Monday, July 18, 2011

Desiring Simplicity

If you hadn't noticed, I've been doing a lot of reading in the past few days.  I feel like I am entering a new season of life.  I feel like I'm coming out of "the dip", as Pastor Steven Furtick called the deep valleys of life in the message we heard at church yesterday.  I know I was in a dip, but I honestly am seeing changes I've been praying for for a while.  I am rising up out of this and hopefully I will rise above where I was before and use what I have learned for His glory.  The books I've so quickly devoured have been great tools in helping me begin to discern where I am at in life and in my relationships, particularly with God and my spouse.  I desire so much more and am willing to put forth the effort to build these relationships.

The book I'm currently reading is going to be life-changing.  One chapter in, and I'm already able to tell you that much.  I began reading Cynthia Heald's "Becoming a Woman of Simplicity".  It's really actually more of a study as opposed to a book that you just read straight through.  The book is requiring that I read specific Bible passages in order to discover where I am at in my walk with Christ.  The book is requiring that I slow down and meditate on these things.  So, there won't be a review on the book today, but I did want to share that I truly believe that this book is going to help me in the pursuit of my 1% Changes!

Heald's describes in the first chapter God's desire for us to live with simplicity.  We have so much going on in our lives - even if it's well-intentioned, our to-do list has the tendency to overtake and run our lives!  God wants us to live simply.  He desires for us to have rest and peace in our lives.  He wants us to find rest and comfort in the Lord and to have the Spirit live in us.

I have heard a lot this year about abiding.  I haven't been diligent enough to really delve into what abiding means in my relationship with Christ, but I need to learn.  I need to learn to abide in Christ.

to remain; continue; stay: Abide with me.
to continue in a particular condition, attitude, relationship,etc.; last.
to endure, sustain, or withstand without yielding or submitting: to abide a vigorous onslaught.
to wait for; await: to abide the coming of the Lord.

Those are just some of the relevant meanings for the word "abide".  The book talks about abiding as a lifestyle, not just something to do.  When we free ourselves of the distractions of daily life - the things that separate us from a full relationship with Christ - we can begin to abide.  When we live simply, without distraction, we are better able to hear that still small voice of God.  It means we are better able to seek Him and do what is right by Him.

Abide.  Trust in God.  Let God provide.  He promises He will provide, so why not let Him?

Psalm 23

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

1 The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not want. 
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

reflections on chapter 1 of "becoming a woman of simplicity".  more insights to come as i journey through this book...

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