“…aspire to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands….so that you will walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.”- (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12)
My friend Erica Dean recently sent me a blog post from Doctrine On Tap by Chris Lazo.
It’s titled, A Life of Radical Simplicity. Here is an excerpt:
The times my life is the most complicated, sometimes also happens to be the most lacking in true, heavenly power. And I wonder if there’s a correlation. I long for simple power. To not be dominated by my calendar, technology, bills, emails, and urgent-but-menial tasks. I’m guessing that for a lot of you, it’s the same. That would make simplicity a discipline that we must enter into and practice if we’re going to take seriously God’s Word. It won’t just happen. But the discipline we enter into is not some spiritual form of self-flagellation. It’s a pattern by which we subvert dangerous cultural norms that threaten to derail us from true peace of mind. It’s a discipline by which we experience and reflect God’s power in our lives regardless of the external pressures of our world. It’s a way of saying, breathing, and living a simple motto: my union with Christ is enough.
Man do I agree with this statement. I have experienced God’s presence more in these last 4 years of being at home on my ‘sick bed’, than I have in my whole lifetime walking with Jesus; as I worked in LA, went on mission trips, served in church, etc…
I think Lazo hit it on the head: Is our union with Christ enough? Five years ago I would have easily said yes, without even really knowing what being unified with Christ really felt like. I thought I knew; I experienced him in times of worship, maybe a zing or two through a good sermon…The real question I think now is, Are we availing ourselves to truly experience the overflow of Christ’s presence? I say overflow because the picture in my mind is an overflowing fountain that’s waters never dry up, they just keep coming fresh, flowing with ease.
Most of us carve out time on sundays to be in Gods presence at church, during a Bible study, or maybe we have our set time during morning devotionals. All of that is good and certainly produces fruit, but are we truly being transformed by being in His presence? Are you able to let go of the scheduled time with him and instead allow him access to your whole day? The truth is, God is ever- present… but are we? The so- called quiet life with God is not so quiet I can certainly attest to that.
When I first got knocked down with this strange neurological disease, I fought to hold on to my life with everything I had. Then round two came with pneumonia… then lupus. This time not so easy to hold on to that same life and with each year I watched more of it fall away. It hurt more than I could put into words. Like having a huge part of my soul ripped out. But therein lies the problem; I had given my life -what I created it to be- the biggest part of my soul. It became the driving force, the most important part of my waking hours, and at that point there becomes little room for transformation.
As the years went on I began to see life differtly. It was no longer filled with long term goals and grand ideas of success. It became a day; a class room almost; filled with 24 hours of possibility. What will I learn today? What new and creative ways will He reveal his love for me? How will He lead me to minister in His power today? Will it be at the grocery store? The doctors office…at a neighbors house? With each passing day I felt more and more stripped of myself… yet now I see how the more I lost what my life once was, the more I gained Christ. His indwelling presence was filling me up and there is nothing in this life that compares. A little of Him is most certainly not enough, trust me. Now, I am not saying whatever your doing scrap it so you can gain Christ. I hope you understand my heart on all of this, because that’s where it all really stems from. Where is your heart? What is filling it? What is driving your heart’s desires? Only you and God really know the answer to that question.
Is your hair standing up on end as God reveals His heart towards you with one word? Are you being moved out of your comfort zone to a place of free falling faith with Jesus leading the way? Are you eagerly anticipating being taught be God today? This is what He has for all of us. No matter what season of life we are in. Know that. Don’t wait until Sunday worship or morning devotional time to invite His presence. Do it anywhere. At all times. Be available to God. Allow for the quiet unknown…it just might blow your mind.