Have you ever thought that living a holy life seems to be far too complicated?
In our zeal to serve God, we often make things difficult and confusing. We may listen to a sermon on Sunday or read a book on the subject of holiness, and receive a long list of what we should and shouldn’t be doing as believers in Christ. We are often taught that the more we do for God, the more holy we will be.
When we look at the New Testament church in the Book of Acts, they seemed to have lived much simpler lives. Their single focus seemed to be to win souls for the Kingdom of God and then enjoy the fellowship of their worship together. After the Day of Pentecost, the early believers eagerly shared their new-found faith wherever they gathered together:
“So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46-47 NKJV)
It was the simplicity of their faith that attracted people to the fledgling church. The saints were continually filled with gladness and joy as they gathered together in fellowship with one another. Above all else, there was an atmosphere of love and expectancy in their gatherings. Every day new believers were added to their numbers. It was an exciting time to live for God!
It wasn’t long before some people wanted to add new rules and regulations to a believer’s way of life. No longer was it enough to simply serve the Lord. Eventually, it became accepted that the longer the list of rules, the more pleasing a person would be to God. By the time the Church had become well established, the Apostle Paul could see that the believers were being drawn increasingly away from the simplicity of their faith in Christ. This is why he wrote:
“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3 NKJV)
This deception continues today: that the more we do, the more pleasing we are to God. Jesus doesn’t want us to be burdened down with the weight of things we have to do. He wants our life of holiness to be full of joy and gladness. This is why He appealed to those who sought to follow Him:
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV)
The walk of holiness is meant to be easy and light, not hard and overbearing. God wants us to keep it simple. If things become burdensome, then we know we are going in the wrong direction.
You may have heard the saying: The simplest answer is usually the right one. This word of wisdom that has been passed down through the centuries. It is certainly a principle that we need to apply to our lives today. If we are sensitive to God’s voice, He will guide us in how He wants us to walk with Him. He will speak to us through His Word and through the still small voice we hear in our spirit. It pleases Him when we do what He says:
“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46 NKJV)
Jesus is not interested in how much we know or even how much we do for Him. His desire is that we have learned to obey His voice! He wants us to be only concerned with what He has told us to do, not what others have told us we should be doing.
He wants us to keep it simple, saint!
Can you see areas in your walk with the Lord that need to be simplified? Let me know in the comments below!
[All Scripture quotations have been taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright 1982, Thomas Nelson Inc.]