Why are the basics for living a good life so hard to follow?

The secrets to good health are so simple:

  1. Eat well—fresh fruit and veggies, lean protein, and whole grains
  2. Drink plenty of water
  3. Get 6 to 8 hours of sleep
  4. Exercise regularly
  5. Practice good hygiene

Simple. Basic.

The secrets to success:

  1. Hard work
  2. Diligence
  3. Listening to wise counsel
  4. Generosity
  5. Acquiring and applying knowledge, wisdom, and understanding

Simple. Basic.

The secrets to great relationships:

  1. Clear, loving, and consistent communication
  2. Humility
  3. Service
  4. Acceptance
  5. Support and encouragement

Simple. Basic.

The secrets to intimacy with God:

  1. Accepting His love and forgiveness
  2. Seeking Him through prayer, worship, fasting, and the Word
  3. Extending His love and forgiveness to others
  4. Obedience
  5. Humility

Simple. Basic.

But hard…

Why do we live opposite to most of what’s listed here, yet still expect to live well? We do things our way and expect to have uncommon results. There are laws that require a certain action to be invested in order for things to work out in our favor. They are simple, yet against the grain of our fallen nature; therefore, they are hard. Our nature rebels against doing them.

We are bent toward doing the wrong thing in every area of life. While the principles behind the abundant life Christ died to attain for us are simple and so very basic, the application of them rubs up against our strong will to blaze our own trail.

We have a god complex. It must die.

Being made in the image of God seems to be a double-edged sword. While we are suited to rule and reign, we only find the full potential in that through submission and surrender to God.

Surrender to the basics is a daily discipline in diligence and persistence, of staying aware of the power of the basics and following them. In 1 Corinthians 9:27, the apostle Paul said:

“I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.”

Starting with the basics for intimacy with God will align every other basic in our lives.

Have you ever thought about how simple—but hard—the good life is? Why do you think the basics are so hard to follow?


A Little Hump Day Encouragement

Stay. The. Course. Don’t get caught up in the distractions of the seen world–what people say, do, offer or suggest to you, your financial situation, or seeming limitations. There are so many things happening in your favor on so many other levels. Ask God to renew His vision and thoughts toward you till they are like concrete in your heart.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11

“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun ta good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” –Philippians 1:6

He is faithful to His Word over your life. Are you faithful enough to hold on to what He’s said?

Sunday Setlist Recap – Week #163

Each week we are excited to send out a report on what God is doing in our neck of the woods. The Worship Community has provided a great platform for all of us to see how the body of Christ is going about the plans and orders God has given us.

It’s so cool that it’s not about one church having better worship than another or a more fire-and-brimstone message than another, but it’s all about each church following faithfully the vision that God has given them. The church is not the pastor’s. The church isn’t even the members’. We’d all like to claim ownership, but we gave up all ownership to anything, including our buildings and inititives, when we gave our lives to God. All that we have is His, especially His church. His church body is there for  us to find other faith-filled believers to connect with. It is also there as a community center of sorts for people who are hurting and just need some hope. Hope can come in many forms. And it’s interesting to philosophy over the certain ways each church has been commissioned to share hope.

Some churches share hope through a strong homeless outreach. Others have a gift for redeeming prostitutes and drug addicts. Still others are charged with bringing supernatural healing and freedom to people overwhelmed with negative emotions and depressed pasts. Isn’t God diverse and just so good?

There really is no time or room for competition. It’s about staying busy with our Father’s business.

These past few weeks, our focus at Way of Grace has been about discovering why our particular church is here. This week we grasped a new understanding about our call to support missions and missionaries. Pastor Grant pointed out that one of our favorite and commonly quoted scriptures–“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory” (Philippians 4:19)–was Paul specifically speaking to the only church that gave to him, the Philippians. He was their missionary, and like they were rewarded for supporting him, our church and those others who obey their call to support missions will also be rewarded.

Understanding the church’s vision in this way helps every ministry understand the purpose for why we present excellent worship and service to the Lord and to His people. If each of us add the piece we are called to do with passion and God-confidence, then the whole is in place to fulfill the collective call.

This week, worship was excellent. The team is continuing to grow and gel together in our mission to bring authentic and Spirit-filled worship to the people. It was amazing that even with a really good worship set, it just wasn’t about us this week. It was about missions and going out to find lost sheep. But for the record, our set for this week was:

  1. Beautiful One by Jeremy Camp
  2. Come Alive by Deluge
  3. Worthy by Paul Wilbur
  4. Jesus Blood Never Fails Me by Hillsong

What was your church service like this past weekend? What special message did God speak to your heart?