The Power of the Ordinary

Do you want to be ordinary? Well probably not. Ordinary is not a word we want to characterize us. Ordinary is plain, it’s simple it has to do with the regular practical, simple, non flattering elements of life.

I guess we could say that “Ordinary” is not an extraordinary word.  The Free Dictionary online says this; “or·di·nar·y  With no distinctive features, normal, what is commonplace or standard.” The reality is there is very little about ordinary that is attractive to us.

Many of us spend our lives trying to do and experience the extra-ordinary. We want our business, relationships to be awesome!   Most of us want to do extra-ordinary things, have extra-ordinary families, experience the extra-ordinary in life.

The Old Testament prophet Elijah experienced the extra-ordinary in his life. As a prophet of God he had experienced the amazing works of God. Miraculous meals, healings and calling down fire from Heaven were a part of his life experiences.

Elijah experienced so much of the extra-ordinary that struggled to dwell in the ordinary. In one of his more mundane and depressed moments he ran to Mt Sinai (the mountain of Moses) to seek another amazing thrill from God.   Feeling alone and quite self-pitiful with his ordinary life he asked God to do something great. God taught Elijah an amazing lesson that night. I Kings 19 tells us what happened;  11  And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

He wanted something spectacular and God gave him a still small (ordinary) voice.   Many of us are like Elijah, we always want something spectacular from God. We struggle to live in the commonplaces of life.   One powerful blessing from God often ruins us. We soon like Elijah become unable to function in the mundane areas of life.

That day Elijah learned the powerful lessons of the Ordinary.  God showed Elijah that it is in the ordinary areas of life that God often works. It is when you and I are faithful to God in the simple things that God can work and do something special.  When Elijah was looking for the booming voice of God, he was given a whisper. While seeking a “Moses experience” God gave him the simple task of doing his job. And it was in these simple and mundane things that God did his greatest work.

God wants us to learn the lesson that faithfulness in the small areas of life produces the miraculous. It is loving our families, caring for our neighbors, looking after that lonely widow, serving the less fortunate, these are the places where God does some of his greatest work.  If we embrace the ordinary, we will experience the extra-ordinary!

Although your life, your job or your situation may seem exceedingly common remember your steady seeds of faithfulness will produce a harvest of the miraculous. May God grant us the grace to stop being distracted by our search for the wind, earthquake and fire. Let us be content to listen to His still small voice. Embrace the common, God wants to do something special in your ordinary!

About Pastor Troy Keaton

Founding pastor at EastLake Community Church at Smith Mountain Lake Virginia. View all posts by Pastor Troy Keaton

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