Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Got Contentment?

con·tent·ment(Webster's Definition)
noun: contentment
1.a state of happiness and satisfaction.

Contentment(Greek Definition, G841)
Transliteration: autarkeia
Phonetic Spelling: (ow-tar'-ki-ah)
1. a perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed
 2. sufficiency of the necessities of life
3. a mind contented with its lot 

I should have known that I would get tested in this area, as 1 Timothy 6:6 was the scripture that my small women's bible study accountability group was meditating on for last week. The big word with such a simple meaning from this scripture, kept ringing loud in my ear and staring me down right in my face. That word that most of us struggle with, even as Christians no matter how young or mature you are in the faith. That word has slapped you a time or two and made you rethink your faith in God, and where your relationship with Him was found on your priority list. That word is called Contentment. All last week it seemed out of nowhere, I kept struggling with this thing called contentment. The more it pushed at me, the more I attacked back with the Word of God quoting our study scripture and other helpful scriptures. Just when I'd think it was done swinging at me, it would come back for another round. Now I know how my Savior Jesus must have felt when he was tempted by Satan in the wilderness.(Matthew 4:1-11) Social media didn't help me at all I realized, as it was only being a distraction and hindrance to me all the more during this time of testing in the area of contentment. The more I scrolled through my timeline, the more the negative thoughts bombarded me. They taunted me saying things like “Look at you, you're not doing anything as great as so and so", “You're purposeless”, “You're meaningless”, “You'll never reach your purpose”, “You're inadequate”, and “blah, blah, blah, blah” The more the thoughts kept coming, the more I became discontent with where I was in life, with my walk in Christ, and with even my identity in Christ. It made me feel like I didn't have enough, wasn't doing enough, and that my life in Christ where it's at presently was simply not enough. The impression that I had to have x, y,z, and do a, b, and c along with God would give me contentment, was weighing heavy on my mind trying to find its' way in my heart. As I began to read and meditate upon God's Word to cast down the negative thoughts that were bullying me, I realized that this was the same stupid trap that Satan pulled on Eve in the garden in the beginning. He made her think that her good life she had in the presence and fellowship of God, being provided everything they ever needed and wanted was not enough. He made her believe that she lacked, and that she was inadequate. He made it seem as though God was trying to withhold something good from her, by forbidding them to eat from the tree  of the knowledge of good and evil. He deceived her into thinking that if she ate the fruit from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then and only then would she have contentment and be complete. We all know that Eve fell for Satan's lies, ate from the tree anyways, and even brought her husband Adam into the mess which resulted in the fall of man and why years later Jesus had to come and be THE PREFECT MAN to get things back in order. Thank God for Jesus! (For more on the story with Eve reference to Genesis 3). Don't be deceived Satan is still pulling that same ole' trick out of his bag on a lot of us today. Making us think that we have to have that perfect husband/wife, perfect kids, successful career, big promotion, awesome friends, great ministry, new car, new shoe, new boo, and so on, and so on to be happy, satisfied, and have the perfect condition of life. What happens is you get what you were going after, and find yourself still unhappy, unfulfilled, unsatisfied, and you then start chasing after something/someone else to give you contentment that only a submitted life to God can give. That is not to say God doesn't want us to have goals, ambition, achievements, and possessions, but the problem occurs when you feel that accumulating and achieving all this stuff is the key to your fulfillment, happiness, and creating this so called “perfect and good” life for yourself. At that point you're then replacing Christ who is your life(Colossians 3:4a), with all this stuff you've setup as your “god” which WON'T and CAN'T give you the fulfillment that
 Christ gives you. His Word tells us that blessed or happy are the ones who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled or satisfied, it didn't say those who hunger and thirst after the things of this world.(Matthew 5:6) *Also side note sisters, all this stuff won't be going with you once you leave this earth anyways.(I Timothy 6:7) So let's not get distracted and let the enemy deceive us into thinking like Eve, that God is trying to withhold good from us, and that life in Christ alone is not about nothing unless we have all this other stuff mixed in. Christ gave us an abundant and rich life in him(John 10:10b), and he knows how our abundant life in him will play out as he has the perfect master plan for it.(Jeremiah 29:11). It is our job to trust, rest, and delight in him, and in due time he will bring about any additional thing/person he already planned to be a part of our lives.(Psalm 37:4, 5, and 7a, Proverbs 3:5-6) When he does it won't cause us to feel as though we are so much greater or lesser with or without these additions, as we'll know our contentment lies in Christ and Him alone. By the way I did past the test last week and overcame the attack of the enemy! Woohoo! Glory to God! Here are some things that I did and still do, when I find myself battling discontentment that will also be helpful to you all as well:

  1. Start confessing God's Word. The Holy Spirit will bring back God's Word in these type of situations and once he does, start speaking it aloud and meditating in your heart God's truth which will cast out the lies that the devil, the world, and even your flesh is telling you. (Again reference to the example Jesus gave us in Matthew 4:1-11 during his temptation in the wilderness with Satan.
  2. Get In God's Word. The Holy Spirit won't have anything to bring back to your remembrance if you are not ever taking the time to ready/study/meditate upon God's Word. Everyday you as daughters of the King you should be spending time with God through His Word and prayer. In doing this you will know who you are in Christ, and that God has given you everything you'll ever need in his Son Christ, and that you are complete in Him. Then when the negative thoughts and lies come we can do as The Word tells us in 2 Cor 10:5 and cast them down making them captive to the obedience of Christ.
  3. Pray and Seek God for help overcoming these feelings/thoughts. Sometimes it may feel as though you're speaking all the scriptures and discontentment is still overwhelming you, then pray and ask God to help you and trust that he will and has.(1 John 5:14-15)
  4. Cultivate a thankful spirit. A definite way to combat feelings of discontentment is to start being thankful for all that you do have that God has given to you. When the thoughts come, just start saying I thank you God for life in you, health, strength, this season of my life, your presence, etc... and I'm sure those negative feelings you had will have no room to stay.
  5. Cut out distractions and hindrances. Things or people that you know will only add to your discontentment, break away from for a period of time or altogether as the Lord leads. That may mean not talking as much to that friend who is always complaining about their portion, or taking a social media break(which I recently had to do) which will only tempt you to look at others "seemingly happy" portion and be more discontent with yours. Use this time away from the distractions to become focused on God, and him alone. Spend as much time in his face, soaking in His Word, totally relying on Him, and praying and before you know it you'll be so busy walking with Christ being content with and in him that you won't even know what discontentment is anymore. It'll be like discontentment who? LOL!

These are just some of the things that you can do to help you stay focused and content in Christ. With that being said here's to finding contentment in living godly submitted lives to Christ ladies and knowing that if we never gain anything in this world, life in and with Christ alone is great gain in itself! (1 Timothy 6:6)

I love you all, but God loves you so much more!
Your Sister~Jassmine~A Dear Daughter Of The King!

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