The Danger of Contentment

The goal of humanity is contentment. Everyone wants to be happy rather than sad, angry and depressed. We want to be full of peace and we don’t want to endure suffering. That is basic human desire. However, I find that in the midst of lacking struggle, in the midst of contentment we are often in the most danger. It is in times of ease and comfort that we are tempted to rely on human effort rather than God’s gentle guiding hand.

Psalms 63:1 (NLT) O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.

We have all related to this scripture at some point in our lives. During those moments of heartache, loss of direction, confusion, we find ourselves full of a diving desperation. We begin to seek out the Lord’s help when things aren’t working out like we expected, hoped or feel we deserve. We are very aware of the fragility of humanity and how great our need is. The problem is our need for God is just as great during the good seasons as it is in the bad season. Yet, during the good, we are less inclined to turn to the Lord.

Isaiah 31:1 (NLT) What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help, trusting their horses, chariots, and charioteers and depending on the strength of human armies instead of looking to the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.

During seasons of contentment, we sometimes lose sight of God and begin looking at our own strength, or the strength of our neighbors. When tragedy begins to strike who do we run to first? Sadly, many times we run to God as a last resort. We turn to our neighbors first and when their strength fails we remember the Lord. He should be the first person we turn to not the last.

Psalm 63:6 (NLT) I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night.

This scripture is particularly challenging to me as I continue to challenge myself in my daily devotional life. I have a love for His word that is stronger than it has ever been, yet in some seasons and I crave it more than others. When was the last time I lay awake at night just thinking of the goodness of God?  Dwelling in His presence and loving Him? Last night I did a devotional, prayed briefly and then watched shark tank til I went to sleep. I missed an opportunity to just dwell in His presence.

What about you? Do you think upon the Lord with that level of passion and consistency? Is He continually in your thoughts? I would bet during seasons of hardship He is in your thoughts more often than seasons is ease. More and more I find myself looking back with gratitude for difficult seasons that drove me deeper into the presence and Word of God. I would rather have a difficult life, full of reliance on the Lord, than a life of ease where I neglect my Creator.

The goal of humanity is contentment, but we have slightly missed the mark. Our goal should be contentment in Christ. Too often we want contentment from a life without struggle. We want to have plenty of money and live a worry free life. Those aren’t bad goals, but if we are seeking contentment from possessions rather than Jesus then our goals are wicked.

I pray that we wake ourselves, search our hearts and renew our desire for the Lord. I pray you would develop a greater reliance upon Jesus. Regardless of the season, let us dwell upon the Lord day and night! Our need for Him is constant, so should our reliance upon Him be. Let us remain desperate and dependant upon Jesus in times of difficulty and especially during times of contentment.

A Broken Computer

I love having the latest technology before everyone else. I’m an apple user and last year I enrolled my phone and both my computers in their beta program and had the latest operating system months before everyone else. It was awesome. A few months ago I did the same thing, only this time it wasn’t awesome. The trouble with downloading beta software is that it will be glitchy and this year the glitches were huge, especially for my 2010 MacBook Pro, which I use to do all my writing. It was almost unusable, certainly not conducive to my writing process.

I had loaded software onto my computer that wasn’t ready yet. It is good software, but it wasn’t the right time. It was broken. Today as I am officially relaunching daily pursuits it has me thinking, how often do we rush to add things to our lives that we aren’t ready for and it ends in disaster? In the same way I ended up with a broken computer, many times we end up with broken lives.

Proverbs 16:25 (NLT) There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.

I wish I would have waited to add that software to my computer. Not only was the software not ready, but I hadn’t prepared my computer. When using beta software you are supposed to backup your computer beforehand in case you need to downgrade. I didn’t do that. Which means to fix it, I had to lose everything on my laptop. Thankfully, I didn’t lose anything important, but it was a huge inconvenience.

Just because something seems right at this moment, doesn’t mean it is. Maybe it’s for a later moment? The biggest example that comes to mind is love. How many of us got ourselves into trouble because we rushed into relationships at a young age? Yet the Bible says this…

Song of Solomon 2:7 (NLT) Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, by the gazelles and wild deer, not to awaken love until the time is right.

The same thing is repeated in Song of Solomon 8:4. Love is beautiful and amazing, yet when awakened too early it often leads to heartache and a myriad of other issues that we have to deal with later in life.

We also have a tendency to rush big decisions. We have a consumer mentality, “This is a great deal, but you have to accept it right now or it goes away.” We feel this tug to make decisions quickly, but sometimes we need to slow down. A decision made quickly is often a decision we didn’t pray about.

The reality is the software I added to my computer, wasn’t necessary I just wanted it. Many times we add things to our lives, that we feel like we need, but we don’t. Sometimes it is material things that we spend money on. Other times it is just in how we spend our time.  I know for me when I feel overwhelmed, I need a down day. The issue is when I feel like that I feel like I need to just rest, watch some tv or play some video games and a little of that is nice. However, if that’s all I do then I’ve missed out because my true rest comes not from those things, but from the presence of Jesus.

Many times we add things to our lives, but we add the wrong things, or we add the right things at the wrong time. Either way, the solution is to get into the presence of God and seek His will and direction for our lives.

What are some things you’ve recently added to your life that hasn’t benefitted you? The good news is that regardless of mistakes we have made God doesn’t make it difficult to make things right.

Today find some time to get alone and go into your prayer closet. Fill your life up with the presence of the Lord. Dig into Word of God. Give Him an opportunity to speak to you. Simply say, “God I want to hear Your voice, please speak to me, guide me and fill me.”

He will do it.