Life. So many choices, so many decisions, so many people, and thoughts, and…so…much…STUFF. Ever since Adam and Eve were subjected to and believed the temptations of the serpent, there exists the mindset that assumes the worst, that attacks the sincerity of the One that always has the best in mind for all of His creation. From that fateful circumstance in the Garden till now, the feeling and idea of God keeping things away from us through ulterior motives remains an attractive way of interaction with Him.
This lust for figuring out what we don’t know isn’t the same as a love of learning, and growing in our understanding of life, it comes from a place of mistrust and accusation. In the minds of those who think in this way, there has to be something deeper than simply having faith/trust in God and His way of salvation. The saying that “God is far bigger than some book” is true in one aspect, but for some its true in every aspect, enough to do away with His book or an idea that He has a book in general.
Whether we realize it or not, humanity tends to want the glory of discovering anything and everything that’s hidden or hard to access in the way WE want it. It would seem to us that something that’s simple to learn and grasp can never be true enough to satisfy our curiosity, or strong enough to be a foundation that withstands the tests of time. In the midst of these circumstances God has revealed Himself and His love to the world. He has given us good news!
Yet…all it says is to believe in Him? Nah, there has to be a way to earn this, how can I just accept what Jesus did for me and live out this belief and it completely erase my sins?? “I MUST be missing something, I’m gonna figure this out!” God circumvents our lust for glory through the simplicity of the Gospel, then goes even further by using the ‘foolishness’ of men preaching it to other men in order to receive it.
But, you say, “it surely can’t be that simple?!” Why would God leave such a great salvation and eternal destination to a decision? I don’t have to go and cleanse my mind, body, and soul through meditation in the mountains first before being ready? There’s no way God would leave it in a book, there has to be an unmistakable way to see what God has for humanity! No dream? No visuals from the man upstairs?? You mean to tell me I have to believe with just THAT? There has to be a secret that I’m not getting here.
Thus lies the conspiracy of simplicity and its this…that the truth of God is so simple, a child can receive His message and love, yet it takes an eternity to comprehend and learn of. The fact that we are drawn to the complex looking, works-based, experience-driven in order to learn something that is simple is humanity’s downfall. God told Adam, “Don’t eat of the fruit or you will surely die” then Satan incites them to believe God is keeping something from them and that they have more to achieve in order to get where they need to be, making it more complex than just listening to the word of God.
This even shows in the comparisons to other faiths. Sometimes we encounter Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and Muslims in their various dedications(evangelism, prayer, etc) that they live by, and we say to ourselves, “Man, they’re really dedicated to their faith, and look at us Christians?” While it is good to be dedicated to prayer, evangelism, memorizing Scriptures, and there are MANY Christians who are lazy in that regard, there is another overlooked reason why it appears as if people of other faiths are extra dedicated. If you notice, there is a works-based orientation in every one of the religions I mentioned along with others I haven’t, yet Christ has brought us into a relational orientation. We do not work in order to account for our salvation, we do good because we love God and are already saved by Him. We obey because we love Him, not because we are afraid of not receiving, we obey because we’ve already received.
There are many who exist in a works-based orientation that are very passionate about their lives and it shows, yet there’s a difference between passion and intimacy. Let’s not think the Church is immune to this issue as well. We often go to conferences and get inspired and fired up, as we say, “I’m on fire for God!” We start to do things for God with that flame burning, and the small consistent intimate practices of prayer, reading Scripture, and worship are overlooked. We plan big things to do, and all these things mentioned aren’t sinful or negative, but without a foundation of intimacy with Christ, passions can flame out when we get tired and weary. We often fail to realize that the simple spiritual disciplines we tend to overlook are the very things that keep us sensitive to God and His heart.
Jesus is God, and humbled Himself in becoming a man, and one of His main practices was to go to the mountain and talk to the Father. In the midst of the plans that He accomplished for the Father, He always made time to be intimately alone with the Father. This is an example for us as God’s children, we’ve been adopted into His family because of Jesus, and to be like Christ is to maintain the simplicity of this relationship that will continue to grow in all its complex facets.
As we walk this life, we will undoubtedly encounter the complex, that’s life, but do not allow the complexities of life (and even God) to rob you of the simplicity that is in front of you everyday. Do not let the enemy deceive you from the simplicity that is in the faith we have in Christ(2 Corinthians 11:3), because its ironically through that simplicity that all the mysteries of life tend to be revealed through.