Living in the Simplicity of God
If you had asked me what it meant to be living in the simplicity of God a year and a half ago, I wouldn’t have known what that meant.
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I quit my full time job a year and a half ago so I could focus on school and pursue other dreams I had.
With this job, I was able to say “yes” to many things:
- eating out,
- traveling every month,
- buying nice gifts for my family and friends,
- buying something we (thought we) needed,
- getting whatever the church ministries I was involved in needed without considering to ask if another church member may have had what was needed to donate or let us borrow,
- buying skin products which were a bit expensive, but I thought would be better for my sensitive skin, etc…
However, without this job, I had to say “no” to all of the above. I realized that I could still live happily, peacefully, and take care of myself and others without those things. But most importantly, I learned to live simply with God.
Living in the simplicity of God vs in disarray
Having those things in my life created somewhat of chaos because I had to stop my daily routine to plan, prepare, go out of my way to make them happen, or spend unnecessarily. Let me explain.
When we would decide to go on a trip, which happened every month, I would create the itineraries. While I would enjoy it, it took a lot of brain power and time. I wish I had been smarter with how much money and time we spent.
I don’t regret the trips, but I wonder how we could have better pursued and served God with our attention, money, and time.
[Tweet “I wonder how we could have better pursued and served God with our attention and time.”]
That and my full-time job plus school, activities with church ministries, dating my now fiancé, and spending time with my family would get packed into the month. No wonder I felt so stressed back then. I can’t believe through all this, I was able to spend time with God.
The harsh reality is that I don’t believe I spent quality time with God.
I look at how I have been living in the simplicity of God for the past year and a half, and I cannot imagine living how I used to live.
Here’s how things have changed
First things first: I spend time with God as soon as I wake up.
But it’s not just about spending time with God first thing in the morning!
The best part is that I don’t have a time constraint on my devotional time with God. I spend time with God until my cup overflows (Psalm 23). In other words, until I feel quenched by the Spirit.
Imagine starting your day without your clothes or without your morning coffee? It could be really hard for you to function without those things!
That is why I need Him DAILY.
I believe starting my day off with God helps me put on the armor of God. I pick up the shield of faith and the Sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6) to be able to fend off the enemy who walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).
Also, I am praising God when I honor Him at the start of my day. I am acknowledging His priority over all other priorities and asking for His Sovereign guidance and protection.
And if I don’t spend time with God, I notice I lack: creativity, humility, joy, kindness, love, and patience (to name a few).
By daily drawing near to Him, He makes me more aware of my sins.
Long gone are the spur of the moment decisions that satisfy lustful desires.
Back then, I think I would do things to satisfy my flesh more than to satisfy God. This is something I NEVER saw, until now that I am looking back. When you are spending quality time with God, you receive His wisdom to perceive these things instead of going through the motions.
Look at the difference between what I used to do and what I no longer do while I am living in the simplicity of God, and my reasons behind it:
I no longer take monthly trips. In fact, I avoid them altogether because I know that in the season I am in, God is asking me to stay put and enjoy the simplicity of life.
I will add that our family and friends go on trips and I’ve been invited.
Do I envy them or become sad because I have to say no?
Not at all. I know that it’s not God’s will for me and I’ve finally understood what Solomon was talking about here:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; … a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; … a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; … a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away…and a time for peace.Ecclesiastes 3
I patiently seek God to dictate the next steps. He knows my desires, but I choose His will over mine.
Saving money while living simply for God
I no longer eat out as much as I used to. Since I will be getting married and moving into a home later this year, we’ve been learning how to cook and organizing our grocery list. We buy food every 2 weeks and we make sure to have food that we are able to prepare. This means we won’t feel anxious or too tired to cook. (I just want to mention that we do this in my house which is my parent’s house hehe)
And God likes when there is order. Look at all the instructions He gave to His people in the OT (i.e. Exodus 18 and Leviticus). Having order in the kitchen keeps us from wasting time, eating unhealthy foods, and overspending.
I no longer buy things because I thought we needed it or the church ministries needed it without praying for wisdom and asking others to see if they have what is needed or if they have the skills to make it at a more affordable price. In the past, I would have felt embarrassed to ask, but that was silly.
There is no shame in asking. We are all members of God’s body (1 Corinthians 12:12-27), working for His Kingdom. They are our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. One day, Lord willing, we will all live together in Heaven.
And plus, God likes it when we are good stewards with the money He has entrusted to us.
I no longer purchase expensive skin products for my sensitive skin.
Once I left the stress behind, my sensitive skin improved a bit. Eventually, I ran out of those products, but I didn’t buy them again. I found holistic methods and 1 affordable product to help with acne flares.
God is so faithful and always provides ways to help us with our smallest concerns.
Live a simple life and be happy
I don’t regret the changes because I am happier and my relationship with God has gotten stronger.
1 Thessalonians 2:12 says that we should walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls us into His own kingdom and glory.
When I was preoccupied with everything else, I didn’t feel like my focus was where it should have been. Jesus is coming soon and He left us a reminder to be faithful, watchful, and ready for service (Luke 12). Now that my life is less busy and decluttered, I know my purpose and I’ve been walking in that purpose.
[Tweet “We can best serve God when we are more preoccupied with living the life He designed for us.”]
Would you accept this challenge?
I challenge you to pray to see what is preventing you from living a simplistic life focused on God. Make a list of the things that come to mind and find ways to streamline or eliminate them from your life.
I encourage you to share this post with a friend! You never know how it may help them… 🙂
How do you live simply? Let me know in the comments below!
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Such a wonderful post. I love your thought of having time with God in the mornings until your cup overflows (psalm 23). What I think a simply life does is keeps our life free of many distractions and helps us pursue God with intentionality. Not to say there aren’t any distractions…that’s the world in which we live, but simplicity certainly clears our calendar. It helps us say yes to the right stuff and no to the stuff that may bog us down. Great reminders!
Yes, Karen! It gives us clarity, especially in this world with soo many distractions. Thank you for reading 🙂 God bless you!
I live that type of simple life, and i’m grateful to the lord for the faithfulness of my husband of 42 yeArs, so i can devote myself to the lord, our family, and my writing. Before our kids were grown, i was DEVOTEd To raising and educating our family. It’s such a blessing to have been able to do these things.
Thank God, Melinda! That is a huge blessing and it’s evident God has been with you guys all along! God bless you guys!
Great blog post. I am on a similar journey of decluttering my life in all aspects.
Thank you, Joanne 🙂 I think you will love decluttering! Keep me updated on your journey, please!
Such a good post and so needed by so many of us caught up in distractions and a false and unfulfilling version of abundance. I love the idea of remaining with God until our cup overflows.
Wow, you’ve said it best: “false and unfulfilling version of abundance” – thank you for reading! Blessings to you!