Lucia's Blog: SIMPLICITY IN CHRIST
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Thursday, May 21, 2015

SIMPLICITY IN CHRIST

"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."  
2 Corinthians 11:3



The simplicity that there is in Christ brings us freedom.  Our Lord Jesus Christ came to set free those who were captives because of the slavery of sin.  

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.  He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed."  Luke 4:18

So often we are led astray with subtleties, false teachings, busyness, riches, possessions, achievements, goals, desires, activities and dreams.  These can only lead us away from the simplicity of resting in Christ.  The more we engage ourselves in all of these activities, achievements and goals, the easier it is for us to become captives.  In other words we are enslaved to them.  Jesus said our heart cannot serve two masters, meaning we cannot serve Him and also our earthly desires and possessions. 
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."  Matthew 6:24

Simplicity in Christ starts in the heart of man.  It is a way of life that lives in the heart rather than one's desires and possessions.  It is the peace that we find in Christ that produces in us a deep satisfaction.  It is that inner peace that makes us less attached to such desires and possessions.  We no longer feel the need for them to fill us and satisfy us.   It is the heart that is filled with idolatrous attachments to earth's possessions, the heart that crowds out Christ.  Our heart must first seek after Christ and all spiritual riches.   Earthly riches and possessions and other tasks must take a less important place in our heart.  Let us not be fools and become deceived by subtleties.  These can be simply a thought or an attitude of the heart.   God can bless us only if we serve Him with the right attitude of heart.  Think about what our prayers and petitions communicate to God.  Are they focused mainly on material gains and possessions?  Are we asking only for material blessings?  Or are we asking Him that we might get to know Him better?  I have no doubt we pray to Him for our financial needs and physical needs, but are we truly praying for all the heavenly and spiritual riches?  How to be better followers of Him?

How many of us plan our lives for security and earthly wealth, but wander aimlessly in matters of spiritual things?  We forget that God desires that we be more motivated and zealous in spiritual things for His kingdom's sake rather than in the gain of earthly possessions.  God wants us to grow in the depth of our relationship with Him.

"Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it.  When you set your eyes on it, it is gone.  For wealth certainly makes itself wings like an eagle that flies toward the heavens."  Proverbs 23:4-5

Even when God has blessed us with material riches, the simplicity of our heart in Christ yearns to bless others and not just accumulate it all for ourselves, forgetting that every good gift comes from above, from the merciful hand of God.   Simplicity is knowing that God bestows upon us material blessings but in the end we know in our heart they all belong to Him, the author of all blessings.  The only way to stop becoming slaves or captives of our own possessions and material riches is by knowing that we are not going to take any of those possessions to heaven.  

All that God demands of us is that we obey Him and walk in His ways, that we fear HIM.  It is true that God blesses us with many blessings but we must never forget that He also wants us to be sure to praise Him for each and every blessing.  He wants us to never forget Him, which is what we do when we disobey His commandments.  Lest we forget Him when we are prosperous, we must be humble and not proud.  Lest we forget, He wants us to remember all His steadfast love for us.  LET US BE CAREFUL!  Let us remember what happened to the Israelites when they became ungrateful forgetting their LORD, becoming proud rather than humble, Deuteronomy 8:6-16.

"Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him...   Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today;  otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint.  In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end."

So often the thrill of living a bountiful life of blessings causes us, in our hearts, to forget God, Who is the Author (the Source) of all these.  It is in all this forgetfulness and the enjoyment of plenty that we walk further and further from God.  We start walking in the direction of the altar of  self and wealth. Not only do we go the wrong way but also we start worshiping at the altar of self.  We begin to believe all the lies about our self-sufficiency.  This is sad!  This is why JESUS spoke so strongly about  prosperity, earthly riches, and the entrapment it brings to us.
"Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."  Matthew 19:24

Our Lord Jesus desires and calls us to live a peaceful, simple and free life in Him.  A life that is unhindered by slavery to possessions, prosperity and wealth.  He wants us to have our treasures only in Him and the eternal life that He has promised to all those who believe and keep His commandments.  But let us not forget that our hearts must be fixed only on Him.

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Matthew 6:21

Jesus our Lord has given us His Word, His teachings, in relation to financial freedom; yet so often they are conveniently ignored and skipped.  The financial freedom that He wants for us is not one that stores up wealth but rather the one that brings freedom from the vain pursuit of it.  We find true freedom when we pursue the peace that it is only found in pursuing and seeking after Him.  It is in seeking Him and pursuing Him that we are going to find true satisfaction in whatever it is that He provides for us.  YES, we must learn to be content with what He provides.  This will set us free from the love of money and wealth.

"Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, 'I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you."'  Hebrews 13:5
"Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy." I Timothy 6:17

May our Lord keep our heart free from the entanglements of this world and its possessions.   May we allow Him to show us His peace and rest and to seek His riches.  May we have the wisdom to not focus on such earthly things.  May He show us His wisdom and His ways which teach us the simplicity of a heart that must abide in us in order to abide in Him.


Luci


I leave you with the beautiful words of the sacred melody, "Be Thou My Vision"


Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.