And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. Colossians 3:23
In a world where Sunday worship is filled with lights, cameras and videos, how is it that we can exit church on a Sunday and not feel let down with the mundane, “ordinary” lives we live? Is it possible to encounter God in our everyday, business-as-usual lives?
As Jesus was preparing to exit this world, he left a very clear and concise mandate for his disciples:
“As you are on your way go and make disciples…” Matthew 28:18.
It seems to me that Jesus was not into all the hype and spectacle that we usually associate with living an “exciting”, adrenaline filled life. We as Christians are not exempt from this “event”- driven desire to have something extraordinary intersect and collide with our common lives. Don’t get me wrong, Jesus did some incredible, hype-worthy events:
Feeding the 4,000
Feeding the 5,000
Walking on water
Rising from the dead
And the list could go on and on! But as Jesus departed, he didn’t tell his disciples to go and do “extraordinary” things. He simply commanded them to make disciples as they lived out their daily lives differently than those around them. Jesus was commissioning them to take the ordinary, mundane things of this world and look at them completely different. Is this not what Jesus did?
He turned WATER into wine.
He used SPIT ON DIRT to HEAL
He FED THOUSANDS with a FEW FISH and a COUPLE of LOAVES OF BREAD
He consecrated the common. He is the God of the mundane. With Jesus the ordinary becomes extraordinary.
In Colossians 3:23, Paul tells us to do whatever we do as unto the Lord and not to men. The word “whatever” connotes that anything can be made holy. It is not just “religious” things that are “holy” but “whatever” we do unto Him. Whatever is given to God can and will be made holy and fit for his use. Here a few helpful suggestions in viewing God as the God of the Mundane.
Whatever means whatever.
We tend to categorize things as secular or sacred. Yet, when Paul was dealing with food offered to idols, he gave permission to people to eat the food if their conscious allowed them to and if it was practiced in such a way as to not cause another to stumble.
6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.
7 However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 8 But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. 1 Corinthians 6:6-8
With this being said, we have been freedom to use whatever we encounter in our daily mundane lives as a way to worship the Lord. We can use whatever form of music, whatever form of service, whatever place we are in and transform it for use as unto the Lord.
Let’s be gut-wrenching honest here: much of our worship is not done with a full, whole heart! But what is done like that at all for that matter? Do we study heartily? Work heartily? Serve heartily? Live heartily? The Shema from the Old Testament says:
4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is 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. Deuteronomy 6:4-5
Jesus repeats this in the New Testament:
29 Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; 30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ Mark 12:29-30
Is it possible that God wants us to take all of our ordinary activities and transform them into exciting, life-generating activities? Is it possible that we could experience God when scrubbing out a bathtub or taking out the trash when we do it with all of our heart?
As unto the Lord and not men…
Realizing who and why we do what we do can certainly change everything. When we bring God into a situation or circumstance, it is immediately made holy unto the Lord. Remember Moses approaching the burning bush? He was told to put off his sandals because that ground had become holy from the Lord’s presence. When we take a look at the plain things in our lives, let’s not look at them as such but begin to look at them from the perspective of the Lord’s presence in and near us. Realizing that God is able to use a bush, donkey, or anything else he has created brings a new awareness to the ordinary things in our lives. The handwriting of God could be on the wall or his voice could be heard in a conversation at a water cooler. Either way, any way, God is the God of the extraordinary as well as the mundane. Let’s not miss him!
How have you seen God in the mundane, ordinary, plain things of life?