Stepping into Simplicity
Last Sunday, we looked at the spiritual discipline of Simplicity. define the discipline of simplicity this way: “Removing ungodly attachments to owning, having, and doing in order to walk more closely with Jesus and more faithfully serve his kingdom.”
Simplicity is just like bible study, prayer, and fasting. It is not something you will achieve next week but are called to press into day-by-day. While we can’t instantly achieve perfect simplicity, we can take practical steps to consider and move toward it.
Paul challenges us to act…
vv.11-12 11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. GO ON TO V.12… 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Flee, pursue, and fight are all intense action verbs in the present tense, meaning it is something you and I will have to continually engage in. We CAN’T sit by and expect our sinful desires to take a day off and cease shaping our lives. We have to flee those ungodly desires, AND pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love steadfastness, and gentleness.
So, with the assumption that our steps are rooted in the gospel and we are pursuing godliness with contentment, what are some steps we can take?
1. Take time to read God’s Word/reflect/pray - spiritual retreat (even for a few hours) to clear your mind/heart so you can better focus on God. You might consider fasting in prep/during. Read the Word, pray, and journal. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you through some questions…
What am I tempted to treasure more than Jesus?
What gets in the way of my contentment in God?
What things should I consider getting rid of or cease doing to better serve God and others?
If I had more margin in time and money, how would God want me to use it for his kingdom?
I love the potential of these types of questions but don’t feel limited to them!
2. Talk to your Community Group
About your temptations. They likely range across the group but we all have them!
About the steps you will take to simplify.
About some ways you can encourage and care for each other on this journey
Simplicity is discipline you grow in, not something you check off your “to do” list. Let your spiritual family help you grow!
3. Implement changes to simplify your life
Sell/give away possessions you don’t use
Downsize your wardrobe
Budget with margin for generosity (and see raises as an opportunity for increased generosity)
Close/suspend social media, Netflix, games, etc. (steal time)
Use godly wisdom in deciding on big purchases/trips
Evaluate your job/opportunities
Accept that this is a journey for you and me. It is a journey of seeking the kingdom of God first. Even those folks around us who may seem to have perfectly simplified their lives still struggle to keep Jesus #1. The beauty is that when we as a church step into Simplicity and the other disciplines, we are formed together and we begin to reflect something glorious to the city around us… the rule and reign of Jesus.