Thursday, June 5, 2014



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

~2 Corinthians 11:3


Simplicity brings freedom, and Christ came to set the captives free. (Luke 4:18)  Like Eve, so often we are led astray with subtleties and false ideas. Busyness, money, chasing after possessions and the minds eye focused on our achievements, all of these lead away from the simplicity of resting in Christ. The more we are entangled with all of these activities and goal achieving, the easier it is for them to take us captive. The heart cannot serve both Christ and possessions. "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew 6:24

Simplicity begins in the heart. It is a way of life that lives in the heart, unrelated to ones possessions. It is a peace in Christ and all He gives that produces satisfaction. From that inner peace stems a lesser attachment to possessions. No longer do the possessions fill us, but God does. An idolatrous attachment to wealth in the heart crowds out Christ. Christ and spiritual riches should be sought in our heart first; God's plan for our wealth, and the other tasks we do here should take a less important place in our lives. Sometimes, we may be deceived by subtleties, as simple as a thought process, or an attitude of the heart. If we serve God with the heart attitude that it is solely so He will materially bless us that is not truly serving God. One way to examine this in ourselves is to ask ourselves what our conversations with God are like. Are they focused mainly on asking Him to materially bless us? Or mainly on getting to know Him more? Certainly we pray to Him for financial needs, but do we also pray for spiritual riches?

How many have a plan for earthly wealth, yet wander aimlessly in the direction of spiritual things? God desires to see more motivation and zeal than we put into growing wealth into growing in relationship with Him. 

"Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven." Proverbs 23:4-5

If God blesses us with wealth, the simplicity of heart wants to bless others and not hoard it all for ourselves, knowing it came from the good hand of God. Simplicity is knowing that God brings material wealth, it all belongs to Him. Knowing we do not take our possessions to heaven, we are able to not become slaves to wealth.

"So obey the commands of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and fearing him.  For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with fountains and springs that gush out in the valleys and hills.  It is a land of wheat and barley; of grapevines, fig trees, and pomegranates; of olive oil and honey. It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking. It is a land where iron is as common as stone, and copper is abundant in the hills.  When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you."
“But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today.  For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful!  Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt. ~Deuteronomy 8:6-16

So often the thrill of living in a bountiful time causes the human heart to forget God. In this forgetfulness and enjoying the "plenty" we walk further from God, and in the direction of worshiping the wealth. We also begin to worship ourselves and the lie of our own self sufficiency. This is why Jesus spoke so strongly of wealth and the entrapment it can bring.

"Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." Matthew 19:24

Jesus calls to us to live a peaceful and free life, unhindered by slavery to possessions and wealth. He wants our treasure to be Him and eternal life with Him, but our hearts must be fixed on Him.  
"Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." Matthew 6:21

Jesus gave us teachings on His financial freedom; yet they are conveniently skipped over. His financial freedom does not always mean storing up wealth, but rather being free from the vain pursuit of it, to pursue the peace that is found in pursuing and seeking Him. And in seeking God, we find satisfaction in whatever He provides.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

"As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy.  "

Prayer: "Lord, keep my heart free from the entanglements of focusing on wealth. Show my heart your peace and rest to seek your riches. There is no wisdom in only focusing on earthly things. Show me your wisdom and your way to the simplicity of a heart that abides in you." Amen.

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo Da Vinci




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