Monday, June 28, 2010
Content . . . to be Discontent?
Do you ever wish that you were a part of something bigger? Something grander? Something that when people looked at it would say, "Woah! Praise the Lord! Now that's a group of people truly busy about their Father's business!"
I know I do.
A couple of weeks ago, at the AFLC Annual Conference, as I heard Pastor Nash's report on the Home Missions department, I began to feel this way. You see, part of my heart belongs to Home Missions. Not because I served on a Barnabas team and was forced to give part of my heart over to P. Nash, but because I served on a Barnabas team and saw the true love, passion, and desire of those new churches. Thinking about Home Missions congregations gets me excited . . . I remember the incredible people I met while traveling the Northeast portion of America, I remember their desire to grow, their willingness to serve at whatever cost to bring others to Jesus, and I want to go back.
Then, I look at where I am, and get a little discouraged. Maybe because it's so ordinary; it's so everyday. As I have dealt with these issues of surging excitement and discouragements, I have realized how discontent I am. And to be quite honest, I think I could be discontent anywhere, even if I was serving a Home Missions congregation. All too often, I think I am looking forward to the next thing, waiting to see what the Lord is going to do next. The problem? I'm not there, in the future, I'm here, in the now.
I was quite challenged by Paul's words to the Philippians as I mulled over this contentment issue: "Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along in humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:11-13)
We often hear the "all things through Him who strengthens me" verse, but I don't think we often hear it in the correct context. Paul claimed contentment not because of anything he could do on his own, but it was through Christ he found contentment. So apart from Christ, I'm not going to be content anywhere. I'll always be waiting and watching for the next thing if I don't have my heart fixed on Jesus. Once my heart is truly fixed upon Him and His will . . . then I'll be content. Content to stay where He wants me to stay, content to go where He wants me to go, and content to do it in HIS timing, not my own.
Lord, make me content where You have placed me. May I become content through You; give me strength to humbly serve me wherever You lead me. Make me more like Jesus, I pray.