One of the most profound truths I have come to learn is how “doing” in our own strength, and “doing” without asking God what He wants first, can lead to nothing but disillusionment. Disillusionment lives right next door to Discontentment, and right next door to Discontentment, lives Pride.
We can have all the good intention we can possibly muster and still end up running on empty, and all because we didn’t ask God what He wanted. It is important to note that we may have to ask God what He wants, several times a day, and read from his direction book often. This is called seeking. There is plenty of Discontentment’s cousins around, and one of them is Distraction. Distraction lives on the same block as well, the neighbor who’s constantly jumping up and down trying to get your attention, hoping that you’ll stop from gazing and STARE instead.
God makes things pretty simple. The more we lay down our own desires, the more purpose and meaning we enjoy. The more we stop to be still and stand in awe of God, the more He moves, and the more content we are to just be whoever it is He is shaping us to be. Just to know He loves us is enough. By “being” in his presence with an attitude of gratitude we see who we are and how much He has blessed us and how He wants to bless us more. But blessings don’t all look the same and sometimes we misread blessings as stuff, position or power.
The minute we begin to think that He has forgotten us, or He didn’t make our dreams come true, is the moment we’ve lost sight of Him. We have placed ourselves at the center, blocking our Beloved from view. If we find ourselves thinking thoughts like; the world has abandoned us, nobody loves us, nobody cares, then we’ve moved further away from His light. When we entertain those pitiful types of thoughts, we have welcomed Discontentment in for tea.
Discontentment is cunning and clever. He reveals himself in subtle ways, and tugs at our heart-strings and dresses up in all kinds of disguises. He has a way of turning our head to everything on the other side of the fence, so that in time we can’t see what we already have, who God was shaping us to be, what God had already given and the path we were meant to take. We forget that we’ve been called by name, that we have been chosen for a very special assignment – to glorify God.
Discontentment spreads his arms like a television game show host and promises glorious fulfillment if you just start this, or if you just go there, or if you just get, blah, blah, blah. Discontentment fogs your brain and fades out the promises you’ve already made, and convinces you to live bigger, better, and make new promises. Discontentment clouds out the ‘once upon a time’ you invited Christ over, and made a covenant with Him, a promise that you would follow him no matter what, that you would do what He wanted. After-all, He paid the price, He purchased you with His very life. He rescued you from Meaningless, who lives at the end of everybody’s Disobedient Street.
None of us can be faithful without God’s help. We might as well not even get up in the morning if we think we can be Christlike without His help. Discontentment argues with this truth, and goes so far as to convince you that you don’t need help, that you are the only one who can make your life into what you want, that no one else is going to do it for you. Discontentment is a close friend to Pride. And as soon as Discontentment has moved in, Pride starts whining to be your room-mate as well. Pride never asks anyone for help and his job is to convince you that you don’t need to either. Pride’s middle name is Doubt, and soon you start doubting that you can trust God with anything. Soon Jesus becomes a stranger, and Meaningless becomes your soul sucker.
Soon you are nothing but busy in a very busy, busy neighborhood.