We have to get rid of the plague of the spirit of the religious age in which we live. In Our Lord’s life there was none of the press and rush of tremendous activity that we regard so highly, and the disciple is to be as His Master…It is not its practical activities that are the strength of this Bible Training College, its whole strength lies in the fact that here you are put into soak before God. You have no idea of where God is going to engineer your circumstances, no knowledge of what strain is going to be put on you either at home or abroad, and if you waste your time in overactive energies instead of getting into soak on the great fundamental truths of God’s Redemption, you will snap when the strain comes; but if this time of soaking before God is being spent in getting rooted and grounded in God on the unpractical line, you will remain true to Him whatever happens.
Recently I’ve been trying to do a bit of re-organizing within this “simple life” or purging or, if you will, simplify! My struggle is not uncommon; I know because many of my friends struggle with the same things I do. We say “Yes” a lot without first looking to our Father to see if He says “Yes”. We find many things we want so badly to be a part of, and instead of waiting until His timing allows, we just add to our lives without subtracting anything. Soon, this begins to look cluttered, overwhelming, disorganized, and chaotic! We find we are doing a lot of things, finishing few of them, and enjoying none! “At the end of our rope” we call frantically, from the bottom of our piles, “Help!” It is there, in my self-made depths, that God’s strong and steady and faithful hand begins to do what I hadn’t the courage to do. He picks off item after item and puts them into atleast three different piles: Yes Dear Child, Not now Little One, No My Child. The process is the bittersweet kind; the result is the freeing kind. Usually what I’m left with is very little in my eyes. At first it makes me feel very insignificant.
He humbled you, causing you to hunger…Deut. 8:3a
I don’t want to be left out of something that is good, but often the good is not the best for me right now. Truthfully, I really have always liked beginning again on a fresh canvas; it’s just the initial ripping off of the used ones is uncomfortable, painful, a bit hard.
When all is “simplified” I sit there free and unbound and hopeful. Now, at this point I can choose one of two ways to go with my freedom. I am usually always tempted to quickly fill in those emptied spots; I mean, I have the time now, right? The other choice is also appealing, but far harder for me. Maybe that is why this is my life verse:
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God…Psalm 46:10
To be still and soak in Him and do the few tasks He has said “Yes” to well and completely; this, I find, is the simple way He is calling me to. It is the way I long to live, ahem…the title of this blog! Simple does not mean not full; quite the opposite really. When I begin to live simply, I find I finish more, I relax more, I smile more, I laugh more, I enjoy more, I notice more, I stop to “thank” more, I do it all for Him…more.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
There is a lot more that I experience when I stay still, simply before Him. (On the contrary, there is a lot less that I experience and fulfill when I run around with my to-do list post-its sticking all over my flailing body!)
My mind wanders back to my Jesus; He Who could have been involved in so much, but wasn’t. He had a purpose and a will to follow, and He didn’t get distracted by what would delay or hinder Him from fulfilling His calling. How thankful I am that He stayed His course; a course that didn’t even end in a very glorifying way in earthly standards. He made it to the top…of a hill…stretched out and nailed to a cross…for me…for you. He lived simply for no other purpose than this – to be a sacrifice. (Now, ofcourse we know the greater glory He attained. A glory for all eternity. A glory far greater than the diminishing kind that comes from being recognized in a lot of committees, among a lot of friends, in the midst of a lot of good projects.)
“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. Matthew 10:24-25
So, as I sit on my hands and try to be still, I am listening to hear the “Yes’s”, the “Wait’s”, and the “No’s”. I am praying that I will be content to soak within this “simple life” with Him, instead of getting sprinkles here and there.
…and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone…Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son. 6 Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. 7 For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; 8 a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; 9 a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you. Deut. 8:3, 5-10