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Harvest Barn Blog: Speakin’ the Truth
Contented (happy and at ease) Christians can have powerful, effective testimonies and witnesses that Jesus Christ can provide what the “world” cannot.
But, our enemy loves to see discontentment (dissatisfaction, especially with one’s circumstances) among Christians. It’s a wide open door for him to enter and work his cunning deceptions.
In Philippians 4, Paul speaks of the five thieves of contentment:
- Pettiness (Philippians 4:2-3) – Jesus pleads with Euodia and Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord.
- Anxiety (Philippians 4:6) – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition and with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
- Destructive Thinking (Philippians 4:8) – Paul gives a check list of things to think upon. Think on those things which are pure, admirable, excellent, etc. Worthy thought patterns are a key to finding contentment. Make God’s Word a priority!
- Resisting to Learn (Philippians 4:11) – Paul states, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstance.” When we ask God to give us a heart willing to learn, we bind up the thief of contentment.
- Independence (Philippians 4:13) – Paul states, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” We can say we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, but unless we put it into practice, it doesn’t work. Faith must be exercised.
Because Paul ceased letting thieves steal his contentment, he had a powerful testimony.
–By Deacon Mae Hilliker
References from the book, “To Live In Christ,” by Beth Moore.
Read other blog posts by Mae:
- Life’s Challenges & Trials
- Narrow Your Field of Vision
- His Plan for You
- Under-Emphasizing that Which is Needed
- Stay in Your Lane
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but to us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the disputer of this world? Hasn’t God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom didn’t know God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe,” (1 Corinthians 1:18-21).
These words by the Apostle Paul always make me hopeful as a Pastor, even to the point of feeling good about my future and myself.
The word “foolishness” sums up my life before I was born again. On April 1, 1973, I was delivered of seven demons, after which the Spirit of God came into me and gave me His eternal life. It has been a wild 41 years in God – with both good and bad, happy and sad, life and death, doing things right and doing things wrong – and yet, God has been true to His word all the time.
Have you ever considered Ephesians 2:10?
“For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].”
Have you ever meditated on the fact that God Himself wants to take credit for all the good things that are in you and happen to you?
I know some will say, “There is nothing good in me,” or “Nothing good ever happens to me.” But, I know God, and I know those things just can’t be true.
When I look back over the 28 years I have known God, I can honestly say I have changed. Sometimes the changes were so small and so daily I didn’t realize they even happened, because I am not the one that brought the change.
I recently heard it said that challenges and trials don’t make us who we are, they reveal who we are.
As Christians, we are not exempt from trials. In fact, James 1:2 tells us we are to “count it all joy when we fall into various trials.” Developing the right attitude according to God’s Word is essential for when trials come.
Counting it all joy isn’t an emotion, but rather an appraisal (assessment) of the situation according to God’s viewpoint. It’s all about how we choose to face them, and who we place our trust in.
I recently spent the day with my two little granddaughters, Josie and Lilee. Josie is nearly two and Lilee is only five months old. So, this can be a little bit of a handful at times. It seems like while I’m tending to one child, the other has a need.
The other day while I was holding Lilee, Josie fell down and cried a “real cry” from across the room. The kind of cry that I just knew needed me now. Something just kicked in, and I found myself leaping over furniture, skipping over toys and handing Lilee to Papa so I could get to Josie. Suddenly, my only focus was getting there to help her. Anything that would have gotten in my way at that moment, I would have taken out!
“But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us,” (Romans 5:8, AMP).
While sweeping the patio one day, I found a coin. I picked it up and noticed how grimy it was. I felt it was not worth cleaning, and I threw it away.
Almost immediately, the thought occurred to me that though the coin was thoroughly dirty, it had the same value it always did.
So, too, I thought, Jesus Christ washed my sins away, and I remain a worthy child of the One who first created me. I felt sad as I thought of people whose circumstances or way of life impedes us seeing their true worth. As a result, we fail to offer them our assistance.
What would have become of us if the Lord had dealt with us as I first dealt with the coin?
Jesus said that whosoever believes on Him will have everlasting life. Those who do not believe on Him will have everlasting death.
The scriptures tell us this in Saint John’s gospel, Chapter 3 and verses 15 – 18. Jesus is the only way to God – there is no other way!
Not Buddha. Not Allah. Only Jesus.
And, He has a plan for your life that is a plan of peace and joy. He has a plan to redeem you and to give you a new path for your life.
His love for you is so strong. He longs to be close to you. He won’t run out on you. No matter how far you seem to be from Him, no matter what you may have done, His forgiveness is that strong. His love covers a multitude of sins. It covers every sin.
Most of us don’t enjoy family reunions when the collection of people gets beyond the tight-knit group. We all have those strange cousins and long-lost aunts who gush to the point of making us cringe.
We view God the same way.
We’re either confident because we spend time interacting with Him—making Him the tightest of tight—or we go about our lives knowing we’re related, but never trusting Him with our “stuff.”
God is unchanged regardless of what we think of Him.
Did you know that you live in, what God calls, the “dispensation of the Spirit”?
According to II Corinthians 3:8, it is the spiritual ministry of the Holy Spirit to cause men to obtain and be governed by the Holy Spirit. The verse goes on to say that it is attended with much glory. So it’s a glorious and desirable thing to be governed by the Holy Spirit. Verse 9 continues to say how infinitely more abounding in splendor and glory must be the service that makes righteous [the ministry that produces and fosters righteous living and right standing with God]!
It struck me today how hard even believers fight to not be governed by the Holy Spirit. When He starts to point some stuff out or gives a different direction than the one we want, we act like the children of Israel. They told Moses to put a veil over his face. They didn’t want to see God’s glory or hear His direction directly.