Summary: This sermon focuses on the need for Christians to simplify their lives and establish a regular time to fellowship with God.
BUSYNESS IN OUR LIVES
All live extremely busy lives, no matter our age:
- Young adults
- Middle age adult
- Senior adults
When we read Jesus words in Matt. 11:28-30, we wonder how that could ever be true in our lives. Does not sound possible in our world.
- How can we find that rest for our souls that Jesus was talking about?
- What is this rest for our souls?
- Is it possible to have rest in the midst of the busyness of our lives?
Usually does not do much good to try to put people on a guilt trip for their busy lives. James Glieck, author of Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything: “Our computers, our movies, our prayers – they all run faster now than ever before. And the more we fill our lives with time-saving devices and time-saving strategies, the more rushed we feel.”
For some, a busy lifestyle is a badge of honor, an outward symbol that they are somebody, that they are successful, that they are popular.
But deep inside, there is an ache for a simpler life, a slower life, a meaningful life.
We long for simplicity. Proponents of a lifestyle of simplicity say, “The American dream has become a nightmare” that has resulted in “alienation and emptiness.”
The key to simplicity is not necessarily in shucking all of the things that one is involved in. Does not necessarily mean we have to drive a smaller car, buy our clothes at thrift stores, bake our own bread, etc., unless the Lord convicts you in these areas.
Simplicity means simplicity of heart.
- Describes a life stripped of all that is unessential and unnecessary and trivial, a life increasingly focused on one thing – seeking Christ.
o Ps. 27:4
o Phil. 3:13-14
o Matt. 6:33
- Does not mean we are focused on Christ only when we’re thinking “religious” thoughts or performing “spiritual” deeds.
o Francis de Sales, 17th cent. writer, said that Christ-like simplicity is similar to what we see in little children “who w/ one hand cling to their father, and w/ the other father strawberries or blackberries along the hedges. For just like this, while you are gathering and dealing with the world’s goods you must always keep the other hand in your heavenly Father’s, turning to Him from time to time, to see if the way you behave and what you do pleases Him.”
- I.e., true simplicity of heart happens when we offer everything in our lives to Jesus – not only our praying, worshiping, and preaching, but also eating at the fish camp, working on our car, or driving the kids to soccer – in one ceaseless act of love and praise.
One way that we can cultivate this simplicity is by carving out some times for silence and solitude before the Lord. A.W. Tozer prayed: “Lord, teach me to listen. The times are noisy, and my ears are weary with the thousand raucous sounds which continuously assault them. Give me the spirit of the boy Samuel when he said to Thee, ‘Speak, for thy servant heareth.” Let me hear Thee speaking in my heart. Let me get used to the sound of Thy voice, that its tones may be familiar when the sounds of the earth die away and the only sound will be the music of Thy speaking voice. Amen.”
RETREAT – military term means that we take definitive action to get away from the enemy and get to a safe place.
1. Claim the little solitudes that already exist in your day.
a. Morning shower or evening bath
c. Nap time for the kids
d. Waiting at grocery store
e. Going to bed at night
2. Intentional coffee breaks or picnic lunches
3. Stay up later or get up earlier to find a few moments of solitude
4. Schedule your day more loosely if possible.
a. 5-15 minute “spacers” between appointments or tasks
5. Slow down.
a. Walk slower
b. Drive slower – 55 mph
c. Eat slower
d. Pause & listen
6. Use exercise times for silence and solitude.
a. Walking, jogging.
7. Schedule a ½ day or whole day personal retreat.
Benefits of a Quiet Time
Do you consider yourself an alien? Word of God says we are – 1 Pet 2:11. We have to learn to navigate our way between two worlds. Even though we are not of this world any longer – Jn. 17:14-16 – we must learn how to keep our eyes fixed on heavenly things when the pull of this world is so strong. How do we do that? QUIET TIME W/ OUR FATHER
Def of QT – “a place where we can fix our eyes on God and the invisible realities of our lives” (Jean Fleming, “Food for the Soul”, DJ, Sept./Oct. 99)