Picture this: you are sitting in a fine dining establishment and the people at the table next to you are eating with filthy hands. It went against the code of the spirit of this restaurant and you made the observation to those seated there. What if your intentions were to show them that they are going against God’s original intent by making such silly rules? That is basically what Jesus did!
This story is located in Mark 7 of the Bible. Jesus and his disciples are conversing with the primary religious leader and skipped a ceremonial washing. Jesus was called out by this leader presumably to be shame Him. He had tried to reach these people with the truth for some time. But, these people refused to listen to what Jesus was saying to them and wanted nothing to do with His message. He was telling them that they weren’t following God’s law, but rather their interpretation. Jesus concluded that their rules actually made it more difficult for them to follow God’s intent in their life.
One key takeaway from this exchange is Jesus cutting through all the religious clutter that prevents true connection with God. We should submit our religious activity to God rather than just accepting tasks assigned to (or pressured upon) us. We will then allow the Holy Spirit to direct our efforts to be most effective for the Kingdom. Our impact will increase in a synergistic way.
Replace time reading the Bible and spend time in prayer with the Author of the Bible.
It has left an impression on us to reevaluate our spiritual motives and see what we could eliminate to simplify our relationship with God. A striking answer is revealed. Replace time reading the Bible and spend time in prayer with the Author of the Bible. We are not advocating to stop reading the Bible, but rather to slow down and perhaps focus our time with God upon one verse. Time spent with God is better than time learning about God. This reorientation of our spiritual walk with Christ is a comprehensive course change and ushers us into a new way to experience God. We have greatly benefited from this transition and we know others that have as well.
We must take what we have learned and at some point put that into action. If we solely learn about God rather than have a true relationship with Him, our lives become stagnated. As you reflect on how Jesus simplified His life and ministry this week, see what specific way you can streamline your spiritual life as well. We all are looking for more relationship with our Heavenly Father.
We hope you have a wonderful week!
~Shannon and Jake