Simple but not Easy - Paula Morrison
Paula Morrison writes that loving and following God is simple but not easy. She reminds us that God will work out our steps and can help us to love others more.
To become a Christian is a simple step of faith but it is not easy. So many of us turn away from God and His invitation of forgiveness and abundant life so it can’t be easy.
For me personally I wanted to become a Christian between the ages of 11-14 but it was not an easy decision for me. I knew the cost of that decision for me personally and I am so thankful for His loving kindness and patience. Two days after my 14th Birthday I took that simple step of faith which changed my life forever.
I knew from that day forward that I was loved by my Heavenly Father even though my relationship with my earthly father ended. I had to decide who to please and who had the higher authority which I guess is true for most of us. I now know God gave me a strong sense of identity and security in the fact that I was His child, loved, accepted and valued, because I have never not felt loved by God since that day.
Let Go, Let God
‘Let Go, Let God’ is simple but is not easy. In the Western World where we value independence, rather than community, and material wealth, rather than relationships, letting God take hold of the reigns is very counter cultural. As a Christian I continually try to seek God’s direction in my life as I practise spiritual disciplines of prayer and bible study but it hasn’t been easy for me.
When I left home at 18 I loved being independent and free to make my own decisions. I became good at making decisions and I liked being in control. So it has been a journey for me letting God direct me. I have had to practise faith and gone through doors I haven’t chosen, said no to promotions, said yes to living on the other side of the world. There have been times when a door has closed and I have been disappointed but I have learnt that I had something to learn in the process for the “next thing”.
I believe indecision and fear of making the wrong decision is worse than actually making the wrong decision. Nothing with God is wasted and the important thing is taking one step of faith at a time. I spent too many hours/days as a younger Christian trying to work out God’s will for my life in terms of the right place, the right position or the right person.
I wish I had realised earlier God’s will for my life works out a step at a time, I just had to let go and let Him direct me. I had to trust Him for the full picture . He can work through me in any position in any place. If I mess up He will still lead me until I get it right.
I think the key is to remember God is good and He has a good plan for my life and I don’t need to work so hard on making it all work out or doing works to please him. We can put our faith in Him for our futures in all areas of our lives.
Being a Christian is all about following Jesus and all about others just like the disciples. It is about the “we” not the “me”. Letting go of the control and focus on ourselves unto God will lead to focus on those around us.
Love God. Love people.
‘Love God. Love People’ is simple but is not easy. It is the greatest commandment to love God with all our heart soul and mind and then our neighbour as ourselves. I think most of us would agree this is not easy. Maybe that is because.......
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.
We become more loving when we become more like Jesus.
I remember not long after giving my life to God coming home from church feeling indignant about the much older people in the church who were pious but I judged to be non-believers. God convicted me to pray for them and as I prayed for more love for them tears fell down my face as I sensed how God saw them and loved them. I have never forgotten that day and how it changed my whole outlook on unbelievers.
Love grows with the Spirit
We all can think of difficult people in our lives who it is hard to love, so it is only because of His Spirit that we can. Sometimes it can only happen one minute at a time with lots of prayer but as we get closer to God’s heart our love grows for those he has placed around us. We become more loving when we become more like Jesus.
So, it takes simple steps of faith for salvation, for spiritual direction and for service but it takes work to live it out in our lives. It reminds me of the verses in Matthew 11:28-30
‘Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’
So the challenge is to work with God, not for God, so my burden becomes lighter and dare I say it easier.
Paula is a Speech Language Therapist with pre-schoolers who have disability. She and her husband, Jim, have been part of Windsor Park since moving from the UK 20 years ago. They are parents of two teens and have recently become Team Leaders for Year 9 Youth. Writing is a new thing but one which she is enjoying as a way of expressing how God speaks and leads her in everyday life. // Photo credit: @caleb_vanessen
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