If you had asked me what it meant to live in the simplicity of God a year and a half ago, I wouldn’t know how to answer you.
A year and a half ago, I quit my full-time job so I could focus on school and pursue other dreams I had.
With this job, I was able to say “yes” to many things:
- Eating out
- Traveling every month
- Buying nice gifts for my family and friends
- Buying something we (thought we) needed
- Buying things for church ministries
- Buying expensive skin care products that I thought would be better
However, without this job, I had to say “no” to all the above. I realized that I could still live happily, peacefully, and take care of myself and others without those things. But most importantly, I learned to live out simplicity while passionately pursuing God.
Those things I mentioned earlier created chaos because I had to stop my daily routine to plan, prepare, go out of my way to make them happen, or spend unnecessarily. Let me explain.
When we would decide to go on a trip, which happened every month, I would create the itineraries. While I would enjoy it, it took a lot of brain power and time.
I don’t regret the trips, but I wonder how we could have better pursued and served God with our attention. Finances, and time.
Now, add to that my full-time job plus school, activities with church ministries, dating my now fiancé, spending time with my family, etc. to the month and no wonder, I felt so stressed back then. I can’t believe through all this; I was able to spend time with God.
The harsh reality is that I don’t believe I spent quality time with God.
I look at how I have been living the past year and a half (living in simplicity while passionately pursuing God) and I cannot imagine living how I used to live.
Here’s how things have changed:
First things first: I spend time with God in the morning or as soon as I wake up.
But it’s not just about spending time with God first thing in the morning!
The best part is that I don’t have a time constraint on my devotional time with God. I spend time with God until my cup overflows (Psalm 23). In other words, until I feel quenched by the Spirit.
Imagine starting your day without your clothes or without your morning coffee? It could be hard for you to function without those things!
That is why we need Him DAILY and as soon as we open our eyes: we need to lift praises to Him because He deserves them (John 3:14); we need to pick up our shield of faith and the Sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6 ) to be able to fend off the enemy who walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).
I am praising God when I honor Him at the start of my day. I am acknowledging His priority over all other priorities and asking for His Sovereign guidance and protection.
I don’t know about you, but if I don’t spend time with God, I notice I lack: creativity, humility, joy, kindness, love, and patience (to name a few).
And by daily drawing near to Him, He makes me more aware of my sins.
Long gone are the spur of the moment decisions that satisfy lustful desires.
I think I would do things before to satisfy my flesh more than to satisfy God. This is something I NEVER saw, until now that I am looking back. When you are spending quality time with God, you receive His wisdom to perceive these things instead of going through the motions.
Look at the difference between what I used to do and what I no longer do now that I am living out simplicity while passionately pursuing God:
I no longer take monthly trips.
In fact, I avoid them altogether because I know that in the season I am in, God is asking me to stay put and enjoy the simplicities of life.
I will add that our family and friends go on trips and I’ve been invited.
Do I envy them or become sad because I have to say no? Not at all. I know that it’s not God’s will for me and I’ve finally understood what Solomon was talking about in Ecclesiastes 3:
There is a time for everything,Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV
and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace
Live a simple life and be happy.
We could be here for days if I continue sharing how my life has improved once I started living out simplicity while passionately pursing Christ.
I think of Luke 12 where Jesus left us a reminder to be faithful, watchful, and ready for service because He is coming soon. It reassures me that this change was for the best because I am happier and my relationship with God has gotten stronger. I can stay focused and live intentionally for His Kingdom.
I challenge you to pray to see what is preventing you from living out simplicity while passionately pursuing God. Make a list of the things that come to mind and find ways to streamline or eliminate them from your life.
One more thing: don’t forget to spend plenty of time in God’s Word at the start of each day! Make sure you leave your daily devotional time feeling satisfied!
A Little More about Lily
Lily is originally from Cuba, but has been living in South Florida almost all her life. She enjoys sharing her faith in Christ and life updates on her blog, Flawed & Faithful, and Instagram: flawedandfaithful. She hopes that young women will be encouraged to live a meaningful life with Christ and receive a daily dose of God’s Word through her platforms.
When she isn’t blogging, she is studying for school, managing her online shop, and mentoring young ladies in her local church.