Standing Orders

Standing Orders


The concept of Standing Orders is applied in many different organizations, corporations and industries (the military, banking, parliamentary procedures, utilities, etc.). For the purposes of this devotion, think of Standing Orders as clearly established rules, restrictions, procedures or principles. Standing Orders can be temporary or permanent; but they are put in place to prescribe or prevent certain outcomes – that is, to ensure the right things happen while avoiding the wrong things happening.

In many ways, through His Holy Word the Bible, God has provided a comprehensive set of Standing Orders for the human race. He made us and loves us. He provided these Standing Orders for our benefit.
  • Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
  • Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
  • Ezekiel 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!”

I want to share a section of scripture with you that demonstrates a very powerful truth:

Even when we don’t know what God’s plans are,
We play an important part in fulfilling them
As we comply with His Standing Orders.

After Elijah told evil King Ahab that there was going to be a severe drought, God protected and provided for His prophet. As part of His plan, God sent Elijah to a town called Zarephath to be cared for by a widow.
  • 1 Kings 17:7-9 And it happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.”

This widow, though poor and desperate, faithfully demonstrated the attitudes and actions required by God’s Standing Orders.

She was Kind
  • 1 Kings 17:10-11 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” 11 And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”
    • When asked for water, she quickly responded to meet the need.

She was Truthful
  • 1 Kings 17:12 So she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”
    • When unable to meet a greater need she honestly shared her dire circumstances.

She was Respectful
  • 1 Kings 17:13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son.
    • Even though she was dealing with her own serious problems, she didn’t disregard Elijah’s requests for help.

She was Faithful
  • 1 Kings 17:14 For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.’”
    • She believed in the provision promised by God through His prophet.

She was Obedient and Sacrificial
  • 1 Kings 17:15-16 So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days.
    • Walking by faith, not by sight, she shared what little she had.

As she complied with God’s Standing Orders:

She was Blessed

Immediately
  • 1 Kings 17:16 The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke by Elijah.
    • As promised, God provided enough food for the woman, her son and Elijah
In the Future
  • 1 Kings 17:23 And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house, and gave him to his mother. And Elijah said, “See, your son lives!”
    • Sometime later her son became ill and died. But through God’s miraculous power, Elijah brought him back to life.
Eternally
  • 1 Kings 17: 24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is the truth.”
    • Placing her trust in God and the truth of His Word signified her right relationship with Him.

The widow had no idea what God had commanded regarding her role in caring for Elijah (verse 9 above). And yet, through faithful obedience to the Standing Orders given by God through His Word, she played a critical part in accomplishing what God had ordained.

We all want to hear from God; we want Him to guide us according to His will. We want Him to tell us what to do. He already has.  He has spoken through His Word – The Bible.
  • Read and obey His Word! 
  • Trust Him in the circumstances of your life!
  • Walk worthy of your calling – be the person God has made you, commanded you and empowered you to be.
Participate in His plans – comply with His Standing Orders


Prayer

Father, You have told us clearly how to live. And You have done this for our own good. Give us the courage, strength and perseverance to live according to Your rules, restrictions, procedures and principles. Thank You for allowing us to be a part of Your plans. I pray that the truth of Your Word will pierce the hearts of those who read it. In Christ’s holy and precious name I pray. Amen.