Gordon MacDonald’s book, Ordering Your Private World, is one of the most helpful books I have ever read. I highly commend this Thomas Nelson Publishers’ book to you. Listen to what MacDonald writes about this passage:
The apostle set forth an ageless truth. He was directing that a right choice be made. Are we going to order our inner worlds so that they will create influence on the outer world? Or will we neglect our private worlds and thus permit the outer sphere to shape us? This is a choice we have to make every day of our lives. (Page 24)
This is the absolute key to being used by God! If we want to change our outer world, we have to change our private world. If we want to make a difference we have to be different. If we want to leave a mark we have to mark some boundaries. We must schedule our priorities, and our number one priority MUST be God!
Where are you in this? How is your private world? Mary Slessor was a young single woman who left Scotland at the turn of the century to go to a part of Africa that was infested with disease and indescribable danger. But she had an indomitable spirit and kept going when lesser men and women broke down, ran, and never came back. Once, after a particularly draining day, she found herself trying to sleep in a crude jungle hut. Of that night she wrote:
I am not very particular about my bed these days, but as I lay on a few dirty sticks laid across and covered with a litter of dirty corn-shells, with plenty of rats and insects, three women and an infant three days old alongside, and over a dozen sheep and goats and cows outside, you don’t wonder that I slept little. But I had such a comfortable quiet night in my own heart.
That’s the sort of thing I’m talking about when I address the question of order in our private world. There must be a quiet place where all is in order, a place from which comes the energy that overcomes turbulence and is not intimidated by it. Don’t let the world fit you into its mold! Instead, mold your world for the glory of God!