I don’t believe in formulaic approaches to a life with God.
God’s too vast and creative to limit him to five easy steps. But he’s also pretty obvious about simple actions that set us up for success in life. Sometimes in my Bible reading, I discover he’s given us some clear-cut ideas that will bring us good.
God’s all about good for us.
Recently, while reading in the book of Matthew, these simple truths jumped out at me. God didn’t write them as a list, but I found a list as I read. A simple, uncomplicated, set of actions that ultimately lead to peace. Here goes…
- BE who you are – God tells us we are chosen, beloved, children. He cares more about being in relationship with us than what we do for him. He made us each with unique personalities and traits. Learn to “just be.” If we don’t know who we are, we can ask him. He’ll tell us.
- GO where God leads – God will tell us what steps to take, where to take them and when to go if we ask. Once we learn to rest in being, God will lead us into action that fulfills desires he puts in our hearts, blessing us and those around us.
- WAIT – sometimes we have to wait for God to tell/show us what our next steps are. Sometimes he gives us a step and then we wait for the one after that. While we wait, we can remember to BE.
- REST in God’s presence – God’s got us covered so whether we’re being or going/doing, the results are always on him. If we follow his lead, we can trust him to take us in the best direction. Sometimes circumstances may not look like what we expect or even want, but if we rest in him, trusting he knows the bigger picture, we will end up in a good place.
- GIVE back – when we learn or experience something, we can give what we have to someone else to help or encourage them. If we keep what we learn, we stagnate. Think river flowing rather than Dead Sea.
- THANK – give glory and honor to the God who loves, leads and covers us. When tough stuff happens, we cry out to God, but when good stuff happens we can tend to forget the God who cares for us. And, thanking God even in the midst of difficulties reminds us of how big God is and helps us trust him no matter what our situation looks like.
While God doesn’t give us a formula for following him, he does offer some simple (not always easy, but simple) steps to gain more freedom in our lives. As I focus on these, I find my internal life becoming less complicated even if external circumstances aren’t.
But isn’t that what peace is all about?