In a “my way or the highway” materialistic world within the church and the culture, I feel like Jeremiah writing this. But like Jeremiah, I strongly feel I am being obedient to the Spirit’s leading towards simplicity and submission from times of Solitude and Meditation.
The lack of a life of submission and simplicity abounds. The mantra of 21st Century life that is prevalent : I am the captain of my ship and look at my glorious crib, car and toys. I have made it! Sadly this attitude is reinforced everywhere you look. Even churches today have bought into this lie with fountains, escalators, latest and greatest sound systems, larger and larger auditoriums.
A Model of Simplicity
Why has a life absent of submission and simplicity become so attractive. Simple! It fills the God created emptiness inside of us for a season. The culture has been told God, if He exists at all, is insufficient for our needs and the church sadly teaches to a large extent only the truth that He is the resource for our future. What about our LIFE now? I know a woman who has been a servant in the church, in small groups,bible study fellowship, etc that has the need whenever empty and depressed to shop and spend to get filled. Jesus is her way and her truth but sadly not her life. All the complicated manifestations of materialism RUN OUT AND NEED TO BE REFILLED. That is why Jesus told the Samaritan woman in John 4:7-15
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Don’t you love her last comment:” SIR GIVE ME THIS WATER SO THAT I WONT GET THIRSTY AND HAVE TO KEEP COMING HERE TO DRAW WATER!” She got It! Why don’t we! Why don’t we hear “Jesus give me your living water of Love and Joy and Peace so I will have no need to acquire everything that lifts my spirits temporary and leads me to spend to excess month after month.” or ” Jesus help me to abide and submit and realize a truly abundant life”. Why don’t we hear that?
We don’t hear that because it is not spoken of in our church meetings, it is not testified to by others and because it is not reinforced it is simply not believed. Hearing is believing! We believe Jesus is the way and truth because we hear it. We doubt He is the LIFE because few if any speak it. So we go to empty cisterns where the secular world will gladly speak of “self” and materialism hourly for our consumption.
I have a dream of a New Testament church where every week people get up and talk about how Jesus is their life and path to submission and simplicity and the Fruit of the Spirit. One after another, story after story. A church full of intercessory prayer and contemplative worship bringing you into the presence of God. A church where the well of living water is spoken about and overflows into the minds and hearts of the congregation. A church that becomes contagious with people dying to self and stuff and becoming a raging fire of LIFE!
God is stirring me to plant several of these churches throughout the US. We will need like minded and like hearted people hearing a similar call to join us. Would you pray and if the Holy Spirit is speaking to you in this regard lets plow forward together in a new row in His garden.
Only people connected to the Trinue God, living out His call and purpose in this world will be agents of transformation , living a Kingdom life now that in Matthew 4:17 Jesus said He came to bring.