Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. (Psalm 139:23)
The focus of today’s word of encouragement is rooted in a quote from A. W. Tozer, the beloved American pastor and author. Tozer wrote —
We Christians must simplify our lives or lose untold treasures on earth and in eternity. Modern civilization is so complex as to make the devotional life all but impossible. The need for solitude and quietness was never greater than it is today.
Keep in mind that the context of Tozer’s “today” was was well over a half-century ago. If the need to simplify was great then, imagine what his thoughts would be if he saw how complex life is for us today!
Let me give you a working definition before we continue: To simplify means to remove anything that complicates your Christian walk with Jesus and thus to enjoy the journey along the way. Here are two steps to begin the process of simplifying your life.
- Toss Out the Tyranny of the Urgent
Step One is time management. If you don’t take control of your time, your time will take control of you. In order to toss out the tyranny of the urgent, you must, as Stephen Covey advised, begin with the end in mind. Begin each day with the end of the day in mind. But the only way you can do this is by considering in advance what the priorities are for that day. If you “plan tomorrow today,” you will be able to begin each day with the end in view and have a greater measure of control over your time – recognizing, of course, that the unexpected will inevitably occur,
- Schedule Time for Solitude and Quietness
Step Two is time alone with Jesus every day. If you find your days so filled with activities from the time you get up to the time you go to bed that you have no “alone time” with Jesus, you are doing more than God wants you to do. An easy way to see this simplification step in action is to recall the story of Martha and Mary. The sisters were preparing a meal for Jesus and His disciples, but Mary knew when to put her doing down and sit at the feet of her Lord. Martha, on the other hand, continued with her work until her frustration boiled over, and she complained to Jesus about her sister Mary, who had exchanged service for solitude with Jesus.
“Lord,” Martha snapped, “don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
Jesus gently corrected her, saying, “Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:40-42).
Could you use a little simplification in your life right now? If you will incorporate these two simple steps — plan tomorrow today and schedule time for sitting at the feet of Jesus — you will gain untold treasures on earth and in eternity.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!