I have started to develop a love for simplicity and simplifying love. As I study Jesus’ life, I notice it was simple and at the same time full of radical love. Love itself isn’t complicated. It is really simple, but on the other hand it is hard. It has a great cost.
Love – It comes to my comfort zone and challenges me
Love doesn’t ask about my feelings as much as it asks about my attitudes. It comes to my comfort zone and challenges me. It’s me who makes love so complicated. I start to listen to my feelings too much. I start to count the costs—greedy to get something only to myself. No wonder the simple life of loving seems to be so complicated for me.
I often jump into the same trap over and over again. I start to make love a performance for God and others. I turn a simple, affectionate relationship with God into so many rules and patterns. How did Jesus avoid that trap in his life? The following story might give an answer to my own question.
A German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke was asked a question. “How do you maintain the fire of God in your life?” He aswered that it was a totally wrong question. He said: “I don’t maintain the fire of God. The fire of God maintains me!” I bet that Jesus knew this secret perspective that Bonnke was talking about.
I don’t maintain the fire of God. The fire of God maintains me! ~Reinhard Bonnke
Most likely, Jesus didn’t mainly concentrate on avoiding things. His full focus was always on the Father—Love himself. Through that, he had a radically different perspective in everything. The love flowing from the Father was the center of His life.
Jesus didn’t listen to twisted human philosophy. The only source for him was His Father. Jesus was completely dependent on the Father because of that He chose not to be independent. Although our Western culture so adores independence, Jesus knew and showed us a better way.
All that being said, Jesus is my example for simple life of loving; however, I don’t have to try to copy myself to be like him. It’s not possible for me to have success in doing that. Nowadays I have a certain prayer to the Father and I know that it works because of His faithfulness.
My prayer is that the Father would touch me with his love, that he would make me blind to everything else until the only thing I see is Him. Then I can see everyone through him. And blinded with his love I start to stumble into opportunities to love. Simple acts of love flow naturally as a result of that intimacy. It’s his work in me. His simple touch in my life and his radical fire of love in my heart.
Photo graciously provided by Calvin Hanson