Please humor me as I have a slight rant on a sign of our times:
When I was a young man one of my first jobs was with Walgreens in New Orleans. The people training me DRILLED it into us that we should always front and face all the money we ever put in a register.
This means that the bills would always be faced the same way and the dark print would be facing up when you set the pile of bills down on the counter or in a register.
This is the practice of a little something called ORDER.
I've noticed that the past few times I have gone into my bank or used the drive-up teller almost every single bill was out of order. Today I pulled out some cash from the bank down the street (because the drive-up my bank was out of cash ) and every bill was either backwards or upside down.
This is called DISorder.
When God said, "Let there be light" order came to disorder.
Whenever God...the REAL God....is obeyed there is order.
With disobedience and with rebellion comes disorder.
When Man fell in Eden he chose satan and his disorder over God and His wonderful order.
God reestablished His order and man chose disorder instead.
The Flood was a picture of God giving man what he wanted.
Jesus came to bring order where disorder reigned. Jesus came to bring life where death reigned.
Man is rejecting God again like never before....choosing disorder over order.
As the systems of the earth collapse all around us we are seeing the effects of this disorder: terrorism, sexual molestations, rapes, degrading sexual lifestyles, robbery, theft, rebellion, the shooting of policemen and other violence boiling up all around us.
The earthly things we have trusted are all failing. We cannot trust them anymore.
Finding currency out of order in a culture that pretty much WORSHIPS money might not seem like a huge thing....perhaps it isn't....
I see it as a sign of our times. It symbolizes…as do so many other things…the disorder of our times.
What can we do about it?
The first is that we should, if we haven’t already, call out to Jesus for His salvation and for Him to put our lives into HIS order.
Then, we should establish His Kingdom in the earth which (basically) consists of His authority working through people and HIS order being established all around us.
In addressing the disorder of early meetings of the Church in homes and in public places in Corinth the Apostle Paul said this:
“For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” (1 Corinthians 14:33)
He was pointing out that as representatives of God, God’s order should be our lifestyle. The word “confusion” in that verse is the Greek word “akatastasia”. It means “instability, confusion, commotion….disorder.”
God is not the author of disorder.
Instead, Paul says, God is the author of peace. The word “peace” means to “put something that is divided back together” – or, for us here….back into order.
At the end of that chapter Paul ends his thinking on the topic by saying this:
“Let all things be done decently and in order.” (1 Corinthians 14:40)
I understand context and its importance in the Bible. The context of this part of this chapter has to do with home and public gatherings of the body of Christ in first century Corinth. However, I believe that it would be incorrect for us to read that, choose to obey it and then practice it by doing things “decently and in order” only in gatherings of the Body of Christ in “official corporate” meetings in homes, in public and in church buildings.
We are to do ALL THINGS decently (honestly) and in order (in God’s order and with His dignity).
Here is how I practice this when a teller or an ATM hands me some currency and it is so out of order that it reflects the chaos of today’s world: I PUT IT BACK INTO ORDER myself.
When it happens inside the bank I look at the mess in my hands and then I quietly tell the teller, “Excuse me while I put this in order.” Next, I slowly make sure that each bill is facing the same direction and is right side up. Then, I smile and show the teller and ask him or her, “Doesn’t that look better?”
I’m aware that this might sound like a little thing that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of all the disorder in the world today but the Kingdom of God is advanced by someone deciding to honor God and doing what might be one little thing to bring His order into the earth.
It’s not the money that God cares about. Not at all.
It’s the people that are being harmed by disorder, the effect of rebellion against His order.
Helping a child clean up a messy room, making sure shopping carts are where they belong in a supermarket parking lot, picking up litter, taking the time to do things correctly the first time, reorganizing dollar bills so they are in order….these are all ways to practice this simple discipline.
I believe this pleases the Lord. See how the Spirit rejoiced in Paul when he heard of the order in the lives of Christians in Colosse:
“For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:5-7)
Please hear me: this is NOT about appearances or performance.
This IS about what the practice of decent and in order living says about the state of our hearts.
It means that Jesus can be seen in us.
This is very important.
I pray that as time goes on the order of God will be more and more evident in how we all conduct ourselves and live our everyday lives. None of us needs higher education, titles, position or the recognition of other people to do this.
All we need is a desire to live like Jesus.
And, lest we forget that this IS possible, let’s all remember that:
“…it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
Join me in asking the Lord to put the desire to live like Him into our hearts and then to do it through us:
“Father God, I ask You to cause me to love what You love, hate what You hate, see like You see and to live like You live. I invite You to adjust my wants to match Yours and to live Your life though me….day by day….every day. I pray this in the capable name of Jesus. Amen”