Wednesday, October 7

Simplify

The lack of a clear defined purpose for why God has us in Ecuador is clearly one of the major hindrances I see in our overall work and ministry. There is simply too much going on. Too many irons in the fire. Too many distractions. We desperately need to simplify. Focus and act on less to accomplish more.

I am more convinced one of Satan's major strategies is to distract us from the few things that are really important. As Jesus says in Luke 10, "Martha, Martha...you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

What is the "one thing" needed that Jesus tells Martha? I think it is simply that very little of the "stuff" that we are distracted with is all that important. The one thing we need to make sure we are doing is to "seek first his kingdom and his righteousness..." Cut out all the clutter in our lives that is detracting from obeying this command. Define what "seeking first his kingdom" means and then do it.

How do we implement this commandment of Jesus in our daily lives?

God is showing us is that we don't have to respond or act upon all that is directed our way. Just because someone throws us the ball, doesn't mean we have to catch it.

To me it means simplify. Reduce. Unclutter our lives. Define what is really important and focus on doing well fewer things. Prioritize where our time is being spent.

If the enemy can somehow keep us on the move, filling our days with endless trivial tasks, we won't have time, energy, or focus for those Kingdom matters that really count.

What do you think of the above? What is God showing you these days?

3 comments:

Greg Bailey said...

Guy, we struggle with the same thing. It is even more difficult now that we are in the States. When we lived in Benin, it was a little easier to stay focused. We were there to plant churches among the Aja. We had other opportunities for ministry. In the beginning, before we had learned the Aja language, it was tempting to work with English speaking people form Ghana. While that would have been a good thing, it wasn't what God called us to.

It is harder from us to sense what God has called us to in the States. We know that raising our family to serve and worship Him, along with our own Spiritual growth are our most important ministries. We also have a good ministry among former convicts and addicts who desperately need hope. What becomes difficult is sorting through all of the other stuff that this culture tells us about what families do. One of the biggest challenges is the idea that somehow, kids are entitled to experience all of the things that that would like to do. "They are only a child for a little while, and then they will be gone." This leaves parents in a quandary, especially when you have more than one child. One can sure spend a lot of time running kids around so that they can do all of the things that they want to do.

May God bless you as you seek to simplify! May He grant you and I both clarity to see our situations as He sees them and discipline to say "no" when we are distracted from the most excellent things! Peace.

A. Amos Love said...

Guy -

Simplify? Sounds good. I’m sure you spend
a lot of time “thinking” about many things. Yes?

Here’s another idea you can “think” about
before you simplify.

Do you “think” life and ministry would become
more simple if you just stoped “thinking?”

Thinking about not thinking? Hmmm?
That’s an interesting exercise.

Trust and obey, NOT think and decide.

I don’t know about you but “my thinking” has been
a tad bit at enmity against God.

Rom 8:6-7
For to be carnally minded is death;
but to be “spiritually” minded is “life and peace.”
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:
for it is not subject to the law of God,
neither indeed can be.

Isn’t there a big problem with
“us” doing the thinking?

Genesis 6:5
And GOD saw that the wickedness of man
was great in the earth,
and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart
was only evil continually.

Psalm 94:11
The LORD knoweth the "thoughts" of man,
that they are vanity.

1Corinthians 3:20
The Lord knoweth the "thoughts" of the wise,
that they are vain.

1Corinthians 8:2
And if any man think that he knoweth any thing,
he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

Does the Bible have any encouraging words
about “not”thinking? Hmmm?

Matthew 6:34
Take therefore “no thought” for the morrow:
for the morrow shall take thought
for the things of itself...

Matthew 6:25
Therefore I say unto you,
Take “no thought” for your life,
what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink;
nor yet for your body...

Eph 3:20
Now unto him that is “able” to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think...

If that scripture is true; Why do we ask and think?
When we ask or think do we “dis-able,” and limit God?

Why not let Jesus be our shepherd and do
the thinking, leading and providing?
His thoughts are not our thoughts,
His thoughts are higher. Yes? Isar 55:8

Trust and obey, NOT think and decide.

Hmmm?
How much thinking did Jesus do
when He was with us?

John 5:30
I can of mine own self do nothing:
as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just...

John 5:19
...The Son can do nothing of himself,
but what he seeth the Father do...

John 8:28
... I do nothing of myself;
but as my Father hath taught me,
I speak these things.

John 12:49
For I have not spoken of myself;
but the Father which sent me,
he gave me a commandment...

Hmmm? Are there any benefits to “not” thinking?

Mt 24:44
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour
as ye “think not” the Son of man cometh.

Lu 12:40
Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh
at an hour when ye “think not.”

Hmmm? Stop thinking and Jesus shows up? Cool.

Trust and obey, NOT think and decide.

Heb 4:10
For he that is entered into his rest,
he also hath ceased from his own works,
as God did from his.

Deuteronomy 4:36
Out of heaven he made thee to hear his voice,
that he might instruct thee:

Peace

GuyMuse said...

Greg and Amos,

Good thoughts from both of you. Thanks. I guess it is an ongoing battle to not allow ourselves to become cluttered and distracted from keeping the main thing the main thing.