I hate to break it to you.
To be honest, I hate to break it to me.
It would sure be nice if that's the way life worked.
If I do good, then I get good. That's only good until you do bad, because suddenly you're screwed. That's not the gospel I want to live my life upon.
I really don't want to have a life where it's life that gets to decide. I rest my life on Jesus.
"Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ,
so that whether I come and see you or am absent,
I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit,
with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel"
(Philippians 1:27 ESV)
(Philippians 1:27 ESV)
Is anyone else blown away by that? And I mean the really good type of blown away.
Commonly among Christian circles is an idea that once we've spent enough time "readying ourselves before God" and "just taking some time for me and God" that suddenly we'll be in a good place. That is atrocious. I promise you, if you look at anyone in the Bible outside of Jesus, you'll see that they never got to a time where they were in a good place. David, a man after God's heart, had a man killed in order to get with a girl after he creeped her bathing in the buff. Does that not make your skin itch? How could God use that kind of guy to fill an entire book of Psalms in the Bible where I find myself constantly in? Shouldn't I only read the books in the Bible by the good guys? Maybe I'll just read the books by Paul, since everything he ever did wrong was before he knew Christ right? Or, I'll stick with Peter - he walked on water. Obviously he's got a lot of faith ... until he betrayed Christ.
It's important to remember that Christ forgave Peter. God forgave David. We're forgiven as well. Wow.
Are you catching my drift here? I think we've got to stop preaching this idea that we can rectify ourselves; there is this idea that we're suddenly going to have it all together. We're not. Well, you might right???, but I won't.
This video relates mostly to singles, but I think it is applicable for all areas of our life where we feel discontent. Whether it is singleness, job issues, school issues, family issues, faith issues, etc.
I also super suggest a read of this blog I just read which I found stated some quality ideas. I think it applies for both females and males. Let's give up the fill-in-maybe.
A friend and I were conversing on a drive this morning about how it seems like everyone we know is in a season of getting good with God. I'm not against this, in fact, this season is one that all Christians should pursue always. I should always be living life in such a way that pleases God, aware that I sin often and need His grace all the more.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh,
but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
(Romans 8:5 ESV)
(Romans 8:5 ESV)
I recommend a good read of Romans 8.
I went there today to grab this verse, and was struck by the amount of good stuff there.
The problems lies when this desire to get to a good place is talked about as if it is just for a season.
I've always had an issue with people who call Bible school their "year for God". Seriously? Lucky God, He gets one year of the very life which He provided.
This is the Jesus I know:
"Then Jesus told his disciples,
“If anyone would come after me,
let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
For whoever would save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
(Matthew 16:24-25 ESV)
Maybe I'm reading it wrong, but I don't see the ...for a season... addition anywhere in there.
I do think that there are specific times in our lives when God calls us to give up certain things for a season or to do something very specifically in order to gain knowledge in a certain area. I'm not saying that seasons are completely wrong, but I think it is wrong to act as though we're just waiting dispatiently (remember when I talked about my love for adding "dis" in front of words - yeah!) for God to let us off the hook and be able to do what we used to do.
Part of me lives in fear of writing a blog like this. God's been walking me through the sin of living in fear. He constantly reminds me to live in faith rather than fear. God's filled my life with friends who aren't fearful to call me out on the issues where I live in avoidance of conflict due to my fear of the consequences.
So if I fear it, why write it? What is it I'm afraid of?
There's a fear about proclaiming the gospel. I know I don't stand alone in it, because I hear it from others. There is legitimate fear in proclaiming what you believe because this world we live in is filled with people who don't know Christ.
"Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord,
nor of me his prisoner,
but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,
who saved us and called us to a holy calling,
not because of our works but
because of his own purpose and grace,
which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
and which now has been manifested
through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus,
who abolished death and brought life
and immortality to light
through the gospel"
(2 Timothy 1:8-10 ESV)
But if I'm actually being honest, I live more in fear of the Christians sometimes.
What if someone reads this, and feels that it is unkind?
What if a friend feels like they are in such a season as what I've seemed to disagree with?
More importantly though, what if someone reads this and it pushes them to pursue Jesus?
Do I want to please people, or do I want to give glory to God?
I choose glory.
My heart will always sing I love You.
As my friend and I concluded, rather than pursuing contentment so you can find Jesus, seek first the kingdom of God. As Tami of The Cloven Heart commented on my last blog (I've condensed it by using "..."'s btw)
"I find 'comfort' the scariest place to be. As Christians we are responsible for studying and growing in our faith. It it our duty to push in, to be stretched, to be on guard so that we are not led astray ... No, it's not easy, it's a constant effort and conscious decision to study, every time... "
Love Jesus, and then love people, and then you'll realize you actually are living well because your heart is so passionately pursuing Jesus. This does not mean that the good times will roll along. You won't be filled to the rim with happiness (and dates). But you will have the peace and hope of Christ deeply woven into each moment of your day, guarding you as you live each day as He called you to live. You might not even be content, heck, hopefully you don't want to be content.
Instead of pursuing contentment, let's just pursue Jesus.
Our contentment should be based on Christ, not circumstance.
Oh, okay cool.