The simples!

I have been taking a journey back to the simples of my faith and trying to just get back at the core of why and what it means to be a Christ follower. Sometimes I believe I get so caught up in the deep that I lose sight of the Simple. I have been reading a Book called “The Spirit of Disciplines- understanding how God changes lives” by Dallas Willard. He is painting the picture of the importance of spiritual disciplines and the growth and power that that has in our daily lives. Sometimes Fundamentals are not given enough weight and value, and the power that they hold. Some how in all this the church has painted the deeds of our lives as not as valuable as the faith that we hold. But I believe that as James has put it so clearly it say this- ‘But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. James 2:18’ the deeds of our lives are not as much about what we do, but they are a reflection of our heart and faith as we choose to follow Christ. We have deeds not because we are trying to earn anything but because our faith in Christ produces Fruit that in turn will be called deeds. There are so many Christians today that have lives that are powerless and really live no different than those who profess no belief in Christ at all. These disciplines have been looked down upon as things you do to earn Salvation, but what I am learning is that these disciplines are the very things that bring us to what I believe Christ came to fulfill and that is “life in abundance”. I think that if we really get a true understanding of lets say, the power of prayer, the reading of gods word, fasting, worship, and things of this nature we will begin to realize that they are more for our good than anything else. God doesn’t need any of things to be God, he just is. These things are what bring us to life and free us from the things that kill our hearts. God is for us and the power of these disciplines, are to bring us to a place of what it means to be apart of the kingdom of God. I believe that if our motives are just one thing and that is to please God then the power of this Gospel will do great things in our lives. So look at it this way, I read my word not because I was told to but because I believe that it pleases my father and that it is by the truth and truth alone that sets are hearts free. I read it because I have put my faith in something that is much great than my self! I pray not because I need something but because it brings me closer to the heart of God, And it is at his heart that we find the answers to all that plague our lives.

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11 responses to “The simples!

  • la4j

    I appreciate your view and concur..thanks for the book reference it sounds very interesting. Wishing the Mothers in your life a Happy Mother’s Day! Bless

  • ernie flowers

    Great post! I think Richard Foster explains the benefits of the disciplines the best–

    In Foster’s words:
    “…meditation beightens our spiritual sensitivity which, in turn, leads us into prayer. Very soon we discover that prayer involves fasting as an accompanying means. Informed by these three Disciplines, we can effectively move into study which gives us discernment about ourselves and the world in which we live.
    Through simplicity we live with others in integrity. Solitude allows us to be genuinely present to people when we are with them. Through submission we live with others without manipulation, and through service we are a blessing to them.
    Confession frees us from ourselves and releases us to worship. Worship opens the door to guidance. All the Disciplines freely exercised bring forth the doxology of celebration.”
    Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline, (Closing paragraph p 201 )

  • Angela

    It’s funny that you write this today… at about the same time you wrote this I was at a Women’s conferece at my church studying the importance of Spiritual Disciplines and instead of looking at them as a list of how to live as a christian but how being a christian should cause you to want to live that way. And they are more spiritual exercises as a way to grow in your relationship with Christ and not win favor with a God who already has proven His favor on us by the sacrifice of His son.

  • Jenny

    I too have been trying to get back to the essence of being a christian, which is following Christ. Trying to serve and love others, while relying on the Father like Jesus did. Exactly, if we truly believe then I think naturally our actions will follow. Where would our faith be without action? I agree that faith and deeds are both important. Yeah, when I try to do things my way they don’t tend to turn out well. The things that we are “supposed to” do help us to develop a closer relationship with God. He truly does have our best interest in mind. Those last few lines are so true. Reminds me that I should be praying about some things that I haven’t been. Great post, thanks for sharing! God bless you Shawn!
    Jenny

  • Kallie

    You are simply at the best place you can be in that intimacy with the Lord… simply in Him- getting back to the “simples.” More and more I have discovered that if I make religion and rules my focus, I find over and over I am a complete and utter failure, but then the Lord reminds me- all He wants is for me to have an intimate relationship with Him, to walk with Him, to talk to Him, and to simply trust Him. The coolest part, is that as I simply do this I begin to live in a way that is pleasing to Him- not because I am holding myself to this high goal, but simply because I want to remain close to Him. I discover over and over that when I sin or don’t pray or read the word there are these little things that begin to come between Him and I. That is why I pray, that is why I read the Word, that is why I turn from sin because I want Him. His outrageous and amazing love compels me to live in that manner that is glorifying to Him. I can’t live a life worthy of Him, but I can seek after Him, and that is all He asks of me. And oh, it is so good just remaining in Him.

    It’s so easy to forget. So thanks Shawn for the reminder. You are right. He is for us and He is what brings us to life!

  • Linda

    Three men were walking on a wall: Faith, Feeling and Fact,

    When Feeling got an awful fall and Faith was taken back;

    So close was Faith to Feeling, he stumbled and fell too,

    But Fact remained and pulled up Faith and Faith brought Feeling too.

    (Unknown Author)

  • ruach

    “I read my word not because I was told to but because I believe that it pleases my father and that it is by the truth and truth alone that sets are hearts free.”

    A good word here–thanks. One of my passions is to help people enjoy God and that they will be reading their Bible because they want to do so. Here is a post I made on the subject not too long ago
    http://ruach.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/discipleship-or-spiritual-formation/

    I recently discovered your music and appreciate it very much–have downloaded a number of your songs. This morning, I found Imago, an old instrumental song of yours which I really like as well. Any other instrumental songs that you have?

  • Ícaro

    shawn, great Blog, and great music. i must say i’ve been blessed through ’em 😉

  • Liquinha

    Hello Shawn, I’m brazilian and I love your songs!
    I praise the Lord for your life and for things you write and sing.
    I wish you be blessed everyday!

    God bless you!

    Shalom

    Lídia

  • Amy Walker

    I love the part where you wrote: “I pray not because I need something but because it brings me closer to the heart of God”. I was listening to someone speak about prayer and why we even do it if God already has a will and a purpose for us…he said that we don’t pray to change God’s mind or get Him to do what WE want, we pray so that as we journey it out loud, He can refine us more and more to what HE wants. So often I find myself praying with my purpose in mind rather than being open to His purpose. Thanks for the perspective.

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