Yes, it is actually possible to live in divine design rather than by the downfall of default. For the believer in Jesus living by design is a choice to follow the Will of God, while existing by default is just fleshly automation. Any drone can be pulled along by the currents of life. We can be drug under by the riptides of human activity instead of making living choices. Reactive living based on the whims of humanity is to lose our vital necessity in a sea of trivial insignificance, but we can live by design not default.
The other day I read a Rick Warren quote that said, “You are going to go through life either by design or by default.” I think the distinction is inspired. I also read basically the same statement by Greg McKeown in his book Essentialism. Greg says, “The way of the essentialist means living by design not by default.” Both these statements highlight the distinction of living purposed rather than mediocre. For the follower of Christ this is life versus death.
Design NOT Default
Here is the two laid side by side. Living by design means living by the Will of God in order to achieve His purpose in our lives. This is opposed to living by default which is just letting things happen as we go. We will never reach our spiritual destiny on autopilot. We have to activate our choice to follow His design. This world has far too many distractions and enticements to not live by His Will alone.
Imagine putting our lives in a smelter to burn off all the dross. How much would be left? What tasks and events would remain? Would anything stand the testing of fire? I can tell you, if the Will of God wasn’t the center and the Life of Christ as source…poof.
Wasting Time on Default
Looking at my days, I can point out hours of waste. This doesn’t mean I have to be continually busy and producing. God is not a taskmaster but every moment can be eternal, even my moments of rest. Life is about a choice to follow. It’s purposing to live listening and seeking His Will. It is finding Him in my moments, and this is deeply relational.
To live by default is to live missing the relational blessing of a life in the Will of God. The Will of God is not about getting me to do the hardest thing possible or as much as I can, it is about entering LOVE. Love is the center of God’s Will. How could it be otherwise? He says in His Word that “God is love” (1 John 4:16). If God is love than His Will is love as well. It also says, “if I have not love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2) Long story short, love is the source of the Will of God.
I can do nothing by Myself; I judge only as I hear. And My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
John 5:30 BSB