“Simplify your life! Have just one God!” – is a journey we are on. When we first published this blog article back in 2013 we honestly had no idea where it would lead us, but as you know, when we put our mind to something, life teaches us. So it is time for an update.
Last week we published our little secret about why we are simplifying our life. This week it being Passover and Easter week, I thought it is fitting to share the biggest lessons we are learning.
10 years ago one of my Facebook friends posted a quote from a pastor’s message that inspired this article:
“Simplify your life! Have just one God!”
Back then I wrote: There’s a lot of growing I need to do in my personal understanding of these rather huge words. I long for the first part but I’m assuming that it all has to do with the second part.
Simplify your life
Simplifying is about doing things simply and living a simple life. I like things simple, but what exactly is simple? ‘Simplifying our life’ – seems to be a hot topic. There is a range of ways to simplify our life. Some buy land and go off-grid, while others build tiny houses and declutter their stuff.
The idea of having fewer bills to pay, less stuff to care for, along with becoming more self-reliable is inspirational. People are busy simplifying their lives these days. This busyness is what strikes me.
Does being busy with simplifying truly simplify your life?
We realize that a simple, fulfilled life comes from within. If there is clutter within us there will be clutter around us no matter how much we own. If there is worry and anxiety within us, going off-grid and living self-sufficient can become a fear-burdened lifestyle. Simplifying our life has to happen from the inside out.
Have just one God
That leads us to the second phrase – ‘Have just one God’. Growing up in a Christian family, my worldview was deeply influenced by it. God belonged to our family very much like Grandma and Grandpa. We celebrated Christmas and Easter and never ate or went to bed without prayer.
I remember as a kid walking in our garden between pole beans and potatoes talking to God. No one was teaching me to do that. Here in the garden, God was so close and so real.
Wanting to know more, I decided that when I grow up, I would go to a Bible college and study the Bible for myself, and so I did. I have intensely studied the Bible all my life, to find the true God, the one I felt so close to in my childhood. I often say that gardening is what I do, but spirituality is what I’m passionate about.
Going through the challenges of a neurodiverse family I became devotedly religious, holding on to my beliefs for life.
In their straightforward, unfiltered autistic way my children challenged my beliefs to the core. Doctrines that do not hold much are quite meaningless to a very logical autistic mind. With their analytical thinking, they make decisions without bias. If it is not tangible it’s not worth keeping.
The concept of one God, as a sole and exclusive being in a multicultural world with many religions, did not satisfy their strong sense of justice.
At first, my children’s comments sounded like blasphemy to me. However, over the years I learned to listen to what they were saying. Their logical, consistent way of thinking could not be ignored. Besides, my intense religion only complicated our already challenging day-to-day life. I had to find the truth to simplify our life.
The One God
The One God is a biblical concept, however not so popular neither in our world nor in religions. Religions often claim to have their own God, even if they refer to Him in the same book.
Studying the Bible I could not ignore that the God of the Bible is not one God in numbers, sole and exclusive. He IS One God in unity, there is nothing but God. Read with me this view quotes:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God; the Lord is one. (Deuteronomy 6:4)
You have been shown, in order to know that the Lord He is God; there is none else besides Him. … And you shall know this day and consider it in your heart, that the Lord He is God in heaven above, and upon the earth below; there is none else. (Deuteronomy 4:35+39)
In the beginning was the Word (Logos=Thought), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of mankind. (John 1.1-4)
It is good to know that there is just one God, but it changes everything if this God is One. There is nothing apart from him neither in heaven above nor upon the earth below.
Abide in Him
God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him (1 John 4.16).
Being the One Word – Thought, the Source of all life, all is in Him. This Oneness is Love, that’s why God is Love. If we abide in God we abide in Oneness, and the Oneness, Love, God abides in us. All IS forever Love.
If we see ourselves as separate, we will be chasing after things that could make us complete. It does not matter if we are wanting more or fewer things, those are all still things, images that replace the reality that life is One because God is One. No matter how much we gain, it will never be enough.
Living ingrained in the awareness of the One God, One Life, One Source, One Love, we are part of it along with every aspect of creation. Apart from Him, we can do nothing because we are never apart from Him, even though we might think so.
Simplifying our life is a journey, having One God is a liberation from fear. By abiding in Him we are connected to the Source the all-powerful stream of life. ‘For in Him we live and move and have our being.’
Trust in God
Out of this Oneness, abiding in Love we can trust in God. I love how the amplified Bible words a text from the Book of Hebrew:
“Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]” (Hebrew 13: 5 amplified Bible)
A real simple life grows out of a character free from the love of stuff rooted in total trust in God. This kind of simple life shows itself in perfect satisfaction, liberated to love God and people. I want to simplify my life, do you?
The journey is ongoing, and I’m excited to see where we will be 10 years from now.
Simplify your life – Abide and trust in the One God!