Journey to Simplicity Week 4 – Less Sarah, More God

For Month 4, the Hatmakers gave up Facebook, Twitter, Email, TV, gaming consoles, iPhones (unless necessary), etc.   – all media for a month.  (No one died from this fast either…just sayin’).

As I read Month 4 in Jen Hatmaker’s 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, many quotes jumped off the page and resonated with me.  Here are a few:

  • The gospel is neutered until it grows hands and feet and actually becomes good news to someone…
  • It’s okay to admit your worst struggles.  To actual people.  You don’t have to be awesome.  You can be ordinary.
  • There’s this nagging tension that things aren’t right, that life is more than blessing extremely blessed people…that’s all true.  A torrent of believers are demanding more from the indulged American life, daring to imagine that discipleship is adventurous and risky and sacrificial and powerful.
  • Others don’t need me to be as wired as I thought.  Most of my media involvement is simply about me (blah).
  • For me, it wasn’t so much the media I was missing but the knowledge that I was the only one missing it.  The party was going on outside my window, and I uninvited myself.
  • My communion with God suffers not for lack of desire but time.  And let’s be honest:  I say I don’t have time, yet I found 35 minutes for Facebook…”

I could go on and on.

Even though so much in this chapter resonated with me, I decided the “Aha!” moment in my world came through this verse and quote:

“’Blessed are the poor in sprit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3). ‘ In order for Jesus’ kingdom to come, my kingdom will have to go, and for the first time I think I’m okay with that.”

I’ve blogged and talked often about my control freakish ways.  I like order and planning and [insert the type A profile here].  But, over the last few weeks as I’ve dealt with some bumps in the road, I’ve come to rest in Him – and be okay with it.

Food, clothing, technology – all the excess that Jen mutinied against – lose their hold and lure when you finally realize “my kingdom has to go.”

The “my kingdom has to go” mentality is something that God’s been working on in me for quite awhile.  And, in my defense, I’ve taken some steps he’s called me to that I NEVER thought I’d take…because they were an integral part of MY kingdom.

Still…I just couldn’t seem to develop an attitude of  “Jesus this is all you and yours – I am here to follow, obey, and glorify you.”  I continually held this or that back from God (as if we can really do that!). Hanging on to my kingdom.

Then, I started reading 7 with Marla and studying Jonah:  Navigating a Life Interrupted with the ladies at my church.  These two books have been colliding week after week with one with one theme resonating in my head and heart…

More of you, Lord. Less of me.  Less food, less clothes, less stuff, less technology.  Just less.

Less Sarah –  period.

And in the space that’s created by less of me and my stuff, God enters.  He gets ALL that space.

More prayer.  More Bible.  More fellowship with Godly women.  More family time. More quiet time communing with the God of the universe.

Amazing.

Jonah and Jen helped to me understand my need to hang on to my kingdom.

Jonah ran from Ninevah and God’s directions.  He was seeking his kingdom and his ways, not God’s.

“When God desired to dispense mercy to the Ninevites, Jonah wanted them demolished.  His aspirations were not in sync with God’s.  The discipline God allowed was not meant to punish Jonah; it was meant to prepare him. “

When God recently put the brakes on my self-seeking kingdom, it was because my aspirations and decisions weren’t in sync with His.  God disciplined me not to punish me, but to prepare me – thank you, Jesus!

“He [Jonah] gave himself over to what the Lord was permitting.”  Jonah quit fighting – for his way and his kingdom – and began fighting for God’s.

I’m finally willing to give myself over completely to what the Lord is permitting in my life because (I repeat),  “In order for Jesus’ kingdom to come, my kingdom will have to go.”

Mine’s going…and for the first time, I’m OK with that:)

Comments

  1. One of my favorite quotes from a previous pastor of mine is “Empty out the world and fill up with God”. Heard this when I was in my early twenties and have never forgotten it!!! Continually striving to apply it:)

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