But godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6:6)
Yesterday, I was asked the following question, "Victoria, do you think that God only created one distinct person for you to marry, or do you think you could have married someone else and lived just as happily?"
I thought about this deeply and realized that such inquisitive speculation is really a "would-have, should-have, could-have" kind of question that opens up the screen door for the enemy to breeze in discontentment. For how could I entertain answering this question when I'm already living the path God intends for me? How can I faithfully trust God's sovereignty while wondering at the same time what else could have happened differently in my life?
The more I contemplated this, the more God led me toward the topic of satisfaction. For in simply considering the question above (or questions like it relating to other areas of our lives) - our mere asking reveals how hungry we are for something else, something different, something outside of where God has placed us today.
Really, is it for us to think past God's plan? To speculate around His authority? Absolutely not! Nor is our happiness the end in which we must be focused. Rather, God's glory is the goal!
Needless to say, I've been up most of the night pondering and praying over this matter... asking my King if satisfaction is more about spiritual discipline and sacrifice rather than happiness and/or what makes me comfortable. For without His spiritual intervention in my heart and mind - without His higher disciplined Way followed by my obedience - I can never really be full, can I?
Simply put, mankind can never be satisfied without God. Yet, as a race we are always looking for the next thing - the next something/someone to fill us up with whatever we seem to crave at any given moment. And unfortunately, the average Christian of today is no exception to this snare of Satan. In fact, I think that if all self-proclaimed Christians paused right now to state their full satisfaction in God alone, many would not be speaking honestly. For how many of us use our time with God as one of many default checklist items for finding inner peace? However, in truth we are quite unsatisfied with God. For deep down, we don't care for His way of doing things. We'd certainly prefer that He changed His style to suit our desired way. Sure, we say we want more of Him, but in reality we spend much time speculating, planning and making excuses around Him. Yes, most of us live each day thinking and acting independent of His commands for our lives. To this I ask, can contentment exist without real godliness present? Consider Paul's charge in Philippians 4 to be content no matter what the circumstance...
"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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." (Philippians 4:11b-12)
What is the secret to Paul's fulfillment? What brought on Paul's honest, active satisfaction - no matter what his current situation presented? Please note, he was not speculating about would-have, should-have, could-have's. No, Paul was referring to satisfaction in his daily life. So, what was his secret to being content in any and every situation?...
"I can do all this through him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13 NIV)
"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13 ESV)
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13 KJV)
Through Christ, Paul was focused on getting through the NOW of his life. As such, he was strong in His faith. He consistently looked to the only One who could give him exactly what he needed... TODAY - at this very moment.
Be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. (Deuteronomy 5:32)
Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. (Joshua 1:7)
So, how can we live both godly and content in our present situation? How can our lives be lived in complete union and satisfaction with the Savior alone? Read earlier in the chapter of Philippians 4 and refocus your lens, believer... for here is the answer:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:4-9)
1. Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS!
2. Let gentleness be evident to everyone. Gentle treatment to ALL!
3. Remember always that Jesus is right beside you. He is HERE NOW!
4. Do not be anxious for anything, but rather trust that your active, present, available God will answer every prayer and petition you lay before Him in His perfect timing.
Then what?... Then the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus! What a blessing! Your heart and mind will be covered under His protection so that you can freely focus on His things rather than your own!
And what happens when you live out these steps and solely focus on the things of the Lord?...
THE PEACE OF GOD WILL BE WITH YOU!
Friends, this very minute YOU CAN HAVE THE PEACE OF GOD WITH YOU! Peace... ahhh yes.... Jesus! I receive your gracious gift of peace! I submerse my life in your Way. I choose to obediently, calmly, and confidently think on the things you have sanctioned in Philippians 4 and will trust you to handle the rest of what the enemy throws my way! For you are my covering! You will protect and provide for my every need! I can do this, because you give me the strength to do it! All glory is YOURS alone, dear Savior! Thank you for saving me TODAY!
Yes, Jesus is the NEW LIFE of satisfaction and fullness you seek, ladies! His is the only Way to know true contentment. Once you stop searching for things outside His Word... once you make it your only priority to think about all that He has made true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy... then you will know His lasting, eternal, glorious peace! Then you will realize, as Paul did, that "my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)
Let us make the glory of the Lord Jesus our only mission right here, right now! Let us praise Him TODAY - the day in which He made for us to live rejoicing in Him! His Way is indeed healthy and good for us and will bring us peace. Yes, in Christ alone... we can be satisfied this very second... and forevermore!
Believers, I encourage you this very hour to seek God's kingdom, His righteousness, His glory! Hallelujah to the King of kings! All glory is His! So be satisfied in His rule and let you life serve as living proof in Jesus' Name!! WOO HOO!
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