S I M P L I C I T Y
Before studying and learning to apply this great principle from Godís Word, I thought that I would first put aside the details of the subject.† What first came to my mind is a Scripture that has always been one of my favorites in I Corinthians.† It refers to paying attention to detail and detail is the difference between success and failure.† Letís go to the Scripture.
Let all things be done decently and in order.† -- I Corinthians 14: 40.
Many of us today do not live by this principle that God has set clearly in His Word.† I myself, get involved in too many material things.† I have learned only recently to control the prosperity that God has given to me.† That means to get rid of a lot of the junk that I own.† It only slows you down and can actually cause you to be depressed.† Let me go to the above Scripture and we will study it in detail to understand how we are supposed to live.
This teaching is of course going to be very simple, but extremely important if you want to walk with the true power of God Almighty.† The word decently in the lexicon has an eloquent meaning.† It means gracefully, becomingly, like a gentleman, decorously, and with dignity.† Wouldnít that be something if we could all act in this manner?† I have to admit here and point out that even though I do watch some television programs, they accentuate violence in almost every show.† On a different subject, I will also mention that the adversary is pushing without natural affection.† This is homosexuality and lesbianism.† He is slowly working this into other peopleís minds through the television.† I watched the show on a combination of the superheroes the other night.† There were two men from a different earth that were kissing openly and telling each other how much in love they were with each other.† This made me sick to my stomach and you will see it on many shows.† But thatís a different subject and I have done a teaching for you on that subject.† But I donít want to get away from the true definition of decently.† We should behave like a gentleman and you ladies like a polished woman.† We should have dignity in our lives because of the way we live it.† We are never to lose control and worry if we believe in God Almighty.† Jesus Christ told us that we are never to worry about anything because God would take care of us and meet our needs.† Iím going to move on now to the second word in the Scripture that has great meaning.†
This half of the Scripture I am very good at.† I like to keep everything that I do in order.† Many times, having too many material things hinders me from keeping things in order.† So let us not blame God because we have our own free will to run our lives according to His principles or the principles of the world, which is presently run by the devil.
Order simply means a setting in order, arrangement, disposition, and in a series.† When I work on anything, about the first thing that I do is to get all the tools that Iím going to need to finish the job.† That way you donít have to stop in the middle of your work and go looking for a tool that you couldíve gotten previously.† This is one example of order.† Many people who go to work every day have a set routine that they follow every day.† They keep things in order and these are the better workers.
The reason I put so much stress on this Scripture in Corinthians is because it sets the stage for this teaching on simplicity.† I have in front of me a list of Scriptures that breakdown where simplicity is necessary and the purposes of simplicity.† Working I Corinthians 14: 40 exemplifies the overall meaning of simplicity and living a simple life.† You can look at the first part of this teaching as an introduction to simplicity which I will begin right now.
In the first section of this teaching we are going to speak about the places where it is necessary to keep it simple pertaining to five different subjects.† These examples are all† in the New Testament.
In the second section of this teaching we are going to learn the purposes of simplicity.† We will cover three Scriptures and again they will all be in the New Testament.
If you think you can live your life with simplicity without adhering to the Word of God, let me present this Scripture to you so that you can think about it.
He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool:† but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.† -- Proverbs 28: 26
This Scripture, in general, covers and explains this complete teaching.† Now we will begin.† The first section of the teaching can be labeled:
Section 1.† ĎNecessary iní :
1.† Prayer:† There should be great simplicity when you pray to God as the following Scriptures in Matthew 6: 5 Ė 8 will clearly illustrate.
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are:† †for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.† Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.† Ė Matthew 6: 5
You see that these people are mainly concerned with showing off.† They stand in the busy corners of the synagogue and in the corners of the streets so that they could be seen and heard by men.† God does say, they will get their reward.† What they give out will come back to them.†
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.† Ė Matthew 6: 6
God uses a figure of speech when He says to enter into thy closet.† He says to shut the door and then make your prayers to Him Ė prayers which are in secret.† Nobody hears them only you and God, but God will reward you openly.† There is no showing off here as God tells us to pray to Him secretly.† No one needs to hear your prayer, but God Almighty.† A humble righteous person standing approved before God prays in this manner and this man will receive results for his prayers.† In the previous verse the Pharisees will only receive consequences for their manner of prayer.
