What is a rule of life? It is a vertical relationship in a horizontal world. It is a vital set of spiritual disciplines and principles such as prayer, meditation, Bible-study, and worship that keeps one grounded in the amazing love of God.
Yet is not a perfunctory mode of living, but rather it is a devotional, exuberant and joyful expression of the soul. It is quality over quantity, it is not how often one prays or reads the Bible, but how deeply one does so and how connected one feels toward the source of our disciplines, God.
Just as a ruler acts as straight-edged strip of metal or wood for drawing straight lines and measuring lengths, so must the believer have within their spiritual arsenal a means for measuring and living as we move through periods of change, challenge and complexity.
In short, a rule of life is necessary as a general vision for believers in union with Christ. A rule of life, practiced with the utmost diligence, keeps one focused on the big picture, enables one to navigate life’s unpredictability and provides the believer with a never ending source of inspiration.
Keeps You Focused on the Big Picture
First, a rule of life keeps you focused on the big picture. Staying focused on the grand scheme in life is crucial. The big picture allows you to daily affirm the blessings of your life in Christ, even as you address struggles, sin patterns and difficult moments which challenge what you believe.
The ability to see yourself in the larger paradigm of God’s creation means that you stay anchored in spite of the storms. It gives you that energy to “run straight toward the goal” (Philippians 3:14) as the Apostle Paul admonishes the Philippian church.
The best thing about remaining attached to the big picture is seeing yourself as whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy!
Remaining focused on the big picture comes when you experience the joy of the Lord in the middle of your struggle.
He replenishes my strength.
You Are Better Able to Navigate the Unpredictable
Second, your rule of life will assist you in navigating life’s unpredictability. Who among us has not encountered life’s “blind spots” – the unforeseen events, interruptions, the needs of others, emergencies and other exigencies that seemingly occur on a daily basis?!
What begins as a straight line quickly turns into a zig-zag of the incalculable, the uncertain and the hit and miss.
A rule of life in the middle of this arbitrary sea means that we are positioned to experience the grace of Christ and the peace of His strength through our daily communion. It further means that we may declare the certainty of God’s presence in the middle of our deepest uncertainties. We may declare perfect health, perfect finances, perfect thinking and perfect action not because of who we are – but rather because of whose we are!
Thou will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.
You Will Be a Source of Inspiration
Thirdly, a rule of life will enable the believer to remain a source of inspiration, light and love, no matter what he or she experiences. Is not this the grand testimony of the believer’s walk in Christ? To be a living testimony and witness to the grace of Christ? To be able to stand in the middle of a universe ready to smash one into a million pieces and yet declare that every piece shall praise God even more?
A rule of life equips us for just such a witness and willingness to lift as we climb and to climb as we lift. In doing so, we reflect the light and love of Christ and become beacons in a dark world. We tell others that Christ died, Christ was buried, Christ was resurrected – therefore we may conquer our own battles through Him who conquered death! Note that the writer did not say the weapon will not be formed, the writer said it won’t prosper!
No weapon formed against me shall prosper.
A rule of life is our anchor, our mastery. It is also the believer’s most salient witness to a world drenched in unbelief. Paul writes,
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” (I Corinthians 5:17).
This “new” is our everyday experience. It is our rule of life.
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