Monday, 10 February 2014

Simply Believe

Ever heard of the term K.I.S.S.? No, it’s not what you planning to do on Valentine’s Day, it’s the marketing acronym that stands for Keep It Simple Stupid. As humans we live busy and complicated lives, complicating the uncomplicated. We have a knack for making hurdles out of tiny bumps in the road but we tend to forget how simple our God is. Okay yes He created the heavens and the earth, yes Jesus explained the truth in complex parables.... but God simply spoke the world into existence, He created us with a simple breath and Jesus healed with simple phrases like... “Get up and walk”. Jesus simply chose to love the unloved, include the excluded and use the unusable. If it was me the gospel would’ve been a pity party about everything I had to endure, and that is exactly why I am not Jesus.

You see if God is a simple God who takes on the form of a simple man, to spread the good news in a simple (and small) country then why do we as Christians make it so complicated to be a Christian? God has spoken to me over the past few days on how to live a simple life and can be summarised as follows:

Simply Love:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” Philippians 2:3 (NIV)

Love people and love God without the continuous need to prove that love and earn it in return. Jesus already chose us, so why do we continue to pursue His acceptance? Jesus loves a pure heart, someone that passionately chases His purpose in their life simply because they love Him and acknowledge His love for them in return. Jesus’ love is everywhere you just need to allow Him to love you, only then will you be able to sense God’s love for you in the simple moments of life.

Simply Serve:

We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. We should learn to simply serve and serve simply. Just like you don’t think about the next step you about to take or how you are going to use your hand to pick something up, serving should be natural and birthed out of the passion we have for building God’s Kingdom and seeing change happen in our community. If we simply serve we are making a commitment to set time apart to give back; to serve simply means to make a decision not to serve to obtain position or to serve in all areas of church life at the same time without giving each area the necessary attention it deserves, it means to select an area or two that God has placed on your heart and give it your all. Remember our goal is to serve the lost not only to socialise with the saved. Church is not about us, it’s about Christ and we should always be prepared to simply serve no matter what our leadership role entails.

Simply Pray:

If you know me, you would know how much I hate to pray in public but Jesus tells us to pray simple prayers. Simply just talk to God as often as you can no matter where you are or what you are doing.

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matthew 6:7-8 (NIV)

God has really worked on me in this regard over the past couple of months pushing me to pray in public for selected people but I believe in the power of a simple prayer that comes from the heart. Don’t pre-think your prayers, don’t post-criticise your prayers, just enjoy the presence of the Spirit during your prayer, that way you can ensure that each word that comes out of your mouth was perfectly placed by God Himself.

Simply Praise:

Worship God without feeling the need to raise your hands in the air and shake it around like you just don’t care. I raise my hands only as a sign of surrender when I feel the prompting of the Spirit to do so, but if raising your hands and speaking in tongues becomes nothing more than a religious act, something you feel you need to do to reach out to God then you have it all wrong my friend. God is already in us, if we do these things out of an act of love and gratitude then you won’t feel convicted if you don’t do it. Honour God with the way you live your life, the words that come out of your mouth and the compassion you have for people. It should be a way of life, not a way just to do life!

Simply Play:

We are free and a new creation, we are called to simply have fun and enjoy every minute of our new life. If you love and understand something it becomes simple to do because you want to do it. They say the narrow road is complicated, but I say it’s exciting! I love not knowing what God has in store for me next but I simply trust that His plans are far greater than anything I can think up for myself. If we enjoy life and live it in abundance, people will be drawn to our joy and enthusiasm which will ultimately result in one of the simplest and most effective ways to introduce people to Christ.

Simply Believe:

“But Jesus, on hearing this, answered him, Do not be seized with alarm or struck with fear; simply believe [[a]in Me as able to do this], and she shall be made well.” Luke 8:50 (AMP)

Everything that I have shared with you can be simplified to two simple words… simply believe. We have a God to pray to, a love to cling to and a home to look forward to, all of this if we simply believe. Our simple actions have extraordinary reactions.

Take a look at the woman with the blood problem:

“When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.” Mark 5:27-29 (NIV)

She chose to believe that simply touching the hem of Jesus' clothes could heal her and with that simple faith Jesus was greatly moved. When people pray for breakthrough in our lives don’t think of it as just another prayer. Choose to believe that chains can be broken, choose to believe that God loves you enough to ensure that you live a life with His stamp of approval on it. If we simply believe then all the “duties” of being a Christian will come to us as easy as inhaling and exhaling or the blinking of an eye. God doesn’t want to burden us, He wants to elevate us so that we can live a simple life just like the post-sin days of Adam and Eve, living in peace, joy, hope and love.