The following blog post is an extract taken from our Food for the Journey booklet which covers seven disciplines for Christian living. If you would like to download a digital copy of the booklet and work through the daily devotions please click here: FOOD FOR THE JOURNEY
THE DISCIPLINE OF SIMPLICITY
Through this discipline, the Lord seeks to instill in us a “Kingdom-orientated value system”. From the day we are born there are many influences which shape and form us, the way we think, what we relate to, what we see as important, our desires, needs, wants, hopes. Without the Lord in our lives, all these things are mainly influenced by self and, very probably, selfish desires.
We see clearly in Scripture that a number of people close to the Lord were wealthy, influential people, so certainly the Lord does not begrudge these things. They are there for us to enjoy – they must just not be our reason for living. The Lord Himself chose to live very simply here on earth. He worked, enjoyed visiting and meeting with people, took sufficient “time out” to be alone with His Father.
What the Lord is drawing our attention to by this discipline, is a new understanding of what truly is important, in Him we can always rely on our basic needs being met. What He wants to do is help us separate “needs” from “greeds”. When we are dominated by the things we think we need, that becomes our focus, those needs then become consuming, – it is all we can think about.
We start making choices that bring strain and worry to us, and hurt relationships that we have. Under these circumstances we have very little over to give others as everything goes to our “need” and Kingdom values are sacrificed.
When we talk of a “kingdom-oriented value-system” we are seeking to discover what God thinks is important for us and for those around us. We are pounded all the time with what the world thinks we should have. In the workplace it can be very difficult to not get sucked into the work, work and more work frenzy. Christians will always seek to do their very best at work, but in the light of “kingdom values” will learn where to draw the lines.
Achievement, success, healthy goals and desires, have a definite place in “kingdom values” but they must just not crowd God out or take us over. If the need for “material possessions” becomes our driving force, when will enough be enough, and what are we prepared to sacrifice to have the things we want?
There are many, many inspiring testimonies of people who have chosen a God-centered life, which then influences all the choices, needs, wants, desires that people have. The enrichment of lives of people who have chosen to live trusting God for their needs are immeasurable, and along with this comes the freedom from a “debt-controlled” life, and the journey into “The uncluttered life”.
One of the results of this discipline in our lives, will definitely be a lessening of anxiety. We will also learn to say no to anything that is producing an addiction in us, things like television, movies, money, even petty things like coffee, tea, shopping!
Most importantly we will learn to refuse to be a slave to anything or anyone but God!