Overwhelm is the feeling I get when peering at all of the options available. As 2019 is briskly approaching, promotions to goal-set, lose the holiday weight, get organized, and make changes are pugnaciously invading our already ambivalent minds. Just take a “scroll” and you can sheepishly discover intrusions that you did not solicit or request. These suggestions, which may be beneficial or lucrative to someone else, invade our already vulnerable minds and suggest that we need more, when in reality we need less.
I have learned in my forty-something years that bigger is not always better. I have also learned that to lead a fulfilling life, my life must be simple, balanced, and focused. To live a life that is simple, balanced, and focused, I must know who I am, what my priorities are, and most of all, what God is asking me to do. At the end of the day, we must ask, “What is it that I add to the world?” I must resist the urge to over complicate things. So, how do we de-clutter and keep it simple?
1. Know who you are and be true to you. Know your strengths. Know your weaknesses. Know where you need to grow. Know what makes you spark. Know how God has wired you. Know what you need. Know how to rest. Know how to give grace. Know how to love who you are. Know yourself and don’t compare. Comparison is the thief of joy! When we know who we are and what we are put in this world to add, we simply focus on that! Try not to make it complicated. I am an encourager. I encourage in coffee shops, writing blogs, training my kids, smiles and words spoken to strangers, or on a platform with a microphone. It doesn’t matter how I do it as long as I am using my gifts to add to the world in my distinct way. What do you bring to the world?
2. Listen to God and obey. Accomplishing two goals is better than setting so many goals that you get frustrated and quit. What are the top two or three things that you need to focus on? What is God whispering to you? To hear God, we must make space to hear Him. It is also imperative that we feed our Spirit with His Word to hear His ways. There are no shortcuts. If we want to hear God speak his direction for us, we must digest His Word daily and listen. He leads by a deep-seated peace. When God speaks It might be to stop something. It might be to start something. It might be to run harder or to slow down and wait for Him to lead. When I have failed to renew my mind in the Word on a regular basis, my Spirit shrivels and the flesh takes over. I then find myself in a pit in my mind flowing in a pattern of the world that is contrary to the Spirit of God. (Galatians 5:17) God is speaking to you. Will you make space to listen?
3. Clear the clutter of destructive voices and input the truth. This may be the most difficult one to do. Sometimes you have to stop listening. Turn off the television, put down the phone, step away from the conversation. You can’t stop there though. We must renew, reinsert, reboot. If a stronghold comes creeping up on you trying to tell you that you are insignificant and that you can’t do it. You, then scroll through social media for hours and compare yourself to every person that you think is doing “it” better. What do you think is going to happen? You are going to be discouraged and robbed. We have to fight for freedom. We have to fight for simplicity. We have to fight for truth to reign. It takes determination, focus, and discipline to say NO! No more. I simply will not listen to the voices of the enemy trying to steal my life and purpose. There is only one way to deal with a stronghold of the enemy. That is to DEMOLISH it! (2 Corinthians 10:5) Just don’t allow it, then renew with the truth.
I pray that in 2019, we can all keep it simple. Let’s know ourselves. Let’s find space and margin to listen and obey God. Let’s clear the clutter and put down the voices, screens, self-talk that is stealing from us. Let us charge into 2019 with a simplicity that gets results, is rewarding, and brings fulfillment! Remember, we must fight for simplicity.