Simplicity as a Spiritual Discipline


How are you called to practice simplicity?

Psalm 46

“Be still and know that I am God.”

Not so simple.  For years I have been both enticed and haunted by the directive to SIMPLIFY. Like most people I believed to simplify involved an action such as de-cluttering your home and schedule. I wrestled with it. After many failed attempts to simplify my life, I often cried out to God, “How do I simplify?” I would get glimpses of it. I wanted it so bad I could almost taste it, but I just could not apprehend it.

I could not figure it out because I was going about it all wrong. I was focused on simplify and not simplicity. Simplify is something we must do. On the other hand, simplicity, the Lord revealed is something we must be. The discipline of simplicity starts with the very basics of our faith. It is as fundamental as the Lord’s command in Psalm 46 to “Be still and know that I am God.”

Jesus says in John 4:34 “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.” Food is nourishment. Nourishment provides one with what is necessary for growth, health and good condition. Doing the will of the Father feeds the soul. Jesus spent His incarnation fixed on this. He did not overthink details. He did not worry Himself with what others thought. He simply focused on the Father, sought Him, and did what He said. How simple is that?

The reality of simplicity is this: it is not something that you can just do. It is something you will become in time by practicing the other spiritual disciplines. When we spend time in solitude, prayer, fasting, meditation, study, submission and service, by His Spirit we will learn how to be still and let Him nourish us, so we may be able to discern His voice and do the work He has for each of us. Only then will we be able to achieve simplicity, which is to achieve our own spiritual purpose.

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