Read this message with my thoughts and concepts, as well as the beautiful original (see below). One of them may speak more simply to you than the other!
The Christian life is actually NOT supposed to be complicated!
However, when we allow fearful thoughts or the pressure to perform (and therefore, we hide away the problems)… we allow shape-shifty things to invade our lives, we suddenly find that they have turned into struggles.
God’s wisdom is strong and uncomplicated, and doesn’t waver one tiny bit.
The Thessalonian Christians had lost their joy. Their Peace evaporated. And their hope for the future had all but vanished.
He never meant for the Thessalonians to be enslaved by doubt or the frantic pace of their society.
Instead, the LORD wanted them to learn to live simply — to be satisfied with what they had been given and to be diligent in their everyday work and also for the LORD.
What was the problem?
They had allowed a measure of false teaching to influence them to believe something other than the Gospel that brother Paul had presented.
As a result, the focus of their lives had shifted from God and His promises to the shadowy ideas of false prophets.
Their minds were no longer firmly set on Christ and His never ending brilliant abilities and care for them. Instead, they had fallen into a fearful state of mind and this led to anxiety! PANIC! DOUBT!
Paul absolutely realized that he has to refocus their attention back onto the things of God, challenging these believers to “make it their ambition to lead a quiet life,” and not to worry about missing the “Day of the LORD” (1 Thessalonians 4:11).
In times of uncertainty and scary adjustments, God’s Word is a mighty and stabilizing force for us!
Emotions and feelings often lie to us. We just can’t trust them when we are in crisis or depression! But we can trust the wisdom we find in God’s Word.
Watch how carefully Paul instructs these anxious souls! He doesn’t belittle or thrash these believers for becoming frightened or paralyzed by their thoughts!
Nope! His message to them is straight up and simple!
“Get back to work, stop talking badly about one another, and know that God’s love and promises to you and for you haven’t changed.”
“Faithful is He who calls you,” writes Paul, “and He also will bring it to pass” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
Basically, he was saying Jesus would return, and those who believed in Him would be with Him in glory.
A humble man of God now in heaven – Frances Fénelon, made a habit of encouraging his friends to live a quiet life.
To one of them he wrote: “Your mind is too much taken up with your circumstances, and this hinders you from understanding the mind of God…. I think it is such a hindrance to the kind of quiet meditation in which God reveals Himself. You must learn to be humble and simple…. Be content with leading a simple life.”
Living a life with godly simplicity does not mean mundane BORING inactivity. It’s absolutely “not” encouraging people to marinate in mental or physical laziness.
Simplicity, when it’s applied properly, removes the noise and clutter that threaten to steal our sense of peace and sweet intimacy with Christ.
In The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer writes:
“Every age has its own characteristics. Right now we are in an age of religious complexity. The simplicity, which is in Christ, is rarely found among us. In its stead are programs, methods, organizations, and a world of nervous activities, which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart.
The shallowness of our inner experience, the hollowness of our worship, and that servile imitation of the world which marks our promotional methods all testify that we, in this day, know God only imperfectly, and the peace of God scarcely at all.”
Friend… Don’t be afraid.
God will give you the words to speak under pressure and He calms our worrying hearts by telling us that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without God knowing. God knows every hair on our heads.
Jesus tells us, “Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows”(Matthew 10:31).
YOU are precious to God.
You were created to glorify Him and bring others toward Him.
“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it,”Matthew 10:39.
Jesus has called us to love a simple, wise, fearless life because He knows His strength is all we need.
I had copied and saved a meaningful and just plain great message a while back and pasted it into a note keeping app on my IPad and then, promptly forgot about it! (I’ve got pages of notes, quotes, personal reflections and thoughts in that location and in way too many journals and on yellow notepads!) I’m not a cluttery type of person, but with precious books, poetry and note taking/writing… I’m not very well organized. Ugh!
The above article is a mixture of ideas and writing from one of those copied and pasted items on my IPad note book. I had been reviewing and deleting things and re-read this and it resonated again with another string of things I was writing. I saw no Author’s reference with this, and the quotes were from those from whom I have great treasured books.
I’m giving credit where credit is due! The parts that aren’t my material come from In Touch Ministries. Please know that I openly share thism because it’s easy to either misquote or only partially have a full reference point when so many messages, emails, notes and thoughts are filled with such great points and meaningful dialog.
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
Duplication and sharing of this writing is welcomed as long as complete message and website information for Mary Lindow is included. Thank You!
Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the USA and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.