December 27, 2022
Is Normal a Good Thing?
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness (Romans 6:16 NIV)?
Friend to Friend
Normal can be a good thing.
Like when the doctor’s office calls to say that the test results are normal or when the mechanic tells you that the funny noise your car is making will not cost you hundreds of dollars to repair – it is just a normal part of wear and tear.
But when it comes to our spiritual lives – normal may not always be a good thing.
I am a pastor’s wife and love the fact that God has called me to serve beside my husband in that role. But some people think a pastor’s wife should look, act, speak, and dress a certain way. I tend to think God called me to be Mary … and that calling does not always fit what some people consider to be a normal pastor’s wife.
As I look back over the lives of those who made the biggest difference in the early Kingdom days, they were anything but normal. A bag of mixed nuts is more like it. Seriously, a group of quirky men and broken women from all walks of life who were radical in their devotion and obedience to God – radical to the point of placing their lives on the line every day for the cause of Christ. They were normal in that they celebrated their "sameness" with the pagans who were shunned by religious zealots yet stubbornly loved by the Father.
But they were profoundly abnormal in the love they showed for God and toward each other … and in the depth of their commitment to God and His cause. These followers of Christ were willing to obey God – no matter what He asked them to do – no matter where He asked them to go. Completely sold out to Him! And that’s not normal, but it should be.
“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness” (Romans 6:16 NIV)?
When an ordinary woman meets an extraordinary God, normal life takes on a whole new meaning. Knowing God changes everything. We simply cannot encounter the living God and be the same.
A personal relationship with Him produces a holy discontent with the status quo and compels us to live in such a way that miracles are a daily occurrence.
People are desperately looking for ordinary women like you and me whose lives have been changed by an extraordinary God – the One who is calling us to be His hands and feet to those who don't even believe He exists.
I want to love every excuse and doubt right out of the unbeliever’s mind.
I want the doubter to see a power in me that they cannot explain in human terms.
I want the hurting soul to see and hear in my life a message that shouts God’s mercy and forgiveness.
I want to be hungry and thirsty for God as never before.
I want my normal life to be abnormally extraordinary because God is alive and well and at work in and around me.
How about you?
Are you ready to step out in faith?
Are you willing to live an abnormal life filled with people and circumstances that can only be explained by the extraordinary power and presence of God?
Father, I am so tired of playing it safe, of bowing to the wrong crowd and listening to the wrong voices. I lay down my pride and surrender to You and Your plan for my life. Stretch my faith. Help me be obedient to You and Your truths. Give me Your eyes to see those in need. Fill me with Your power and strength so that others will be drawn to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Are you willing to be a radical follower of Jesus Christ – no matter the cost? What first step do you need to take to walk by faith – not by sight? The promises of Proverbs 3:5-6 will encourage and strengthen you to take that step.
More from the Girlfriends
Still looking for that special Christmas gift? Check out Mary’s Joy Journals and daily devotion books, Life is So Daily – Volume 1 and 2. Perfect gifts for family and friends.
Need encouragement … a friend to help you on your journey? Are you a pastor’s wife or Women’s Ministry leader? I can help you. Check out my coaching ministry, Friends for the Journey.
© 2022 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Tuesday, 27 December 2022.