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do:† for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.† Ė Matthew 6: 7
You should know that God does not like repetitious prayer.† To Him it is vanity and He states that this is how the heathen prays.† The heathen thinks that God will hear him because he speaks so much and because he rambles on with repetitious prayer.† I have to bring something up at this point.† Do you know how many different religions and churches use a rosary to pray?† I myself used to do this at one time.† It always bothered me that I was saying the same prayer over and over and over again.† I felt that God had a much greater intelligence than for me to pray in this manner.† It is better for you to know the truth than to live a lie.† You should never pray a repetitious prayer.† We are talking about giving God a simple prayer from our heart to His heart.
Be not ye therefore like unto them:† for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.† Ė Matthew 6: 8
Overall, this is really a great example of simplicity because it deals with manís personality concerning the subject.† In the above verse, God has foreknowledge and He already knows what youíre going to pray for and ask Him for.† This should trigger our thinking into knowing that our prayer should be simple.† This example in Matthew emphasizes simplicity in our walk with God in a very important area.† [In the first part of the verse, God is emphasizing the fact that we should not be like the heathen.]†
2.† Dress:† This particular subject very interesting to me.† Iím sure many of you will find this subject to be just as interesting because of the ways of the world.† You go out to a shopping mall today and how many people and employees do you see dressed in business suits.† You see them in baggy pants and their hair is a mess and they look like death warmed over.† This Gothic look is straight from the pit of hell.† Thatís my opinion and Iím not changing it.† A long time ago a woman who may have been your girlfriend or boyfriend dressed in nice jeans and pastel colors and her hair seem to be perfect.† Do you remember those days?† Now, most couples look like a slob.† I better not express myself anymore here, but letís turn to the Word of God for answers.†
Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning† of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;† -- I Peter 3: 3
The word Ďplaitingí is interesting here because many people do not understand that it simply means a braiding or an intertwining of the hair.
I have seen some women with braids in their hair and it just doesnít seem to fit with their attire.† They seem to wear the braids as an ornament.† In other words they are trying to attract attention.† I am not saying that this is the case for everyone who wears braids in their hair.† But the ícolors must matchí if you know what I mean.† A man does not wear red slacks with a green shirt.† It just doesnít match and he may be doing so to attract attention.† So where is the simplicity of dress in this example?† There is none.† Now letís move on.† God is mentioning the fact that many people like to wear gold objects and letís face it, itís just to show off.† I speak these things from my heart.† How many times have you seen college and professional football players wearing gold bracelets and necklaces?† To me it looks ridiculous and actually obnoxious.† What are these athletes trying to say?† They are saying hey look at me, man, I got money and you donít.† What other reason would there be to wear gold bracelets and gold necklaces on the sidelines of a football game?† Just like the last part of the verse says putting on of apparel.† This is apparel that doesnít belong Ė it doesnít match Ė itís out of place.† It does not accentuate the finer points of a personís personal appearance.† It does the opposite.† Now let me say that this is not an example of simplicity.† God does not want you to conduct your life in this manner with these habits pertaining to your dress.† Now letís look at the next verse.
But let it be† the hidden [inner] man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament† of a meek and quiet spirit, which is the sight of God of great price [value]. -- I Peter 3: 4
This verse may seem to be complicated for some people, so I will explain it in detail.† You must understand that the hidden man of the heart is the Christ in you.† It is the spirit of God which dwells in a born again believer.† God says and tells you simply that this spirit is not corruptible.† Especially the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit which to God is of great price or of a great value.† Now some of the keywords in the Scripture are the words meek and quiet.† You should dress to fit the location or event because God says that a meek and quiet spirit is of great value to Him.† God does not want you to dress like you are going to a Mardi Gras.† You should dress to fit the occasion as to where you are going and what you are going to do.† Do gold chains hanging from a football playerís neck fit the occasion?† Itís an atrocity.† Itís influenced by the god of this world.† These athletes are heady and high-minded.† They are filled with pride and pride is based on fear.† Did you ever see a person dressed in an outrageous manner?† They look silly and ridiculous.† They complicate the landscape.† They are the opposite of simplicity.† Without much saying, you should dress properly and simply to fit the occasion.† This is one of the areas that is becoming a strong point for the adversary.† He is leading people and influencing them to transgress the simplicity that is inherent in the Word of God.† Letís go to one more verse on the subject of simplicity of dress.
