Practice: Simplicity

 “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”  2 Corinthians 11:3  (NASB)

We live complicated lives in a complex world where overcrowded schedules rule our days.  The temptation exists daily to focus on urgent temporary matters over and above what will matter for all eternity – a relationship with our heavenly Father.  Jesus told His disciples not to obsess and worry over what they were to eat or drink because “your Father knows that you need them.”  He instructed them to simply “seek His kingdom first” and God would supply the rest.  (Luke 12:29-31)

Simplicity according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “the state of being simple, uncomplicated, and uncompounded.” Last week Laura focused on God being just and that we are blessed as we wait on Him to faithfully execute justice. We complicate things when we try to execute justice on our own. We are called to simply wait patiently before the Lord.

Martha was busy preparing dinner for Jesus and some of His followers. She was distracted with all the preparations, while Mary, her sister, devoted her time to sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to his every word.  Martha tried to step in and seek some justice of her own by demanding Jesus instruct Mary to come and help her.  But Jesus quickly gave her a lesson in simplicity.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.”  Luke 10:41-42 (NIV)

Mary practiced the simple act of devotion.  She wasn’t stressing out over what she was going to wear or that special dish she was to prepare. Instead she seized the moment to simply be with Jesus – a moment that she would treasure for eternity.

I can make things complicated in a hurry!  Once I knew I was to write about the practice of simplicity I was excited because I have read books, taught lessons and even memorized verses on the subject.  However, I am now experiencing information overload and having difficulty simplifying my simplicity message!  In this moment I am reminded of this treasured truth: “This is all that I have learned:  God made us plain and simple, but we have made ourselves very complicated.”  Ecclesiastes 7:29  (GNT) So I have decided to do the next right thing and share with you how I practice simplicity.

The one thing I consistently do to bring order and simplicity into my life is to start my day with a cup of coffee and God’s Word.  I guard this time like a momma bear guards her baby cub. I put my phone in my robe pocket so as not to be distracted and I have a special place set aside for my morning with the Lord. I sit in my comfortable overstuffed chair where my Bible, journal, pens, and others supplies are close. I spend time praying, reading and writing down my insights and prayers. The time with the Father is never wasted, as He is faithful to provide a word of encouragement, instruction, or even conviction. When I arise I know I have chosen the better and it will not be taken from me.

Have you made your life more complicated than God intends?  He made you to be plain and simple and gives you one responsibility and that is to seek Him first above all else.  He will work out the rest! Read Catherine’s story Hope in the Storm to seek how simple faith brings hope when life gets overwhelmingly complicated.

Keeping First Things First,

Nancy Taylor

 

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