“And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.” (Luke 22:35)
The very concept of simplicity is greatly appealing to me. Maybe it’s because I got nearly everything I wanted as a child. I might’ve been spoiled but I wasn’t spoiled rotten. The older I get, the more I seek to add only those things that are needful. And anymore, I’d rather be putting out and creating and giving than merely getting. It might be more blessed to give than receive (see Acts 20:35), but the peace and joy and purpose one gets from giving and serving, is worth the price of admission.
“But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
When I was a kid, after first having read and comprehended what Jesus is asking of (and promising) me in this verse, I had a great deal of internal struggle with my wants and desires. Seeing all the things that the other kids had and wanting the same (I did get stuff, just not in a timeframe that suited my selfishness). Thank God I’ve grown out of that. Oh, sure, as an adult, there are still things I desire. But I seek to sift through my wants and to winnow them to what applies to what I believe God is doing in my life. And without the intangible qualities of the Holy Spirit–things like peace and contentment and purpose–no thing is going to make me any happier or closer to God and to who He desires me to be. I find that in America, the acquisition of stuff is akin to idolatry. Turn it around on its head though, and make sure that you don’t idolize the zen-like simplicity of having all your ducks in a row merely for its own sake. Because there are things we’d like and things we need.
“Then said He unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip (like a wallet): and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” (Luke 22:36)
Such and such things
“…and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.” (2 Samuel 12:8b) This is Nathan the prophet, speaking for God, to David after David had Uriah killed. Notice the tone of God. Absolutely willing to give David whatever it was he wanted. Such and such things…
God wants us to be happy. He also wants us to be joyful. More so the latter, if I may. Because His joy is like the root that produces the fruit of happiness, it might seem that things are dry above ground and nothing’s happening. But we’re not moles. I would say that most times, God doesn’t let us see how things are growing underground. Rest assured they are. Endeavoring to know “the joy of the Lord” is something that is totally worth the time it takes to do so. The dryness I experienced as a kid was akin to drilling through rock in order to reach the depth of God over which I had layered years and years of hedonism and materialism. It takes as long as it takes. The root that’s growing under the surface is here to stay. With pruning, it’ll get deeper, but it’ll Spring back stronger than before, producing more fruit than you ever thought possible.
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11) This is David speaking of God. I would say that those God used to write the Bible would not have been allowed, or able for that matter, to do so unless they had lived through the meanings that their words pointed to. David knew the bounty of the Lord, and it would seem he could’ve known more. What is the bounty of the Lord? It’s everything good that we have. And it starts with the intangible qualities of the Holy Spirit coupled with both our physical and spiritual life. How much do we need to be happy? If were not grateful for the things that God has already given us (and seen to it that we indeed receive) nothing will satisfy us.
“For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.” (Romans 14:17-18)