Have you ever felt overwhelmed at the ordinariness of daily life? Social media provides ample opportunities for us to compare our mundane lives to the next person’s extraordinary lifestyle or ministry. The daily grind can leave us wondering if we’ve completely missed God’s purpose for our lives.
A few years ago, I graduated from Bible college with a passionate desire to embark on an exciting adventure through the wilderness of life. Invigorated to change the world, I turned the tassel only to find my daily schedule looking something like this: wake up early, drive to work, keep large groups of toddlers under control, drive home, eat, sleep, and repeat. When I left each daycare shift—many times with spit-up stains on my uniform shirt, I wondered how I had missed the path to a life of purpose. Every day was a roller coaster of emotions, but certainly not the type of adventure I had been anticipating.
Perhaps you can relate to the tedium of everyday life. Whether you are a student, a nine-to-five employee, or a mother of young children, life brims with mundane tasks, tiring responsibilities, and never-ending to-do lists. Life isn’t always a mountain-top experience; it is often very commonplace.
We must ask ourselves, how can we “seek first the kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33) while living an ordinary life? Each follower of Christ has a call to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19), but how do we make that a primary pursuit while working a full-time job, caring for our families, or studying as a full-time student? Scripture teaches about living for the kingdom of God and doing the Father’s will in our lives today.
Jesus Taught Us to Live Everyday Life
The Father’s will for mankind was revealed through the simple words of Christ. Through the Gospel accounts, Jesus didn’t bestow lofty lectures on how to discover our mysterious calling; rather, He gave straightforward commands and principles that instruct us for everyday life—whether exciting or mundane. He didn’t show us how to become powerful but rather how to let the power of His Spirit influence every moment of our lives. Jesus taught the farmers, the fishermen, the moms and dads how to live, think, and relate to others as citizens of the kingdom of God.
Instead of feeling guilty over a life you aren’t living, allow the Spirit to lead you in the life the Lord has given you.
We see Jesus’ admonitions on ordinary life in the Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew 5:21-24, Jesus taught us how to deal with anger towards another. Verses 27-30 address lustful intentions, and the chapter ends with instructions to love those whom we don’t like (Matthew 5:43-48). In the next two chapters of Matthew, Jesus shed light on issues such as giving, prayer, fasting, anxiety, judging, and obedience. Through such teachings we are shown how to lead a God-honoring life under his kingdom reign. We face all of these issues and make these decisions every day. If we are faithfully living according to the words and commands of Christ, we are living according to the Father’s will.
The Holy Spirit Equips Us for Everyday Life
It is crucial to remember that we are not alone in our pursuit of living for the kingdom of God. Christ taught us how to live, then He sent His Holy Spirit to guide and instruct us, both individually and as a church. In John 14:26, Jesus told His followers, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” As children of God, the Spirit is with us to guide us through each day of our lives.
In light of this truth, we need not be afraid that we have missed our calling or that we are somehow doing less than God’s will for us. It is the Shepherd’s job to lead, and our job to follow (John 10:3-4). Therefore, we can rest that if God has not clearly shown us a new path, then we are right where He wants us to be.
We can fulfill God’s will for our lives and live for the kingdom where we are right now. Certain circumstances call for waiting on the Lord; however, we do not have to wait in order to live the life that He has purposed for us. We have His Word which instructs us on how to live, think, and relate. We have the Spirit who enables us to have a rich relationship with God and to minister to others. If we have a heart that is submitted and obedient to God’s Word and the Spirit’s leadership, we can be assured that we are in the center of God’s will.
The Kingdom of God Advances Through Everyday Life
Living for the kingdom of God doesn’t always involve inventing new ways to “do something,” rather surrendering what we already do, allowing Him to use our ordinary moments for His eternal kingdom. Instead of feeling guilty over a life you aren’t living, allow the Spirit to lead you in the life the Lord has given you. Pray for direction and wisdom at the start of each day. Look for people in your life who have a need, whether that is encouragement, a listening ear, or a financial gift. Discipleship often begins with a friendship, so make one small step today to get to know someone better.
If you are a parent or grandparent, you have an unparalleled opportunity to influence lives for the kingdom. God’s will for you is to teach the next generation His truth “when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6:7). Raising and nurturing children in the Lord is kingdom work and is exactly what the Lord wants you to do in this season of your life.
If you are a full-time student, employee, or minister, you have people around you every day who are influenced by you in various manners. Your kindness, smile, diligence, and integrity will show them that there is an extraordinary God who infuses purpose and beauty into the most ordinary of days. As Paul wrote to the Colossians, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23).
God simply wants your heart submitted to His perfect will, allowing Him to speak to you, and letting Him guide your every moment.
If you are faithfully living out these principles, be assured that God is not wringing His hands wishing that you would read His mind and do something “bigger” than you are doing now. He simply wants your heart submitted to His perfect will, allowing Him to speak to you, and letting Him guide your every moment. At some point, He may see fit to lead you into other areas of ministry; however, those opportunities come only through first living faithfully in the small things. Keep praying, seeking, and serving. The Lord “rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
As for me, daycare employment days are behind me, and I am now a wife and involved in work as a nanny. With the Lord’s help, I love my husband as God’s Word admonishes. With the Spirit’s direction, I take opportunities to remind children of God’s love and care for them. I choose to be a citizen of the kingdom of God, led by the Spirit of God, every day. I may not know what lies ahead; but I do know that right now, I can live for the kingdom of God one ordinary day at a time.