I traveled with some friends to Laos earlier this year to visit a coffee farm we support as Legacy Church. We were not only impressed with the beauty of the country and the work ethic of the farmers, but we noticed a simplicity of life we do not have here.
Yes, poverty, lack of education, and government control hindered their ability to accumulate things, but we saw in the farmers a simple lifestyle for which we at times longed for. No, none of us elected to stay and live that way, but the stark contrast of our lifestyles challenged the volume of stuff we have and our mindless pursuit to get more.
Jesus taught his followers three secrets about how we were created that directly relates to our obsession with things.
Our hearts follow what we value. (Matthew 6:19-21)
Write out a list of those things that you value most and you will find your heart tagging along behind them. You would think it works the other way, but it doesn't. If I value the accumulation of stuff, my heart runs to it like a Labrador Retriever running after a thrown disc. Change what you treasure and you change your heart's pursuit.
We are incapable of serving God and stuff. (Matthew 6:24)
That's right. Jesus said you and I do not have the capacity to give ourselves completely to two life-engaging priorities. We convince ourselves we can, but we end up placing one above the other. Check out your life's priorities and see if he was telling the truth.
If we make the things of God and that way of life our first thing, then all the stuff we worried about before will come to us in its proper order. (Matthew 6:25-33)
Jesus promised that if we will not loose sleep over what we will eat, drink, or wear, and turn our hearts to his way of life, then we will discover we have all we need to live a God-centered life. We become stewards of things rather than things ruling us.
If you would like to hear my full message on this topic, you can go here.
Live with Jesus' promises today. Listen for prompts from the Holy Spirit on what you can do to simplify your life and guide your heart to God. Let me know how it goes.
Check out this resource for some more help.