Swimming thoughts. Devotions from wonderful Bible teachers and authors aplenty on my desk and in my inbox.
and this, my "One Word" for the year: Simple.
And by Simple, I don't mean easy. Simple is sometimes more difficult, and takes effort. To simplify, to let go of, and to downsize. ... When God began to speak this word to me as I asked Him what He had for me this year, I was seriously afraid. Shaking in my boots and shaking my head "no" afraid. I don't want to be pruned and I thrive on being active, involved, and thinking deeply. Simple? That sounds too hard, God. My life is too good in its complicated state. Don't you have a different word?
Since last year's word was Surrender, I accept it, and I've learned how to accept. I've had lessons in opening these hands. Receiving takes effort too, and sometimes it takes more muscles to un-clench than it does to close fingers. Years of knowing Christ have taught me many things, but one of the most important is that of sovereignty. No matter how hard I shake my head no, He WILL have His way. So I might as well go the easy way of cooperation.
So, two weeks into January - I say it - YES, Lord. Simple. Teach me in 2013 what it means to live simple. Simply Yours. Simple in my faith. Simple in my deeds. Simple in my schedule and my mothering and my marriage and my ministry and my work and my writing. To have singular focus and to pare down on complexities. I don't know yet exactly what it will look like, but that's why it will take all year. And I'm praying that come December I can add Simple to Surrender on my growing list of God-concepts I'm mastering.
A very good friend made this for me as a reminder.
And I do think I will be radical. Because my life is so very ... cluttered. Complex. Complicated. Over-taxed. Overwhelming. Scattered. An inch deep and a mile wide. So, be it radically painful or painfully radical - I want whatever He has. Because I know it will be good. He loves me and He defines good, and I can trust Him.
How about this surprising confirmation a few days ago from Oswald Chambers:
"A simple statement of Jesus is always a puzzle to us because we will not be simple. [oh, Lord forgive me] How can we maintain the simplicity of Jesus so that we may understand Him? By receiving His Spirit, recognizing and relying on Him, and obeying Him as He brings us the truth of His Word, life will become amazingly simple." (from My Utmost for His Highest ,emphasis added)
I'm radically challenged to become more like Him. And if that means becoming Simple, learning it, knowing it, receiving it, obeying it ... I will.
I'm reminded of a certain preacher who steps on my toes in the best way.
"What does the Bible simply say?" "Okay, whatever it says, let's just do it."
"So then, rid yourselves of all evil, all lying, hypocrisy, jealousy, and evil speech. As newborn babies want milk, you should want the pure and simple teaching. By it you can mature in your salvation, because you have already examined and seen how good the Lord is." - 1 Peter 2:1-3 (NCV)
I'm linking up with Ann today as she explores radical too. I pray for revival. And let it begin with me.
Lord, Jesus. I want whatever You want for me. Show me what Simple means. Then show me how to live it. I don't care how much You have to prune. You are worth it. You are Worthy. I want to be radical for You. I surrender to Simple in 2013.