Spiritual formation – everyday holiness

To often spirituality is seen as other worldly, something out there that most of us can never achieve, a super-spirituality that has little time for real life. Yet we were made for everyday life. Adam and Eve had a garden to look after. A garden where they knew the Presence of God.

Spiritual formation doesn’t take place in some other world, but in the nitty gritty of everyday life and relationships. In fact if you think it can be created in some other place, shut off from the rest of reality, you would sooner or later be in for a shock and found wanting when exposed to the realities of everyday life.

The ordinary, the everyday, the mundane, the jobs that need to be done, are as important as spending time together with God’s people in worship. Remember Moses had to spend forty years looking after sheep alone on the pastures, but it was in the ordinary that he encountered the extraordinary. David likewise before he ever became king of Israel served in the ordinary looking after his father’s sheep, and again experienced the extraordinary – note too that they were his father’s sheep. Before you can get your own vision, you need the willingness to serve another’s and do the ordinary in it.

The nature of fallen humanity, even redeemed humanity, is to take the short cut, to want the big time now, not tomorrow. I remember a time in my life when I knew the call of God into ministry, and I was like, why can’t it happen now? I was waiting for the big day, then God spoke to me and said, until you learn to live in the present with all that that involves, you will never enter into my calling. It’s a hard lesson, you have the energy and vision of youth and you want to take the world, even as Moses did, but God says no, and puts us to some task that reveals our hearts and motives, that reveals to us what might take us down if we were to plough straight on.

Today we are taken up with the spectacular, it’s in the world and in the church. The big stories, the stars, the super heroes (ordinary ones don’t do anymore). Young people long to be the next star whether it’s in the music world or on the football field.

We read the book of Acts and go wow! what a story! and indeed it is, but it’s a story spread over approximately 25 years, much was an ordinary everyday holiness, fused with demonstrations of the supernatural. We read of revivals, great times of blessing, but in the lead up to them and what followed there was an ordinary, everyday holiness.

It is everyday holiness that has had a huge impact on the world, more than we may ever realise. The down to earth walk of ordinary believers living out their faith in multitudes of ordinary, everyday, situations. To quote Gerald McDermott, “In every age the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world became known to millions through the everyday holiness of ordinary believers.” (Everyday Glory, Baker Academic, 2018, p111). Everyday holiness is a powerful thing. You may not have a big stage in the world, but your world is a stage on which to enact and display the story of God’s love and transforming power.

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