) 15 Now I urge you, brothers—you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints—16 be subject to such as these, and to every fellow worker and laborer.”
1 Timothy 5:10 (ESV) 10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.
As in all things; nature abhors a vacuum, two things cannot occupy the same space, positive actions cancel out negative ones, there is really no such thing as multitasking – you work on one thing at a time, doing the Lord’s will gives you no opportunity to do otherwise. So love casts out fear. What is required is a daily devotion - commitment to one thing, one day, and one principle – single mindedness expressed in a variety of venues.
Colossians 3:17 (ESV) “17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
John 13:17-18 (ESV) ”17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”