Simplicity and the Trust Factor

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
–Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV

When it comes to simplicity, one of the things that we will wrestle with over and over again is with the idea of trust. How much trust do I really have in the almighty God? How much trust do I have in His power, provision, and promises? The journey towards simplicity takes a boat-load of trust in our Father in heaven. Remember, the journey towards simplicity isn’t for simplicity’s sake. The goal of simplifying our lifestyles is so that we can do the things that greatly matter to God—loving God, serving others, and making disciples. And to do these things even more by freeing up time, energy, and money. If we decide to put an exorbitant (if you haven’t noticed, I love hyperbole) amount of time, energy, and money into kingdom purposes, it will most likely mean that we’ll have less time, energy, and money for ourselves. Will it be enough? Here are some truths that we must keep in mind as we move towards simplicity and engage fully in the things that greatly matter to God.

We trust that God will always satisfy. If we put more time into advancing God’s kingdom, that means there’s less time for the things that we might want to do. How about my dreams and ambitions? How about my vacation plans? How about my entertainment? How about my happiness? What we have to keep in mind is that although these worldly things might satisfy us in some way (i.e. temporary happiness), they will never satisfy us in the way that only God can. As I’ve mentioned several times already in this blog, our greatest fulfillment in life comes from knowing God and doing the things that greatly matter to Him (see here). There’s nothing necessarily wrong with spending time on ourselves. It may even be healthy for us. But keep in mind that if Christ does not completely satisfy us, no amount of personal ambition, vacation time, and entertainment ever will.

We trust that God will always supply. Serving God in His kingdom is hard and tiring work. Just ask Jesus. He knew what being physically tired was like. Not only does advancing God’s kingdom take a chunk of our time but it also uses up plenty of our energy. And our energy reserves may be in short supply on a regular basis. But God has made a promise to all those who embark on serving Him—He has promised the power of the Holy Spirit. The early church was able to do some incredible things with their limited human capacity because of the enabling of the Spirit. Jesus promised this to His disciples before He ascended into heaven: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8, ESV). The Spirit will provide us with a constant supply of energy and strength.

We trust that God will always provide. One of our major fears is that we won’t have enough money left to provide for ourselves and our families. Logically, it seems to make sense. The more money you give to kingdom purposes, the less money you’ll have in your bank account. But if you haven’t noticed already, God isn’t constrained to mere human logic. The Bible is very clear about God’s faithfulness in providing for His children. Jesus said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33, ESV). In the passage, Jesus was talking about God’s provision of food, clothing, and shelter—the basic necessities. We shouldn't worry about those things. "Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on" (Matthew 6:25, ESV). Jesus assures us that God will surely provide those things to His children. As we are faithful to God’s work in advancing His kingdom, God is faithful to us in providing for our everyday needs.

So how much trust do you really have in God? If you don’t trust God, you’ll keep most of your time, energy, and money to yourself. But if you wholeheartedly trust in Him, then you can freely give your time, energy, and money to kingdom purposes knowing that the almighty God has got your back. Always.