unmuddle the simplicity of the gospel

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All of this I suppose is just a way to say to you that if what’s in your eyesight when you look up is what everyone else is doing or thinks you ought to be doing, clear the way, friend. Clear the paths around you, unmuddle the simplicity of the gospel. It is Christ who cares for you and cares for your provision, far more than you can ever care for it. So let the dead things drop, find out what they are and let them drop. via

Clear the paths around you, unmuddle the simplicity of the gospel.

Is the theology I live by rooted in God’s Word, or my own version of the gospel?

Driving home the other night, Holy Spirit impressed, You can’t manufacture spirituality, growth, or intimacy. 

Gracious conviction.

Listening to all the podcasts, reading all the books, being aware of others’ opinions and learnings gives an air of growth, because I feel knowledgable or capable. But knowledge doesn’t always champion intimacy in my relationship with Father God.

OR… am I listening, reading, and spending my energy to honestly and desperately use them to enlarge my God-lens?

Every time you close another door—be it the door of immediate satisfaction, the door of distracting entertainment, the door of busyness, the door of guilt and worry, or the door of self-rejection—you commit yourself to go deeper into your heart and thus deeper into the heart of God. Henri Nouwen

Encountering God minute-by-minute is what changes me, not continually stuffing my mind with others’ words, or measuring faith by someone other than Christ.

“It is Christ who cares for you and cares for your provision, far more than you can ever care for it.”

Do I grasp at shadows more often than setting my eyes and heart on Real Substance?

The challenge is this: accumulating information can seem easier than sitting in solitude with the Lord, or camping out with a trying emotion, circumstance, or sin with Him. I’m a fixer. I want to label what I’m feeling, I want to call out my seasons.. perhaps to have a nice-sounding answer for someone when they ask what God is teaching me? Yikes.

We need to exhale what is unnecessary as well as inhale nourishment from God. Practices of simplicity keep us from becoming bloated and swollen—unable to digest or use what we have taken in. Only as we say no to certain things do we create space to say yes to God and to live adventurous, abundant lives full of relationships and meaning. This process of choosing the engaging, relational life we were built to live is described by Pedro Arrupe: Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. Jan Johnson

Truthfully, I’m growing mentally bloated and even a little weary of keeping up with articles, books, opinions, and blogs on all topics under the sun, and thirstier for His Words.

It’s more challenging to think clearly, to be sensitive to Holy Spirit, when my mind is continually swirling with images, ideas, and words of other people. Do you ever feel that way?

I crave simplicity.

And even simplicity by making more intentional choices when it comes to input.

The gospel is powerful, incredible, and profound. God’s Word is enduringly good, reliable, and refreshing.

It’s a beautiful theology: to acknowledge that it is God who does the changing. I can’t manufacture growth and transformation myself. Maturity is union with Christ-in-me. 

In the Gospel, every part of me that is sinful and broken is, in an remarkable way, in accordance with God’s original plan, made new and beautiful. Because of Jesus, and God’s saving grace, what I lack, what I will always lack, won’t be forever. 

I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”  Psalm 16:2 

Why would we forsake Living Water and return to broken cisterns of podcasts and other books to get Living Water?

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him! (Luke 11:13)

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