Don’t be content. Really, don’t be.
Last week one of my elders really messed with my head when he said God doesn’t always want us to be content. Straight away my mind was rushing to verses like:
Luke 3:14 Then some soldiers asked him, ‘And what should we do?’ He replied, ‘Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely – be content with your pay.’
1 Corinthians 11:16 If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice – nor do the churches of God.
Philippians 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
Philippians 4:12 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.
1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’
But all of these verses are to do with money and things. Stuff. You see, God does want us to be content in those areas of our lives. He doesn’t want us constantly chasing more money, more technology, more stuff.
So, God does want us to be content, right?
God doesn’t want us to be content spiritually when we aren’t doing well. Think about the letters to the churches in Revelation. God is continually wanting them to realise where they were struggling spiritually and to come back to Him. Do you remember Jesus letter to the church in Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22)? They were doing well in gaining wealth and thought they were pretty rich (from selling eye ointment…they helped people see). But Jesus says that they were actually poor and blind. They were the complete opposite of what they thought. Jesus wanted them to see where they were really at….to be discontent.
Why did God want them to be discontent? Unhapppy with their spiritual situation?
Because then he could counsel them to go to Him for greater and truer riches. He wanted them to realise that he was the true eye doctor, their real treasure. And that is when you get one of the most amazing verses in the Bible:
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
How amazing is that?!
Jesus wants to meet our true needs, our spiritual poverty and blindness.
I wonder, what contentment are you chasing? Contentment in stuff or contentment in God? We are not to chase contentment in stuff. We are never to think ‘if I earn this much, or buy that, then I will be content’. Rather, we are to hunger for more of God.
Do you need to be discontent today? Do you need to be driven to hear the words of Jesus ‘I stand at the door and knock’?
Open the door.
Let Him in.
Find your deepest and truest contentment in Christ alone.