“I don’t believe in frettin’ and grievin’…give me the simple life. Just serve me tomatoes; and mashed potatoes; Give me the simple life…free from the care and strife…yes, indeed-y; I like the simple life.
Remember that song from Father of the Bride Part II? Oh, how we all yearn for the simple life! We tend to think it was lost in yesteryear, never again to be found in this crazy, stressed-out, turbulent world in which we live. However, I believe that we can experience it now, even in these uncertain end times! It’s a lie of the enemy that being loaded down with burdens and in bondage to stress, pressures, and fears is just a normal part of daily life until we get to heaven.
Only One Thing
As I emphasized in Chapter 2, focusing on just one thing—intimacy with God—is the key to experiencing this simpler, less stressful, unshaken life right now!
You are worried and troubled about so many things. But one thing is needed (Luke 10:41-42).
One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple (Psalms 27:4).
Intimacy with Him is the one thing that He desires of you. It’s the reason He died for you. Remember those words He spoke so clearly to my heart—“I died to have (intimate) relationship with you, not for you to work for Me.” He desires close relationship with you every minute of the day, no matter what you are doing.
I hope you have begun to remind yourself every morning (especially when those thoughts flood in about all you have to get done and all that is worrying you) that you only need to focus on one thing that day! If you haven’t, I strongly encourage you to—that is, if you really want to stand strong and unshaken no matter what is going on in your life circumstances or in the world.
Intimacy with God has to be your primary purpose and goal for each day—not to get your to-do list done, not even to take care of your family or minister to others. He just wants to be with you— He wants you, not what you can do for Him. Besides, you’ll find that when you are experiencing intimacy with God, everything else will fall into place and it will be accomplished out of His love, wisdom, and power—not your own efforts to make things happen.
Intimacy Is a Choice
Focusing on just one thing brings me such relief compared to dwelling on the hundreds of things I tend to focus on each day! When I remind myself each morning, it instantly transforms my mood and my day. However, did you notice that I have to remind myself? Intimacy with God is not something you just wake up with in the morning! It doesn’t blow in with the wind; sometimes you feel it and sometimes you don’t. You are not passive receivers who sometimes “get it” and sometimes don’t. You have to make a conscious choice to focus on and grow in intimacy with God each day—actually, every moment of the day. I can’t emphasize this point enough—it’s really all He’s asking of you each day, and as I detailed in Chapter 2 it’s your very purpose for living, it’s the only thing that can’t change, it will keep you from deception, and it will give you the identity and security to stand strong in the face of persecution.
What is the primary way you grow in intimacy with God? I believe it is by bringing Him into the moment-by-moment thoughts, emotions, words, and attitudes of your daily life. It’s choosing to dwell on who God is and how He sees you every minute of the day – instead of focusing on your circumstances or the turbulence in the world. I strongly believe that now is the time for us to get this! Out of His mercy and grace, God is giving us time now to practice before things get even worse in our world. It needs to become normal routine for us to wake up in the morning and focus on that one thing, knowing that His desire to be with us is the only thing that can’t change. If we can do that now with the usual ups, downs, and stresses of our lives, then we will remain unshaken no matter how uncertain the times. As my husband always says, “If you don’t do it in the practice, you won’t do it in the game!”