Making Disciples of Christ in Ecuador

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Complicated or simple?


Your body has a lot of parts. And some of them are vital. Without your vital organs functioning, you won't live. How many vital organs are there? After looking around online it seems there is some disagreement as to how many there are but everyone agrees there is more than one. Life is complicated. There isn't just one organ that has to function and you can live, but several of them have to be working or you won't make it. The majority of your vital organs functioning isn't enough. If one goes out, that's it. Have you ever thought about how complicated your body is?

The other day I seen a show about how things are made. One of the things they explained was how maple syrup was made. That should be pretty simple. You find a maple tree, put a tap in it, gather the sap, boil it, and there you go. I've never done it before but from what I understand that's the basic process. But as they were showing how it was made I was amazed at how much technology was used. Everything was measured, monitored, and so much of it was automatic. Of course, this was for large scale production, but it was still impressive. Even the most simple things have deep complexity when you start looking into it.

I was reading through Hebrews 4. At first I was struck by the simplicity of seeking to rest in Christ and obey today what He's saying. But then I started looking more deeply into the passage. In verse 9 the word for rest is a completely different word in Greek than what's used in the rest of the chapter. Actually, that word in verse 9 is only found in that particular verse of the Bible. What could that mean? I ended up reading and studying for quite a while to see what using a completely different word for that verse might mean. Well, I didn't come to a firm conclusion of why but it does make me think about simplicity vs complexity.

Sometimes we overcomplicate things. Other times, after looking into something, we can get overwhelmed by how complex something really is. We're not necessarily overcomplicating it but just overcome by how complex it actually is. Sometimes when we think of the process of us going to Ecuador it can be a little overwhelming. But the fact is that some things actually are more complicated today than they were for Paul.

Paul never worried about a visa. He was working under the same government for the most part (the Roman Empire).

Paul never thought about medical insurance. I don't think it even existed and definitely wasn't put into law that you needed it.

Paul didn't have to worry too much about language. By knowing Greek, Hebrew, and (possibly) Latin he had the vast majority of his audience covered, even if it wasn't there first language.

Paul didn't worry about exchange rates and losing money. Again, it was all under the same government. Thankfully this isn't something we have to worry about in Ecuador but other missionaries do.

So what do we say to these things? If life is genuinely complicated, is it even possible to live or respond simply? I think so. It involves things that on the surface seem to be the opposite of what you'd want to do. Wait, rest, and listen. Let your whole focus revolve around one person: Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:12 For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.

2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

I'm not denying that life can be complicated but when our focus and life is simply and singularly God-ward, everything else falls into place.

Matthew 6:31–34 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

As the old hymn says: "Trust and obey." We need a simple, childlike trust in the Lord. He is our Father and will take care of us. And we must obey Him when He speaks. It's really that simple. We trust Him. We obey Him. He takes care of us and makes all things work for our good and His glory.

Rather than allow yourself to be overwhelmed with the complexities of life let them lift your heart in worship as God weaves the most complicated tapestry into the most beautiful singular thing: a manifestation of His glory and love.

Last modified onThursday, 07 May 2015 15:32

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