Thursday, June 22, 2006

Wouldn't have it any other way

'Not that i am speaking of being in need, for i have learnt whatever situation i am in, to be content'
Phil 4:11

I read this the other day and was really challenged about my contentness in God. That is what this is bourne out if. Now *i'm no expert*, i'm just trying to work it out myself, and also write down and process some of what the Lord was saying to me this morning, so they're embedded in my memory (hopefully).

'Are we ok?' A question i ask sometimes, a question we all ask of our friends from time to time, and a question i was/still am planning on asking today (that'll be fun eh?) but this morning, God challenged me to ask that question of Him. It's a question borne out of a lack of contentment. If we never had any insecurities in our relationships we'd never have to ask. So how can we be content in our relationship with God, how can we make sure that above all things, it is our foundation?

Well, how not to do is to judge it by you're quiet times/Bible reading times. Because that's legalism and legalism is rubbish. I'm going to have to start turning round the clock in my room because subconsciously and very sinfully i find myself with one eye on it while i read. And thats ridiculous because i'm loving John at the moment. Man! So how?

Remember the past.
Look at the cross. An objective historical event. Not something that can be changed if we don't read our Bibles every day. Not something that is subject to our broken feelings. The cross happened. As did the resurrection. So, our sin? Propitiated. Our relationship with God? Restored. Our status before Him? Counted righteous. Anything we can do to change that? No. This is the truth. This is our relationship with God. Christ has died for our sins. He needn't again. Our sin has been punished, it needn't be punished again. Here is contentment surely, that there is nothing we can do to better our relationship with God, because He sees us as sons and daughters. And man, thats great. If we can't be content here...well. We need to be content here! We are redeemed. Christ has died that we might have our realtionship with the Father restored. This is good news. This is news that stills complaints and quiets disent. This is news that should make us not just content, but overjoyed. This is news that meant that Paul counted all he suffered in His life as nothing, and all the vast benefits of life he had beforehand as loss.

Look at the future.
Remember God's promises. Habbakuk had a terrible lot in life on the face of it. He was a man of God in a corrupt generation. His country was about to be invaded and exiled to Babylon. And yet still He rejoiced in the Lord. Looking at the end of chapter three i thinks its fair to say he was content to say the least. Jesus promises that those who come to Him will not die but have eternal life. That though they kill our bodies they will not harm a hair on own heads. That He is the Way and the Gate to heaven. These truths, like the cross should lead us to rejoice in the Lord, to be content at least. We need to remember these. The criminal who got saved in Luke 23, moments before He died. He would have died in agony, but content, because He knew that that very day He would dine in paradise with Jesus. This is true of all of us. 'restore to me the joy of my salvation'. Cultivating joy in the Lord is the only way to finding contentment with Him. Believing those promises and dwelling on them. Because Jesus' words are all we've got.

Do it now.
Live to the glory of God. Don't forsake contentment in other relationships, but persure them to the glory of God. Get out of bed to His glory. Eat and drink to His glory. Worship with your whole life. Live the new life, the righteous clothed life that Christ has bought for you. Not the old life with it's sin, but the new life, with its joy hope and worship. I don't know in a practical sense how to do this, but i know its the best thing to do. Because its the only thing to do. Because it's what we were created to do. Love the Lord with all your heart mind and soul. Give Him everything, as Paul was when he wrote those verse. Look at life through the cross, because away from that, we're nothing, and because that is the key to our contentment.

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