Over the past two weeks at LifeSong, my husband has been preaching a series of sermons entitled, “SIMPLE.”. Admittedly, when he told me the title, I thought, “I’m the Queen of Simple…What have I got to learn?” Ever been glad you didn’t say something out loud? Well, I sure was glad I kept that to myself. Sure, I can look back over my life and see characteristics of living a simple life, but does it define me? Nope!
Last year, Jeff and I were both greatly influenced by the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan, and I know we weren’t the only ones. It has impacted many lives. For us, it moved us to this point of asking ourselves, “Are we living simply? And really, what does that mean?” A big decision for us was to put our house up for sale and trust God…simply…not really knowing, or understanding why. We did that. We put a sign in our yard, “For Sale by Owner” and knew God would take care of the rest. Nothing had felt more right. Along came an opportunity to have a Realtor take over our efforts and her generosity to help led us to remove that sign that God has asked us to put out front and thus pretty much removing the faith and trust He asked us to have when we put it out there. Sure, we’ve had people in and out of the house. We’ve had hope they would buy, but today we sit in a house with no sign at all out front, and hearts that are at an impasse. I could go into a long story as to why we don’t have that sign out front right now. The reasons are legitimate, but the fact remains…We moved from His power to doing things in our own power. Does selling a house really signify a simple life? No, I don’t believe it does. I could share other stories of God moving me personally, or Jeff and I together, to a place of simple faith. What it does signify is one thing that could be removed to move us back to a place of generosity. You see, generosity is the place where I understand the heart of God the most as it pertains to me. In that place of giving…my time, my resources, my…ummm…inconvenience…it becomes less about me and more about Him. As Jeff said yesterday, “You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.” How often has it been easy for me to give just because that is typically my nature, but all of those times haven’t been defined by love. When I look back on the times powered by love, it’s there that the world makes sense. It’s there that I am fueled, recharged. It’s there that I see the heart of God.
Jesus answered, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.” John 4:10 MSG
It’s no coincidence that I read this verse before I attended service yesterday at LifeSong. I felt that moment of “Ugh” and saw the many roads away from that generosity of God that I had traveled. That far distance I’d traveled away brought one word to mind…Complicated. The one word that I thought of when I rested in His generosity…Simple. It’s that moment of the ton of bricks being lifted off and you can breathe. How often have I just overcomplicated life when my Father says, “If you just trust me…rest in me…you could ask for anything!” We sell Him short in our requests, like He’s not big enough.
As I read in my Youversion.com reading plan today, “Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in.” Luke 11:10 MSG. Here He is reminding me…reminding you…of the generous God He is. We need to look around for Him to be found. He’s there already….giving us every. single. thing we need.
Have you been like me, at times, and just overcomplicated that which He has made simple? What is He asking you to do to trust Him? Are you finding the answer in loving others in generosity? If not, why not?
I don’t know what the next step is for me in what God will ask me to do. I know, though, that I don’t want to settle for a “drink” over the “fresh, living water.” Plain and Simple.