Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Content Where I Am

"Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content." 

-Philippians 4:11 (ESV)

Our lives are constantly filled with things to keep us busy, and happy with where we are for a short while, until the next big thing comes out. Not that I'm condemning technology, or the use of it, but this is the mindset that we are brought up with. We are constantly given what we want, when we want it. Want to talk to a friend that lives 500 miles away? You can do it now! Want a cup of coffee? Walk 5 feet to your closest coffee shop (because let's face it, they're everywhere, and that is honestly great) and pick one up.

There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of the blessings around us. However, it can be easy to let that give us a mindset of having to be constantly stimulated. And I'll admit, I get this way, too. But how does this affect our spiritual lives?

When we grow accustomed to this constant stimulation, it causes us to grow discontent very easily. In Jude, we read a letter from Jude, to Christians. In verses 14-16, Jude is talking about the people that will be judged harshly, and in this is listed "grumblers and malcontents", who "follow their own sinful desires" (v. 16). Whenever we become discontent with what we are doing, or where we are in life, we stop focusing on what God wants from us, and we start focusing on what we want from God. We start asking Him for things that we want, but do not need, and then get angry whenever we do not receive them. 

"You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your own passions." (James 4:3) Not only do we not receive because of our poor intentions, but this establishes a friendship with the world, as we see in the next verse: "You adulterous people! Do you now know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."

Whenever we become discontent with what God has given us, we become friends with the world. Whenever we get angry because we didn't get into that college, or we didn't get that job, or we didn't graduate top of our class, or we didn't get that scholarship, we become discontent. We become obsessed with things of this world, and we forget what our actual goal.

"And He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.'" (Matthew 22:37-38)

We, as Christians, cannot afford to become friends with the world. No one can, in fact. Have you ever been truly, permanently happy because of something from this world? Or did the newness wear off after a while? Maybe you still use and enjoy it, but is it still the best thing in the world? But the thing is, is that no matter how much you serve God, and keep His commandments, your happiness will not deplete. Your joy in serving Him will never end, not even in death.

Are you becoming a friend of the world? Are you allowing the charms of this world to sweep you off your feet, and allow you to forget about what your ultimate goal is? If so, I would like to encourage you to have a Bible study with a friend. Or by yourself. Go and teach a Bible class, or visit that elderly lady that you see every Sunday. Because I can guarantee that that will never get old.