Are You In A Rut?

Posted on March 8, 2018

by John Paul Jackson

It is a natural human tendency to find a rut and want to climb into it. When we find something that works, we tend to make it into a formula. Formula gradually becomes habit; habit becomes tradition, and the problem with tradition is that it tries to set boundaries for the mind.

We can put ourselves in a place where we “know” how everything is supposed to happen. We have the formula down. We know what works and what doesn’t. We know what is going to happen today, tomorrow, and next year because we know what happened yesterday, and slowly, tradition can become the strength of our faith.

When Jesus walked the earth, tradition was rampant. The law of the Pharisees had begun to carry more weight than Scripture, and Jesus said to them, “You search the Scriptures thinking that you’re going to find the keys to everlasting life, and you don’t even know that I am here and I am the One the Scriptures speak of.”

When the “formula” becomes more valuable than Scripture, faith in God, or true relationship with Him, something needs to happen. That something is called chaos.


Every time God wants to change what we have formulated—our habits, our thinking, our tradition—chaos is a vehicle He uses to make that change. As a result of our thinking, He allows us to come to a place where chaos ensues, and when chaos has finished its work, a higher-order is established.

In a way, the presence of chaos in our lives predicts a coming order that is grander and more godly than the order we knew before. What God wants to take place is about to take place. Chaos allows regeneration to occur. It changes our thinking, our outlook, and our expectations.

The suddenlies in life—when it seems like God snaps His fingers and His will falls into place—come out of chaotic moments. Control is relinquished in chaos, and new guidelines are released. That is what happened on the Day of Pentecost. A new, better way of life emerged from a chaotic moment (see Acts 2).


When I say chaos, I don’t mean destruction or anarchy. I mean the plow that comes along and breaks up the rut. Many of us think that chaos is harmful, and it can be a little painful— but only if we are trying to stay in the rut that God wants to plow under.

Any time the earth begins to tremble with the approach of that plow, we don’t have to worry. Something better is coming. How do we know? Because we know Jesus, His ways, and what the Bible says about Him—that He is better than anything we could imagine (Ephesians 3:20) and He works all things to our benefit (Romans 8:28).