Image "My Friend" by Helen Thomas Robson www.capturedmiracles.org (Used by Permission)
Minimalism from a Biblical Point of View —

Biblical Minimalism© is "a complete, whole-person release of anything unlike Jesus, a letting go of everything that hinders us from following Him wholeheartedly and single-mindedly, and a relinquishing of all that brings us under bondage to this earthly, very temporary life." Cheryl E. Smith

Friday, August 3, 2018

The Most Important Relationship of All

I don't want to move on from the relational slice of the Whole-Person Pie© without giving due focus to the most important relationship in all of our lives—our relationship with the Lord, Jesus Christ.  It all begins with "The Call"—that moment you first hear the Shepherd's voice, asking you to forsake all and follow Him—the moment that every subsequent moment points back to—the one that (however significant or inconsequential it seemed at the time) you later realize served as the catalyst that changed your life forever.  Our response to that call is the single most important decision we will ever make because that choice will ultimately determine where our never-dying soul will spend its eternity.

After making the decision to respond to Jesus' initial call by choosing to follow Him and pattern our lives after Him and the earthly life He lived, we will find that there are many subsequent "calls" as the road from earth to Heaven becomes increasingly narrow.  Each call presents a fork in the road as the call necessitates a response.  The motivation behind each of those ensuing calls is to pull us ever closer to and invite us into a deeper level of intimacy with Him.  His desire, all along this Christian journey, is that you and I would make a steadily-continuing shift from an earthly to an eternal focus.

It was one of these subsequent calls that spawned a deep-seated desire in my little family and me to follow Him yet closer and let go of anything and everything that kept us from whole-hearted surrender and service to Him.  A complete dedication to His purpose initiated our "launch out into the deep" on this path to what we have come to call "Biblical Minimalism©" and compelled us to sell our 4 bedroom, 3 bath, oversized 2-car garage home and let go of 90% of our personal physical possessions.

I don't know what your minimizing journey looks like but if we dig deep enough we will find the same root reason at the bottom of each Christian's desire to pursue a Biblical path to minimalism—we all intensely hunger for Him and long to live our lives like Jesus lived His.  We all yearn for the peace and simplicity that such a life affords.  We all want to let go of the things of this world for the sake of a higher call.  We want to run a successful Christian race unencumbered by the things of this world, free from the bondage to people and things, unfettered by selfish ambition and pursuits, unbound by the shackles of sin, and completely unchained to anything that is not like Christ.

I have often said that the one passage of Scripture that most fully encapsulates the meaning of Biblical Minimalism is Hebrews 12:1-2, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."  Along with that Scripture, there is a song that has been coming to mind that also encapsulates what Biblical Minimalism really means.

It is simply called, "Consecration."  Written in 1907 by Mildred E. Howard, its words are every bit as relevant today as they were 111 years when it was first composed.

Since Jesus gave His life for me,
Should I not give Him mine?
I’m consecrated, Lord, to Thee,
I shall be wholly Thine.

My life, O Lord, I give to Thee,
My talents, time, and all;
I’ll serve Thee, Lord, Thine own to be,
I’ll hear Thy faintest call.

I care not where my Lord directs,
His purpose I’ll fulfill;
I know He everyone protects
Who does His holy will.

Though He may call across the sea,
With Jesus I will go;
And tell the lost of love so free,
Till all His power may know.

My home and friends are dear to me,
Yet He is dearer still;
In my affections first He’ll be,
And first His righteous will.

My all, O Lord, to Thee I’ll give,
Accept it as Thine own;
For Thee alone, I’ll ever live,
My heart shall be Thy throne.

To say those words, and mean them from the heart, is truly a cry of surrender and total consecration.  Too many times, as Christians, we surrender some of ourselves to God.  We pick and choose the areas in which we want Him to have full control, and we hold Him at arms' length, reserving certain other parts to ourselves, attaching an invisible "off limits" sign.    If we are to run a winning Christian race, we have to give it all we've got, holding nothing back from the One who gave all for us.


Is there anything you are holding back from Him?  Is there any area of life where He doesn't reign supreme?  On any of the eight Whole-Person Pie© slices—the spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, relational, financial, occupational, and obligational—do you see a "No Trespassing" sign?

In closing, I want to share the lyrics to and video of another song that is so relevant to this discussion.  It is called, "The Secret Place" and was recorded by The Booth Brothers.  Please scroll down to hear Ronnie Booth's story of his and Michael's Dad's testimony followed by them singing this moving song.

THE SECRET PLACE

My heart is like a house,
One day I let the Savior in,
There are many rooms,
Where we would visit now and then.
But then one day He saw that door,
I knew the day had come too soon,
I said, “Jesus, I’m not ready,
For us to visit in that room.

‘Cause that’s a place in my heart,
Where even I don’t go,
I have some things hidden there,
I don’t want no one to know.”
But He handed me the key,
With tears of love on His face,
He said, “I want to make you clean,
Let me go in your secret place.”

So I opened up the door,
And as the two of us walked in,
I was so ashamed,
His light revealed my hidden sin.
But when I think about that room now,
I’m not afraid anymore,
‘Cause I know my hidden sin,
No longer hides behind that door.

That was a place in my heart,
Where even I wouldn’t go,
I had some things hidden there,
I didn’t want no one to know.
But He handed me the key,
With tears of love on His face,
And He made me clean,
I let Him in my secret place.

Is there a place in your heart,
Where even you won’t go?

4 comments:

  1. Cheryl, what a blessing to read your thoughts and scriptures on this early Sunday morning.. The decision to follow Christ is the most important decision in a lifetime. But, it is a daily call to surrender. I am selfish so often and want my own way. Your lesson this morning gives me much to ponder and pray over. Have I fully surrendered everything in obedience to His word. Thank you my friend for your faithfulness to God’s word. Have a beautiful Sunday!

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    1. Oh, you are so right, Pam! It surely is a daily call to surrender. I am so thankful for your sweet visit and kind words of encouragement. God bless you, sweet friend!

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  2. Thank you Cheryl for all your words of comfort and inspiration. Have a glorious day!

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    1. Thank you ever so much for your precious friendship and support, dear Cheryl. God bless you abundantly, my friend!

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