For after this manner in the old-time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:† -- I Peter 3: 5
What did these holy women do?† They trusted in God and they also wanted to please their husbands by being in subjection to them.† Donít forget that this is a two-way street.† In many ways, I feel that my spouse has saved my life.† Throughout the Bible, there are records about women and how they dress.† Some went as far as putting bells on their ankles.† This is not simplicity of dress.† And it breaks my heart in some ways to see how people dress today.† They seem to have no respect or could care less about their appearance.† I dress in a simple manner every day unless I have somewhere important to go.† I know this may all seem very simple to you Ė this teaching.† But it is most important that you pay attention to detail.†† God will bless you if you do and you will face consequences if you donít.† So if youíre wearing gold chains out to impress the people around you, youíre better off to melt them down and sell them somewhere if you can.† They make other people feel uneasy and itís actually an embarrassment to be around someone who dresses in this manner.† There are a lot of ways to match your clothes.† Dress properly with simplicity and you will be an asset to the environment and everywhere you go.† Although dress is part of your personal conduct, we are going to take the time to talk specifically about conduct.
For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.† Ė II Corinthians 1: 12
God is saying that we should rejoice in the testimony of our conscience, in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, which is the five senses.† But by the grace or divine favor of God Almighty we are to have our manner of life in the world based on the principles of the Word.† This benefits everyone Ė each individual profits.† When you are in contact with a very simple person who lives their life in this manner, you will naturally be blessed.† There will be no complications and no showing off, only pleasant simplicity will permeate the atmosphere.† Think about it.
In this next verse we are talking about different ways in which we should conduct ourselves pertaining to the task at hand.† I want you to see that there is only one way to give and that is with simplicity and love.†
Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: †he that giveth, let him do it† with simplicity;† he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.† -- Romans 12: 8
Just today, I had the opportunity to help someone get their car started.† I did it with simplicity.† He wanted to use his jumper cables and I went along with him even though there was a lot of corrosion on one of his terminals which I simply brought up and didnít mention it again.† I kept it simple.† The car would not start or even turn over.† I remembered a type of battery charger that I had in my garage that I do not use very often.† However it is very powerful and it has a switch where you can plug in to a household electrical outlet and transfer that right to the car battery.† I just ran next door and got the battery charger.† I said to him if this doesnít start your car, itís something else besides your battery.† However, after we hooked it up and plugged it in, within about a minute that car started right up.† But you see I kept it simple.† I was giving and the person kept thanking me.† In a kind manner I told him all was ok and I had no problem at all helping him because I was not in a hurry to go anywhere.† I was going to walk my dog.† This may be an unusual example for you but Iím sure you can understand the principle behind the story.† I didnít say anything stupid like most people might do.† I did not say to him well you owe me one.† We talked for a minute and then I left.† If you do not have the right type of attitude for giving especially when someone needs help, then you have a spiritual problem.† Remember how Jesus Christ gave and never stopped giving.† He even gave his life.† When your heart is right with God and you are keeping Him first, you will enjoy helping somebody.† When I get a chance to give to somebody, it helps me.† Just doing these teachings blesses me and makes me feel good inside that I can help someone learn the Word of God.† Always remember the attitude of giving Ė simplicity.
For our exhortation was† not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:† -- I† Thessalonians 2: 3
But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.† -- I Thessalonians 2: 4
For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is †witness:† -- I Thessalonians 2: 5
Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet †of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.† -- I Thessalonians 2: 6
But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse [nursing mother] cherisheth her children:† -- I Thessalonians 2: 7
I will comment briefly on each Scripture so that I can keep it simple.† The first Scripture says that we do not exhort people in a deceitful manner, with evil intentions.† God has given us permission to preach His Word and He has put us in trust with His Gospel.† We do not do this to please men, but first and foremost, we do this to please God who tries† our hearts.† Never do we use flattering words as if we are trying to get something from somebody in a wrong manner.† God sees everything that we do.
The next verse states a principle that I always want to stress.
We do not seek glory from men.† Many times, I seem to be compelled to tell people to give the glory to God for anything that I teach.† He works within me and by revelation tells me what to teach.† We should always give the glory to God and not to a man.† But if that man is walking in fellowship and harmony with the true God, that man can guide you and you may want to imitate some of his ways.† We do want to call ourselves an apostle of Christ and in reality we are a burden to God.† Walk with the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation.† The love of God never fails.
We are to be gentle when handling Godís word and especially with other believers.† Being gentle does not mean that we complicate matters.† We keep things as simple as we can especially when we are teaching Godís Word.† Then God uses a figure of speech which should be stated Ďas a nursing mother cherishes her childrení.† These examples all tell us and give us proper guidance as to how we should preach Godís Word.† When I teach, I am very careful not to say something thatís really complicated and is going to confuse my reader.† These teachings are proofread time and time again and many times I will take out a certain sentence or something that I am saying that can confuse a believer.† I am as gentle as I can be, but yet I still speak the rightly divided Word of God.† Before we move on to section 2 of this teaching, I want to say something that possibly you may never have heard before and that is that you cannot make something too simple.† You can never take something such as a teaching or a job or a material thing and make it too simple.† It is not possible to do this.† Now letís wrap up the teaching with Section 2 which stresses the purposes of simplicity.
