LIGHTEN THE LOAD
There’s not much that I want in life. Truly. I find there’s too much complexity around me and I really desire simplicity. If there was a way I could summarize my needs and wants in this life it would be: To please my Father in Heaven, greatly.
I don’t want things, I don’t want status, I don’t want money… actually I hate money – the way people let it control and define them (whether they have it or not) and the way those who have it think they can control and define you, when in actual fact, it has them.
I wasn’t always like this. I used to loooove things. Fine things. Fine cars. Fine clothes. Fine hair and nails, perfumes and shoes. All the fine things a person could
want. I wanted a fine guy, fine job, fine house with all the finery that comes with those things. Well, all this desire for fine-ness got me into enough hot soup to feed a nation.
With all the desire for fine things came a desire for the recognition of people (status), approval from people: friends, bosses… especially white bosses who I used to think were superior creatures in some weird warped way. I was a brainwashed fine-living Afrikan girl.
I remember growing up, we didn’t have much at times. God adjusted our lives along the way to make sure that we learnt how to live with tightened belts for a while. A
decades long while. It meant that many of the things that people could have, we couldn’t. I didn’t like it. It took me a really long time to understand and be grateful for
the benefit of this training that God was taking me through. At the time, it birthed in me a desire to get stuff, to earn money, to be seen in some way as some kind of king. I believed the lie that money, power and respect are the key to life (got that from a song).
Then I met God, and He took me on a crash course on the purpose of having anything: money, power, possessions relationships etc and He really shifted my
perspective. He taught me that strength is not given for the sake of having strength alone, but that to whom much is given, much is required. (That’s from the Bible, not Spiderman). That the value of things, rests only in the value which He, God, assigns to these things. Once I thought I got it, He arranged to teach me through several hot, heavy lessons that I hadn’t really got it. During this period of time I got so tired of
things – fine things, ugly things, all things – that I just wanted to be free of it all. I remember one day feeling so trapped and bogged down and restricted by the things around me, that I could have thrown the items that were in my possession out on the street for anyone to have. That’s how much I wanted to be free of them, because I discovered the extreme lack of liberty that they brought.
Here’s what I learnt:
- Possessions possess: Anything that is not God has the power to possess you. Name it: family, money, cars, status, power, authority, the respect of men. They just have a sneaky way of taking the place that is expressly reserved for God.
- Possessions dictate: If you value anything that you own or are in contact with, more than you value the voice of God, you’re in trouble. That thing can tell you that you have arrived (whatever that means), where to live, why to live there, who to hang out with, who to ditch, or that you need a security system, and basically that you need to get out of a walk of Faith into one that is limited to sight
- Possessions restrict: Anything you value or keep as treasure here, where moth and rust destroy, means that those things have taken up room expressly reserved for God.
At several points in my journey I have just gotten up and given things or money away, it has perturbed some of the people who know me, but they didn’t understand the reasons why I do it. I just don’t want to be bound by anything, ever. I don’t want to be told what to do by a thing. I don’t want the spirit behind the possession to own or control or try to define me. I don’t want to feel beholden to the giver of the item. I don’t want to be owned. I don’t want to think I’m rich because I own a certain item, or I’m poor because I don’t. I don’t want the world getting in my heart and getting a hold of me and telling me that this is the way that I ought or ought not to be living. No!
It’s not in the possession of things or the lack of them that I am made whole. It’s in the walk with God, His definition of who and what I am and the ability to stay loose and flexible to be able to do whatever HE has desired, that I find my rest.
Let God supply your need: encouragement, love, joy, hope, support, friendship, food, clothes, peace, security, housing, cars, rent etc. Let Him do this through whatever means He has chosen (and yes, He may even use people) and let Him remain the primary source of all your joy. If you can do that, you divest yourself of all that
man holds dear and leave yourself loose in His grasp to take care of and direct as He wills. That way He can teach you a way to live that has absolutely nothing to do with
this world; and when you’re done, the simplicity of living you will have found in Him will have birthed in you righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit… or in other
words, the Kingdom of God.
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Chioma Phillips is the Editor of Msingi Afrika Magazine. She is also the founder of the magazine's publisher, The Knowledge Consultancy Limited, which shares information, tools and insights to provoke thought and inspire movement... towards God. Her perspective goes beyond national boundaries to see the full scope of what God is saying and doing for the continent of Africa and the world in these end times.