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What is your M.O. & X.O.? — Considering our modus operandi and executive orders

Two questions: 

  1. Is your modus operandi (M.O.) getting you to your destination?

  2. Is the modus operandi of the church working? 

We can define our M.O. by considering what our signature behaviors are. For example, the unique (signature) way a criminal does things is his modus operandi.

Outwardly I may smile all the time, but inwardly is it just my M.O. to smile? Our M.O. is often to cover up that we are internally bleeding and putting makeup over splintered bones. We hide the pain and try to navigate our way forward. Some of us watch those around us hide their pain – children, spouses, friends – and our hearts bleed for them too. Healing doesn’t come by hiding. 

Another thing to consider besides your M.O. is your X.O. We are not talking about kisses and hugs or warm feelings. For our purposes X.O. is a technical term referring to our executive orders. A sure way to realign the bones and stop the internal bleeding is to pay attention our X.O.

We all serve something, the entire creation was constructed to serve and worship God. If we choose to not serve God, we must serve something. We may serve ourself for example, but at a more real level, we serve spiritual principalities like money, sex and power if we aren’t serving God’s X.O.

Another two questions:

  1. Do you know what your X.O. (executive order from God) is? 

  2. What is the X.O. of the church in this season?

Man was made for a master. This galls us but it is truth. It appears audacious to us because we are beings of free will and free choice. Much of the western world worships freedom, but it is a shipwrecked form of self-love that leaves us sunk in a deep ocean bed. We can choose who we serve, but we can never chose not to serve because it is what we were all created to do. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to serve it and care for it” (Ge 2:15). 

Jesus is the X.O. of the Father. He was the Word proceeding from the Father. He lived it. He said “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt 20:28). Jesus is the incarnate signature of God. He is God’s name signed on creation in the flesh. His way of claiming creation is really his work of art. 

The M.O. of the world system is sin, and its end is death. That is why it is extremely important to have a solid X.O.

Our propensity to serve forces us into this obedient position of working for someone. It doesn’t matter if we are aware of this or not, it is our M.O. Serving and caring is our role in creation but it is also our proper job description by positioning. It is how the Creator in his discretion originally placed us. This serving creation is what we can call our general X.O., what we should do as responsible and just people.

But in this season of distress where we see an increase of storms, earthquakes, global disease and so on, this question of our X.O. should become more acute and personal. How are we serving God’s justice in his gift of creation? How are we displaying the face of God to the world? 

What is your specific X.O.? Hint: it still has to do with serving. A true child knows their parents’ hearts for them and is motivated to serve them by this knowledge. 

We are all little, gloriously blazing signatures of God. Each one of us is one-of-a-kind finger art from God. We all have a specific X.O. from God, his call and purpose for us.

Taking the time to evaluate and understand this, aligning and removing the distractions, will mend the broken bones of our internal infrastructure. It will graduate us into a place of serving where every nook and cranny of our being resonates with joy. Read John 15:10-11.