Monday, March 10, 2008

Fighting for Contentment

I ran across a passage this week that has really convicted my heart and I thought I’d share!

The context of the story is the beginning of the Israelites in exile, after leaving Egypt where they were in slavery, and into the wilderness, being led by Moses and ultimately God Himself. 

 “Now the Lord sent a wind that brought quail from the sea and let them fall into the camp and all around it! … So the people went out and caught quail all day and throughout the night and all the next day too.  … But while they were still eating the meat, the anger of the Lord burned against the people, and he caused a severe plague to break out among them.  So that place was called Kibroth-hattaavah – “the graves of craving” – because they buried the people there who had craved meat from Egypt.”  Numbers 11:31-35

 If you just meditate for a minute on this passage you will be convicted just like I was!!

 My first observation was that it was the Lord who brought the quail to the camp. The quail were not the issue…  His anger began to burn when the people began to wish for the things they had back in Egypt (while they were in SLAVERY!)  rather than to be thankful for what the Lord was doing for them right then.

 This has really challenged me in my Fight for Contentment.  I long to be satisfied by the Lord alone, and not chase the things of this world.  If I am to do this, it means taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, including thoughts like these:

 “I wish my life was more like it was in high school, college, before I was married, before I had kids… etc.!”

 “I wish (that thing I used to do _____ ) weren’t a sin ~  it sure did bring temporary satisfaction!”

 “I wish my life looked more like hers!”

 “My life would be better if ____”

 Really trusting the Lord means believing in His wonderful plan for my life TODAY.  I want to learn from my past, but really be captivated by the Lord’s hand on my life Today and what He is faithfully accomplishing.  

Here is a quote or two from "Idols of the Heart" by Elise Fitzpatrick

"What must I have for life to be meaningful or happy?  If I answer that question with anything other than God Himself, then that's what functions as a god for me.  Idols aren't just stone statues.  No, idols are the thoughts, desires, longings, and expectations that we worship in the place of the true God.  Idols cause us to ignore the true God in search of what we think we need."

I really believe that is what made God so angry at the Israelites in the above passage.  They were "craving the meat from Egypt"... They needed it in order to be happy.  I rejoice in the fact that my God is truly a JEALOUS God and will not stand for me bowing to other idols.

Lord, help me to be content today and not wish again for a yoke of slavery.  Help me to not Crave the things of this world, but to truly long for You today, my heavenly home with you.

I would love your comments of further observation and encouragment!

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Matt, Carrie and Lucy Allen said...

great words, thanks for sharing that delta! reading this is reminding me to pray to be content now, not longing for what life used to look like or what life could look like if a certain things happen...and i think i have been doing that lately with some things we have been going through. so thanks for the encouragement and reminding me to focus on today and the things He is doing in our lives now and to be thankful for that!

THESE 3 KINGS said...

GOOD stuff my sweet sister! rejoicing over the LORD's faithfulness in teaching you this!! This is my memory work for this week : heidelberg Catechism Q 27 : What do you mean by the providence of God? Answer: The almighty and everywhere present power of God, wherby, as it were by His hand, he stills upholds heaven, earth, and all creatures, and so governs them that herbs and grass, rain, and drought, fruitful and barren years, food, and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, yea, all things, come not by chance but by His fatherly hand..
Satan had me under attack last week..I am being reminded where their is TRUST in GOD's SOVEREIGN hand..there will always be CONTENTMENT
love you!

"I know, O LORD, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps" -Jer. 10:23

Wonderful World said...

OK so what you're saying is I shouldn't be discontent because I don't live down the street from you two. Ha! (kind of :) Anyhoo was listening to Nancy DeMoss and this made me think of you ladies of the Lord who are making such an impact on young girls who may never have seen Jesus in this way without you. You all encourage me. Love ya !!

Nancy: "I think so many of our young people are rejecting truth because all they’ve seen is the dogma, but they haven’t encountered Christ; and, sadly, perhaps they haven’t known many adults that they look at and say, “This person really knows Christ in a way that makes me want to trust Him.”

Praise the Lord that the girls you encounter won't be able to say that because they'll see Jesus in you!