Section 2.† ĎPurposes ofí :
1.† Avoid outward display:
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them:† otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.† Ė Matthew 6: 1
Therefore when thou doest thine† alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men.† Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.† -- Matthew 6: 2
There were scribes that used to go on the rooftops to pray to God because they wanted men to see and hear them.† This type of person has no reward for their prayer and their prayers will not be answered.†† Pray to Him in secret.† That way He will hear our prayers and we will be rewarded. The purpose of quoting this verse is so that you can see that God wants us to keep things simple.† He does not like a show off or someone with a big mouth.† Surely, you have run across these people.† They get on their cell phone and speak as loudly as they can so that everyone around them can hear them.† It kind of makes me sick but youíre better off not to say anything to them.† I canít help but tell you this and many of you know that I walk a lot with my dog.† One time I was on a trail and a single person came up behind me and all I could hear was all of this talking.† I didnít realize what the person was doing but I honestly thought that they were schizophrenic.† Then I saw the cell phone.†† When you pray, pray quietly by yourself where no one can hear you.† Youíll get the most satisfaction out of your prayers by doing such a thing.†
But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.† -- Matthew 6: 3
This verse contains a figure of speech called Proverb.† What it mean is that we are to pray in secret and to pray when itís quiet and no one can hear you but God Almighty.† Itís an adage Ė a very old saying.††
That thine alms may be in secret:† and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.† Ė Matthew 6: 4
This verse is self-explanatory and repeats what is said in the previous verses.† God often does this because He knows that we need to hear things over and over again before we learn and it then becomes part of our heart and our daily lifestyle.
NOW I want to stress something about this example.† We are not only to avoid outward displays when we are praying.† This applies to every part of our life.† We are not to try to attract attention wherever we go.† We should strive to be quiet and to only speak words that are necessary.† This does not mean that you cannot joke or laugh with someone, but we must have a balance in what we say and in what we do so that we always avoid outward displays and keep it simple.† You will find out by experience, that much of what we say is completely unnecessary.† You will learn what it took me a long time to learn Ė ĎThere is great peace in silence.í† The best teacher is experience so try it out.† When you are humble, God will lift you up, but when you are heady and high-minded, with a motor mouth, things will eventually go wrong.
2.† Defeat Satan:†
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve true his subtilty, so your minds [goals and intentions] should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. --II Corinthians 11: 3
I refer to Satanís methods as organized confusion.† He is the one who will do anything he can to make your life the opposite of simple.† Iím going to use an unusual example which Iím sure you guys and girls will be able to relate to.† Do some of you remember what radios were like in cars about 20 or 30 years ago?† You would turn on the radio with one knob which was also the volume control.† When you wanted to go to FM from† AM, you only moved one switch.† Today, you need to be a computer expert to just operate the radio and stereo in your car.† I did some auto detailing at one point in my life and ran across a Chrysler that had the most unusual problem.† To do something to the engine, I had to disconnect the battery and of course the clock needed to be reset.† Even with the book that was in the car Ė the ownerís manual Ė and help from a second person, we could not figure out how to reset that clock.† Thatís how complicated some cars are today.† You need to know the source of this complication and you need to know why.† When youíre not thinking and living in a simple manner, you cannot think clearly.† This influence is coming from the god of this world who is the devil.† It will not always be like this, but it will not change until Jesus Christ returns for the second time.† When I purchase any item from any store and I see complications in its operation or its assembly, I put the object back on the shelf.† So be careful because it is the god of this world that will try to ruin your simplicity and he is good at it.† Just remember that the Christ in you is stronger than anything that the devil can throw at you.† But you must walk wisely and circumspectly making good use of the time.† Letís face it, sitting in front of a computer for half a day in and watching television for the other half is a waste of life.† God will teach you how to live life correctly if you keep Him first.† I could go on about this subject forever.† Let me just conclude this by saying as the serpent which is the devil tricked Eve and Eve tricked Adam, God is warning us that the deception of Satan can corrupt your minds and take away your simplicity if you let him.
3.† Remain pure in an evil world:
This final verse will close out this teaching, so I will say one final thing.† Just do one thing in your life as you study Godís Word and that is to:
KEEP IT SIMPLE
For your obedience is come abroad unto all men.† I am glad therefore on your behalf:† but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.† Ė Romans 16: 19 ††