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Monday, October 15, 2007

Contentment

You know, lately it seems that I've heard more and more people using the word content. Things like "I'm learning to be content with my home." "I'm learning to be content in my marriage." "I'm learning to be content in our church." "I'm trying to teach my kids to be content with what they have." Content.

I looked up content in the old Webster's 10th and listen to this. "To appease the desires of, to limit oneself in requirements, desires or actions, to hold in, contain" I'm not so sure I like that definition. Then I look to the Word for content(ment) and up comes the familiar Phil 4:12-13 verses. "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." (NIV) Now, I love these verses and have used them and shared them with others during difficult times in my life. I think, sometimes we even use verses to the point that they become cliche' - if that's even possible!

This ending of the letter to the Philippians from Paul was written about him receiving gifts from the church for preaching. He was telling them that he didn't need anything - though it was their duty to care for him - because he had learned to be content in every situation. I think we sometimes aspire for contentment and end up missing a blessing. Now, I DON'T think that means we need to get ourselves so wrapped up in wanting more that it becomes sin, but I do think God wants more for us and wants to give us more and we end up missing it because we're so busy being "content".

Look again at verse 13. "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Let's think about that. I can do everything. Does this really mean everything? I think it does. The verse says "I can DO everything" not "HAVE everything". I think as Americans we get our "doing" and our "having" a bit mixed up at times. I think about other countries where people line up outside of churches waiting for one service to end so they can get into the next one, or where they meet in the shade of trees in a field as their "church", or sit in an empty building with a mud floor instead of an air conditioned, padded seat "sanctuary". Don't get me wrong, we don't have to go to that extreme to have a real church. We are blessed and I'm thankful to live here but I think it's time we tap into the power at our disposal!

Look at Eph 1:17 - 20. It speaks about the power that we have thru Christ. vs 19 - 20 "and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms." Do you get that? The very same power that it took for God to raise Jesus Christ out of that grave and seat Him on His throne is the same power in which "I can do everything"! Anything I need to do, NOT anything I need to HAVE, when I ask God to extend "his mighty strength" in me, HE WILL DO IT! I know you're gonna say "As long as it's His will." You're right about that, however, when you're asking for that kind of power from the place of contentment in HIM, I believe He'll grant your request! In fact, I've seen Him do it in me!

I've asked to do things in the past and truly believed it was His will for me, but then He ended up showing me whose will I was truly seeking and it WASN'T His. OUCH! So when I think of contentment and it's "limiting desires, actions or requirements" I say phooey on contentment. I want more! I want more of the "power of His mighty strength in my life"! I want more of Him!! I want to serve Him more! I want to love Him more! I want more for my man! I want more for my kids! More of Him! More of my Abba Father! MORE!

4 comments:

Leigh Gray said...

oh my girl - speak a word!!! yes - i a m with oyu and you ahve taught me a great truth tongiht! thank you!!! never will i settle in my walk with Him - i want more. Never will is settle in my requests with Him - I want more of His glory in whatever He gives or takes away. Never will I settle in seeking His will - I want more. I am content in wherever i land - Illionis. I am content in what He provides. But never am will i settle in His Joy - I want more!!!! I believe!!!

love you girl - that was awesome!!

Kim said...

I have enjoyed catching up on your blog - I have learned to be content in ALL circumstances...for heaven's sake, hubby and I are both teachers - we have to be content with what God has blesses us with - our treasures are stored up in heaven. Service to God is what counts the most here.

Valarie said...

I was glad to hear ya'll say that because I hoped my intention was clear. We are to be content in our circumstances - whatever they are - but not content in our relationship!!! Thanks ya'll.
V

Nicki said...

YES!! This is so right on!! We have to be content with whatever circumstances we are in.....but we NEVER have to just sit back and say OK GOD, we're good now right??
Oh I never want to "settle" for anything other than the best from my Lord.

How's the house thing coming? When do you have to be out of this house you're in now? I was wondering, have you considered doing a rent to own deal? Even though kris and I got burned bad twice through that, if you have legit contract it's really a good thing. Plus with the market the way it is right now, it's really a buyer's market so you might be able to find the kind of house you'd like, in a good neighborhood and see if the people would be willing to do a rent to own.

Ok sorry for the super long comment! Praying for you! Have a great day!!