I was reminded of the necessity of contentment today through a conversation with my son. Many are awaiting personal shifts in the seasons of life right now. Waiting on God to make good on His promises.
Often, year after year, our patience wears thin, leading to bouts of complaining, attitudes of unthankfulness and endless searches for immediate gratification. We research the latest trends and abruptly decide we need new decor for the house or perhaps even a new house, new clothes for our self-esteem, a career change, or possibly just an amazing last minute deal on a trip that whisks us away from our mundane routines...
Whatever you might be feeling, Zig Ziglar writes,
“The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want NOW!
1 Timothy 6:6 declares that “godliness WITH contentment is great gain.”
That means that godliness and contentment are a congruous pair. To truly walk with God, one must surrender and allow His beautiful Spirit to morph us into godliness. As believers, we trust Him with our paths and our futures, yielding our days to His timing. Assuredly, many can testify to having allowed this process to be at work in their lives, but fewer have understood the role that contentment plays in the journey.
Contentment says, “Though I thank you for what lies ahead, I am at peace HERE.”
It is the calming assurance that our best is yet to come, while gently reminding us to breathe in the value of HERE.
HERE is a test.
HERE has purpose.
When HERE ceases to have purpose, then God will move you THERE!
And,THERE will not present itself without the attitude of contentment. Cultivating a lifestyle of contentment will position you for promotion.
When was the last time you took inventory of your blessings instead of your wants and desires. I would venture to believe that if asked, we could all quickly recite the many things we are currently waiting for and would certainly like to witness come to pass, but just for today let us not think on those things. Let us BE STILL and find a place of quietness with the Lord to simply say THANK YOU for all that you have given me. THANK YOU for your presence in my life. THANK YOU for my health, safety and provision. THANK YOU for teaching me. THANK YOU for the place called HERE!
We begin 2014 with a greater hunger for God and His power. Realizing this is not going to happen without any effort on our part, we commit to taking time in the evenings to come together, as a family, for the purpose of reading the Bible and prayer.
I must admit God brought me to my knees the first evening we sat down together. I consider myself a loving individual. Through the overwhelming forgiveness I have personally received from the Lord, I like to think that I have become a more merciful person as well. As I look back over my life, I can see that I have always been drawn to the less-fortunate, the “underdogs,” those who live underprivileged lives at no choice of their own. Oh, how I enjoy giving to these individuals and watching their faces light up as they realize that SOMEONE really does care about their seemingly unimportant lives.
This year God is speaking a new life-lesson to me. EVERYONE has been created in the image of God. Our Triune God gave special attention to create every person in our spheres of influence, including those surrounding us in social media and the entertainment world! I don’t know about you but for some I just do not have the patience nor the tolerance!
I look at their riotous lifestyles, despise their choices and before long find myself repulsed by these individuals instead of seeing them as God sees them. Do not misunderstand me. I wish them no harm, but I can’t say there is a warm, fuzzy feeling deep in my heart for them either.
Catch my drift? Do you ever find yourself more kind to the kindhearted? More accepting of those who are lovable? More merciful to the less-fortunate than you are to those who blatantly drove head first into a sea of really bad choices?
When was the last time you wept for the wavering politician? The evil murderer? The lonely prostitute? The gang member? The abusive spouse? The child molester? Or the high-class, rich executive who squandered the investments of many?
Even THESE were created in His image. For even THESE the plan of God is good. He longs to have a relationship with even THESE. Will hate, separation, and judgement lead them to repentance? How can we make a difference in their lives?
This year I choose to view every human being as a creative masterpiece of God. My heart is changed, judgements washed clean. In 2014, I resolve to see all as equal in the eyes of the Lord and I consciously choose to care! How will you make a difference?
I must say that 2013 was the very best year of my life and an amazing time to be a part of God's Kingdom.
I was talking to the Lord a few weeks ago and I said, "Lord, you're NOT the Best thing to ever happen to me. You ARE me. Without Your Spirit living on the inside of me I do not even exist! You are true life and every joy in my world."
As we begin our first day of 2014, I want to strongly encourage each of you to discover an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. If you already walk daily with the Lord then let's take it up a notch this year. I am personally seeking His face to go to a brand new level of power, passion, and prosperity.
On the other hand, if you have never tried a life with Christ before now, I Double-Dog dare you! Every human being is made up of soul, spirit, and body. You will never experience a FULL life until you allow the precious Holy Spirit to dwell within your own personal spirit. His love and power will transform you and your atmosphere.
Thank you to everyone who gave of themselves in 2013 to help us take the truth of Christ around the world and impact lives. 2014 is declared a year of double portion. Together, we will do great and mighty things in the earth. May you obey God in all things and may 2014 be the year you have waited your whole life for.