Organizing Your Faith
We all know that we love the Lord. Jesus comes first in our lives, even before our spouses, even before our children. But as much as we love Jesus, sometimes we get busy. Because we aren’t just Christians, we’re also mothers, fathers, teachers, lawyers, stay-at-home parents. We are working people and sometimes we can get overwhelmed with the things going on in our lives.
Some of us miss a Sunday here, oversleep on Bible study there. Some of us forget our offering on the kitchen table, or miss that hour of prayer because we got stuck at work or the kids had an emergency. It’s never intentional, at least I don’t think it is—that’s between you and God. But sometimes life gets ahead of us and we overlook the important things.
I’m a self-published writer, a blogger, a book reviewer, a youth pastor, a worship leader, an events planner, an active volunteer, an activist, a gamer, an anime nerd, a sister, a daughter, and probably six other things I can’t think of. The point is, I get busy and sometimes I neglect things—even my faith—even this blog!
I recently published Cross Academy, a young adult, dark fantasy novel for Christians and others alike. I decided to self-publish it so that means I also have to self-promote. I opened this blog up to book reviews to help build a platform for myself and man, I got swamped in review requests from day one. Right now I have at least ten books on the waiting list plus an interview I have to conduct and not to mention I’m writing two other books at the moment.
These past few weeks have been the busiest of my life and, admittedly, I’ve started to slack off in the most important areas of my life. Even this post is a few days late.
With all this work and with all these things on my to-do list, I had to stop and ask myself; how do I get back on track? There is no guide for how to self-publish and be an awesome Christian at the same time. There’s no how-to on how to maintain a healthy social life and simultaneously pursue your dreams while continuously dedicating yourself to Christ. I was at a loss. And I’m sure many of you have been as well.
How do I find time to take my sister to school, take her to work, write two books, promote my other book, post blog articles, post book reviews, rehearse for worship service, and wake up at 4 A.M. for prayer with the Lord? Not to mention Destiny’s new release, The Taken King. I absolutely had to grab a copy and, of course, I absolutely had to spend hours playing it out.
But in committing myself to my games and to my sister and to my writing and reading, I wasn’t fully committing myself to the Lord.
I Corinthians 14:40 KJV says, “Let all things be done decently and in order.”
That means every part of our lives should be well organized. Not just because God wants us all to be clutter-free neat-freaks. We should do everything decently because we represent God Almighty. Our behavior reflects our upbringing. Every parent knows what I’m talking about. That’s why we encourage our children to behave well out in public because the first thing someone will say if they misbehave is, “Their parents didn’t raise them right.”
Well the same thing applies to us as Christians. If we’re always running late, always producing mediocre work, always putting in half the effort, people will not only form negative opinions about us as an individual, they will form negative opinions about Christianity.
But why should I organize my room or do well at my second-rate job, just because I’m Christian? I had a hard time finding an answer to this. Because I’m not always the neatest person, I’m not always organized in everything I do. So why should I make sure my car is vacuumed and my blog articles are as well-edited as possible—just because I call myself a Believer?
Because the Word instructed us to.
Think about this scripture. Colossians 3:23 KJV “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Now Paul wasn’t necessarily talking about taking out the trash, or going to work. But I believe this scripture still applies to every part of our life. It goes back to my last point.
We are a representative of the Body of Christ, as well as Christ Himself.
Everything we do reflects Christianity as a whole. So we don’t have the luxury of slacking off. We can’t half-do anything because we can’t leave any room for negativity in our lives.
So, back to my original question. How do we get organized?
Make a schedule. Lay out a plan. Start listing your priorities from beginning to end. Video gaming is important to me, watching Japanese cartoons is like my favorite thing to do besides, I don’t know, breathe. But watching anime and playing video games won’t pay my bills. It won’t get my blog noticed, and it won’t promote my book.
You have to start making a distinction between the things you want to do and the things you need to do. Be willing to sacrifice that hour of television. Be willing to sacrifice an hour of sleep. Do whatever it takes to make sure Christ comes first and that He stays first.
But don’t fret. We serve an understanding God, one who knows our struggles. We all slip up, that’s why we need Jesus. So don’t be afraid to call on Him when/if you feel overwhelmed. God wants to help us, God loves intervening on our behalf. It gives Him the chance to show us that He is more than able.
Don’t think the little things don’t matter to God. I was once told that praying to God for ‘small’ things like, help me with my homework, or give me favor when I play my video games today, weren’t worth God’s time. While praying for success on a video game may not be worth your time, I’ll have you know it’s well worth God’s time. How do I know that?
Because of I Peter 5:7 KJV “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
Jesus wants all of our cares. Not just the ‘heal me from cancer’ or the ‘bless me with a promotion’ prayers. Jesus cares about our health and our finances, but he also cares about what we like to eat, where we like to shop, even the brand of our toilet paper. When you spend time with God you realize that He really is your father. A father who cares about every aspect of our lives. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask Him to bless you with a sale at Target or to help you organize your closet. Sometimes we need God’s favor with those things too!
What I want us all to know is that Jesus cares for us but we will never know that if we don’t get to know Him. So take some time out of your busy schedule, or organize your cluttered schedule, and dedicate yourself to the Lord. If you’re not sure where to begin, just ask! Ask the Lord for help, trust me, He’s already waiting to answer your prayers.