Thursday, May 15, 2008

Simplicity: How do we focus on what matters?

(Carlye Hay)

The “simple” answer is by seeking after God’s kingdom. This is bigger than just doing what God’s called us to do. It’s more than trying to attain some picture or standard that we put in our minds. But what is God calling us to do? The first part of this journey toward simplicity is developing the boundaries that enable us to filter out the loud voices in our lives pulling us in too many directions, and instead listen to God’s still, small voice. To start each day by saying: “I am available, God. Move me in the direction that you would have me go.” Ask yourself each day: “How am I going to do life?” Not just what is God’s call for this specific task, but what is His call for the way I am to live my life?

Jesus lived and taught simplicity when He said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matt. 6:19-21). Jesus isn’t just talking about moths and rust. His words reveal His passion for our hearts and whether we are wrapped up or set free? Whether we are earth bound and tied to the temporary or flying with Him above our worries?

Simplicity is turning away from the “clutter” of a life trying to keep up and instead pursuing Christ’s recipe for what matters most. Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you. Make following God your first priority and everything else will fall into place. (Matt. 6:33).

Got comments on how you live this out? Questions about building simplicity into your life? Please comment....


marylou messy said...

Thank you Carlye for this post. When asking myself how do I focus on what matters, I too, am led right to the Lord. It seems so hard sometimes to get there though, as obstacles sometimes flood my thoughts, my surroundings, my being.

But over time, I have been taught by God to draw closer to Him in prayer, be still and listen to His words, be more obedient to His call, read His word daily, forgive constantly, and love, unconditionally, as many people as I can whether it be with words, thoughts or actions!!!

To think of that as storing up my treasures in Heaven makes me want to share the wealth with everyone.

In His love, forever.

Anonymous said...

Simplicity for me means always asking the child-like question"What would Jesus do?" When I was younger the mall would tempt me to shop there and I would see all the glamorous clothes and think that to be special in this world I would need to buy the latest fashion. Jesus has brought me to a point in my life where I am understanding his message more and more.I am beginning to realize what a sin it is that so many of our children have all these American Girl dolls and will not share or give away one to a poor child. Are we raising our children to put Jesus first or are we encouraging them to make Idols of their dolls~just like we make idols of useless possessions that just become clutter. How much do we need to make us happy? We only need Jesus~and He alone will give us the Joy of the Lord. Satan's handiwork is in all these advertisements to buy more and more. It is one of his tricks and it seems to be working very well. What matters most is focusing on God's little ones~His children that we are so blessed to have in this world. It would be the saddest place to be without the innocent young children that look up to us for guidance and will go on to live their lives according to our example~we can't just say it~ we have to live it or else children are the first to recognize hypocrites. I have to pass by Victoria's Secret Store every day with my girls. It is not a store that honors God~but instead mocks Him~and God will not be mocked and He does not compromise. We are trying to keep our children away from pornography and yet young boys have to walk past that store every day~Satan's temptations are all over. We don't have a chance at living a simple God honoring life unless we can withstand Satan's ugly temptations that come across as so so innocent at first. All these store chains~abercrombie~Victoria's secret have the ability to lead are children off the path.
We need to keep our eyes on Jesus,have our alone time with the Lord to pray for our young children that we are raising to love the Lord and put Him first in our lives~not money~not people that are only human and will always be prone to error~not jewels or clothing~but in Jesus. Jesus has no secrets of how to keep our lives simple~it's all in His word and his example of how he lived his life. Did he need a fur coat~rings on his finger's~ latest fashion~loads of money, the fanciest house. He would have used that extra money to help His children who are starving to death as we wear the latest fashion. To live simply is to not be conformed to this world~we need to lay down our old lives and Jesus will make them new. Blessings, Rose

Anonymous said...

To stay focused on what really matters in this world we live in is to get to know God through His word. To lead a simple life focused on trying to get to know Jesus and not what the latest fashions are. Blessings, Rose