Modus operandi is a Latin phrase meaning, “the typical way of doing something.” You might be someone who struggles to get anywhere on time. Your modus operandi or ‘MO’ is to be late. You might be someone who is incredibly gifted with attention to detail - that’s your typical way of doing things; that’s your modus operandi.
My modus operandi is to, with gusto, cheer for all Minnesota sports teams, especially the Minnesota Vikings. So, Packer nation, I just have one thing to say, “Game on!”
So here’s what I want you to see from Genesis 1 about God’s modus operandi. Look at vv. 1-2:
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Gen. 1:1-2).
Literally, the text says the cosmos was ‘waste and void’. It was dark and without form. Compare that with what you have at the end. At the end, you have galaxies and solar systems, continents, oceans, and seas. You have plants, fruits, and vegetation. Birds, fish, and animals. And all of it is declared to be good.
Why did God create the way he did? He could have, in a single day, made everything to be complete and good. Why does God create by moving from formlessness to something ordered? From waste to something good? God is setting for us his modus operandi. God is setting for us a pattern of expectation. This is his typical way of working. He takes what is chaotic and brings order to it. He takes what looks like waste and fashions something beautiful from it. This is the kind of God he is. And it’s really good news for you.
You might be living through a state of chaos and waste right now. Maybe the chaos and waste is physical. You’ve been ravaged by some ailment or injury. Maybe it’s mental. You’re mind isn’t what it once was. Maybe it’s relational. You’ve been wounded by someone. Maybe it’s financial. You don’t where the money is going to come from to pay the next set of bills. Your experience of life right now is characterized by chaos and waste. The kind of God portrayed in Genesis 1, is what you have to cling to.
God’s MO is to take that which is waste and void and fashion it into something ordered and beautiful. God’s MO may not be to snap his fingers and everything becomes beautiful in fractions of a second. That’s not how he puts together this kingdom in Genesis 1. He takes his time. He moves methodically. Why? God isn’t interested in just getting to the destination. He wants us to watch him. He wants us to see how he gets there. So pay close attention to the small pieces of evidence that show you day 1 of creation has begun and thank him for it. And when you see more evidence that perhaps you’ve moved on to day 2, you thank him for it. Look closely, look carefully, his MO is to bring order out of chaos and beauty out of waste and to do so methodically so you can appreciate every act he takes.