Your Ordinary Life Can be Extraordinary
- Thursday, October 25, 2007
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Harvey Hook's new book, The Power of an Ordinary Life: Discover the Extraordinary Possibilities Within, (Tyndale House, 2007).
Your life may seem ordinary compared to people who are famous for changing the world. But you have the potential for something extraordinary within you. If you tap into the power God gives you to make a positive difference, you’ll see your ordinary life become an extraordinary life.
Here’s how you can cooperate with God to make your ordinary life extraordinary:
Choose redemptive action. Understand that in any situation, you can always choose to make a difference for the better by acting for the good of something or someone beyond yourself. Whenever you make that choice, you’re inviting God to use you to help redeem that situation. Choose redemptive action so you can bring hope into even those situations that seem hopeless. Ask God to help you look beyond your own concerns and view situations from His perspective.
Develop reconciling relationships. Be willing to reach out to other people – despite whether or not you like them – and allow God’s love to flow through you to them. No matter what your feelings toward people, choose to act in love toward them. Overcome hatred and hostilities with the greater power of love that leads to reconciling relationships.
Encourage others to seek spiritual restoration. Remember that you represent Christ as you interact with others. Do your best to represent Him well, showing others how He’s at work in your life and encouraging them to seek Him for themselves.
Trade the little for the big. Recognize that, from God’s perspective, there are no little people or little places. Understand that your life has big significance to God, and the ways He calls you to serve Him matter greatly even if they’re small tasks. Ask God to expand your perspective. Stop being preoccupied with yourself or living for other people’s approval. Instead, decide to live to please God.
Listen for God’s voice. Read, study, and meditate on the Bible often to hear what God has to say to you through His Word every day. Expect that, the more time you spend with God in prayer, the more you’ll learn to recognize His voice when He speaks to you. Practice writing down any insights you receive after prayer. Pay attention to the many creative ways God might choose to speak to you through your circumstances. Constantly be listening in case God wants to tell you something.
Fulfill your destiny. Invite God to use you fully, and trust Him with the results of everything you do for Him. Realize that you may not be considered a success from the world’s perspective, but if you live a faithful life, you’ll achieve success in God’s eyes. Rather than pursuing recognition from other people, seek to positively influence them for Christ. Offer your weaknesses to God as well as your strengths, and expect Him to make something beautiful out of them.
Listen for God’s call. Create silent spaces in your life so you can actively listen for God to call you to serve Him in various ways. Eliminate unnecessary noise in your life by making sure that you don’t give more time or energy to anything other than your relationship with God. Make pursuing God your top priority. Know that God will communicate with you in a way that’s uniquely suited to you and what He wants you to do. Listen for His call through the Bible, the Holy Spirit, the body of Christ, the counsel of godly friends, nature, the circumstances of your life, dreams, visions or impulses. As you seek your calling, give yourself permission to be who you really are (instead of who you think someone else wants you to be) and invite God to develop your character. Write down what you think God is calling you to do, tell someone you trust about it, and plan how to act on that guidance in a practical way.
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