Soul simplicity seems a tempting idea or lifestyle choice as we embrace a new year and new decade. But it rarely comes without some inner questioning. It might be prudent to ask ourselves just what we hunger for in the months ahead. What drives and motivates our minds? What passions help shape the way we want to live, work and play?
“My food, ” says Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” – John 4: 34
Could it be that the fuel that feeds us is as simple as this? Not our appetite for acceptance, applause and acclaim but having our inner hunger satisfied through doing the Father’s will in Jesus’s Name. I wonder how it might look to view our whole lives as a mission instead of a me-first competition.
What would it involve to be able to live lightly and freely, unshackled from the world’s passions and demands and tethered close to Jesus instead? How can we break free from our drive to succeed, and experience soul liberty? In seeking greater soul simplicity there are some complex questions to consider.
They shake us out of our comfort zone and throw us into the spiritual soul freedom of flying by the seat of our pants. Because where there are fewer constraints on our souls we are let loose to rise and to grow. The answers do not lie in ourselves but in God, in the wisdom we find in his Word.
As we dig deep, we see how simple it is. Even if it asks everything of us and impacts how we act, think and live. Yet in a mindful reading of Scripture, a deeper inner hunger to know more develops in our souls. We discover that abiding in Christ is just the beginning of a soul simplicity adventure style of life.
This way of life is one God desired and designed for us from the beginning of time. We’re in danger of making it more complicated than it is. If we look at Micah 6:8 we find clear details about what God expects of us:
“But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriously—take God seriously.” – Micah 6:8 (MSG)
Here’s where we find a conflict between God’s request and our inner inclinations. We’re inclined to take ourselves too seriously, to place self-interest above compassion for others, and to see humility as rather humbling to our sensitivity and self-esteem.
Loving others takes grit, guts and courage. We have to be prepared to be rejected. We might not have our love reciprocated. It hurts. Love isn’t simply a feeling but a dedicated faith thing. We only have the power to love because God first loved us.
With God’s input and help, we can begin to live and love as He desires us to. By learning to lean on Him for everything, and submitting ourselves to His wisdom and guiding hand. Then we learn to hunger after what really matters, namely the things that are on His heart for us to chase after.
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you except to be just, and to love [and to diligently practice] kindness (compassion), and to walk humbly with your God [setting aside any overblown sense of importance or self-righteousness]?” Micah 6:8 (AMP)