9.29.2017

The Secret.


For two days, a sweet sister and I exchanged text messages about - contentment.
Wanting to move someplace where life is simple, slower, more relaxed.
Feeling frustrated with finances and the constant lack thereof.
Bemoaning the moral decline of our state and country.
Etc.
Etc.
Etc.
We discussed the fact that God rarely gives us the desires of our heart when we refuse to be content with what we already have.
And sometimes, He uproots us and sends us where we don't want to go. Will we obey? Will we trust Him, even when we don't understand what He is doing - or like it?

Contentment is a choice.
Yet often, instead of choosing contentment, we choose to play the game of Compare and Despair.
We look around instead of looking UP.
UP into the eyes of our Savior who bids us, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”

In the late afternoon on the day of the final exchange with my friend, this quote showed up in my box.
“The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.”
~ Elisabeth Elliot

Talk about a heart check!
No matter where we are - where we go - what we do - or with whom we do it, the common denominator in every situation - is US.
If we refuse to find contentment in our current circumstances, why do we think we would be content in a new state, a new job, a new marriage, or a new church? Regardless if one or every one of our circumstances changes, we bring our thoughts, attitudes, convictions, and perspective right along with us. As a wise person once said, "The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but the lawn still has to be mowed!"

Our sin nature of selfishness and pride will always be at war with the need to surrender and submit to the Lord. We constantly have to kick Self off the throne of our heart to allow the Savior to take His rightful position of power. Paul summed up this fight clearly in his letter to the Romans.
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. Romans 17:18-20
We could easily slide the word 'contentment' into this passage. "I have the desire to be content, but not the ability to carry it out. For I am not content the way I want to be, but the discontentment I hate is the attitude of my heart. If I continue being discontent, it is not me who does it, but the sin that dwells in me." So, what do we do? How do we defeat discontentment and create contentment - in all circumstances?
"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Lord, pull out and destroy any discontentment that is buried within my heart. I can quickly identify many of the weeds, but others are so cleverly covered I know I will not be able to find them unless you point them out to me Yourself. It is embarrassing that I even have to ask, Lord, but I would rather see the ugliness of my sin when the weeds are small and manageable than wait until they are choking the life out of my spiritual growth. Reveal my discontentment, I pray. Reveal it, uproot it, destroy it, and replace every weed with seeds of contentment and joy. Forgive me for desiring my own way instead of Yours. You are God, I am not. Not my will - but Oh, Lord, let YOURS be done!

Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.
This is my rule in all the churches. I Corinthians 7:17

Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, ... I Timothy 6:6

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23:1

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