Careful What You Believe

Do you read Facebook posts from Christians? I don’t. I have recently removed myself from almost everyone’s newsfeed. Why? Thanks for asking! Because most of what they post is totally irrelevant to life – their life, my life, anyone’s life. They post random thoughts which usually prove how little and how seldom they really do think. And, who really cares what their opinion is on the current things floating through cyberspace? A lot of postings are mindless as well as pointless.

And then you have the Christians who post Scripture passages. As if anyone is going to read them or really cares. If a non-believer reads them they are turned off totally because they don’t like being preached at and spoken down to. If a believer sees them they don’t even glance at them because they either know the verses or simply don’t care. Or, like me, think posting Bible verses is pointless. If you don’t have an in-depth personal relationship with a person then don’t try to influence their thinking by quoting the Bible. And, Facebook connections are not real relationships with real people. 

On a recent trip to another area of Canada to minister I was confronted, once again, by people who are believing some of the oddest things. One young man, a vocal believer, was quoting from a non-Christian series of books written by a very popular motivational speaker whose books and seminars tell you to dream about who you want to be and what you want to have and then confess your dream into reality. He promises success and prosperity for those who do. Of course, he is succeeding and is seriously wealthy. He is not a believer. And, a lot of what he teaches is New Age and not in the least biblically based. But, he is believable and appears to be living the dream so many believers want to live. This young believer referenced him several times. 

Be careful what you believe. Even Christian preachers are not always forthright and honest. And, certainly are not always biblically accurate and correct in their teachings. They are many who are ear-ticklers. Paul warned Timothy, his disciple, that in the last days many would be looking for teachers who tickle their ears. In other words, tell them what they want to hear. Teaching from and to the soul – the mind, will, emotions. Yet Jesus said that His Word was spirit and truth – not soul and falsehoods. And, Jesus warned of false teachers and prophets.

I was sitting in a major sharing time with 30 or so believers. And, some of of what was shared was edging towards New Age. Some even crossed the line. Several shared what was ‘prophetic’ in name only and the prophecies did not glorify Jesus or draw attention to Him as the prophetic is suppose to do. Just because someone says they are a prophet and posts prophetic words on the internet does not mean they are or that their words are accurate. Some shared what they believed the Lord was saying to them over the past week. Again, really? But, it seems we hear what we want to hear and regretfully it seldom is what the Holy Spirit is saying. 

Careful what you listen to and read. Careful what you believe. To discern truth from error you have to know the truth. There is no such gift as ‘discernment.’ There is the Discerning of Spirits – a gift of the Holy Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians 12. But, that is not the same as discernment. Discernment – recognizing falsehood and lies – comes only by seriously knowing the truth. And, Jesus came full of truth (John 1:14) so get to know Him. He said the was the Way, the Truth, and the Life. So, come to Him, know Him, hear His heart. And, most importantly, know His Word, the Bible. Let it speak to you. Read it without your religious glasses on. And, don’t read it out of your needs and wants – read it from a heart hungry for whatever God wants to speak to you. 

I am amazed at what people truly believe to be the truth. I am astonished at what believers are building their lives on – certainly not the rock, looks more like sand. I am astonished at who Christian listen to and read thus believing what they are hearing and seeing. I am saddened that most believers are really not rooted and grounded in the Truth – Jesus and His Word, the Bible. 

So, I have said all that to say, “Please be careful what you believe.” A lot depends on it now and into the days ahead. Test everything you hear to God’s Word. Not what you think the Word says but what it really does say. Don’t spiritualize the Word. God said what He meant and means what He said. Just read and believe and apply. What you think you hear can be so subjective. God’s Word is objective truth waiting to be received and applied to your life. So test everything you think God is speaking to what He has already spoken.

So, careful what you believe. 

It’s a Rainy Day and a Monday

It is a Monday morning and I have just returned from 5 days on the road. Ministering is something I still enjoy even after 40+ years of being involved in it daily. Meeting with people, discipling young believers, mentoring leaders, fellowshipping with pastors, and teaching God’s Word. Always amazing. 

But, I come home tired. I spend many hours each day talking with people, building relationships, and ministering to those who are moving forward on their journey with Jesus. Because I live in people’s homes and not in hotels I then spend time wth those who are so kind as to open their homes and their hearts to me. So, each day is a full day. Then there is the travel to and from … this current trip was 1300 Km of driving… often it is planes and trains. Sometimes it involves jet lag. Not this time.

So, I woke up this morning and it is a cool fall day in Western Canada and it is lightly raining. And, as I began to, once again, fit in to a daily routine at home which involves time in my study, time in my office, time with family members, and the various messages and things that are needed to keep a household and a ministry together I am taking a few hours to sit, contemplate, and reconnect with my personal life which is often put on hold when travelling and involved in trans-local ministry.

I am sitting with my Bible and a blanket over my knees. My best friend is sitting in the next chair under his blanket (his name is Cuddles, he is a Bishon, and the best dog anyone could wish for). And, I am reading the words of Jesus.

It is interesting how God can speak to you when you are open to hearing His voice. And, He does speak to me clearly through His Word daily as I spend time with Him. But, this morning the Holy Spirit brought back to mind a song from the 1960’s. Yes, I am that old and then some. It is by The Carpenters. The lyrics go like this…

Talkin’ to myself and feelin’ old

Sometimes I’d like to quit

Nothin’ ever seems to fit

Hangin’ around

Nothin’ to do but frown

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

What I’ve got they used to call the blues

Nothin’ is really wrong

Feelin’ like I don’t belong

Walkin’ around

Some kind of lonely clown

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

Funny, but it seems I always wind up here with you

Nice to know somebody loves me

Funny, but it seems that it’s the only thing to do

Run and find the one who loves me (the one who loves me)

I know. Not very spiritual. But, the words spoke to me and to how I am feeling as I recover from almost a week on the road and super involvement with people and ministry opportunities. I am feeling ‘mellow’ and quiet. Lonely. Empty. Maybe even a little overwhelmed by all that has just happened as I travelled. In need of something, Someone. This is not a new feeling so I relate to the words of the song. Especially the last few lines… read them again.

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

Funny, but it seems I always wind up here with you

Nice to know somebody loves me

Funny, but it seems that it’s the only thing to do

Run and find the one who loves me (the one who loves me)

So, I have run to the One who loves me. The One who never gives up on me. The One who refreshes me after a week of give, give, give. The One who accepts me as I am and loves me unconditionally. God’s Word says that there are “times of refreshing in the presence of the Lord” and I can assure you that this is very true. 

So, it is a rainy day and a Monday and I am sitting next to my best friend Jesus and my second best friend Cuddles knowing that, to quote an old hymn, “it is well with my soul.”

So, just so you know…

Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

Funny, but it seems I always wind up here with you

Nice to know somebody loves me

Funny, but it seems that it’s the only thing to do

Run and find the one who loves me (the one who loves me)

Truly, it is the only thing to do … “Run and find the one who loves me.” His Name is Jesus!

Morning Coffee 

I am drinking a cup of Starbucks coffee in an airport. It is 5:00a and I have been on the road since 3:00a. It is quiet in the airport although I am always surprised at how many people there really are working towards catching a flight to who knows where. I stood in line at Starbucks waiting for them to open so I could have my first cup of coffee for the day. Hotel coffee does not count as the first cup or any cup for that matter.

Had a great ride in to the airport. Last night I met a believer whose name is Steve. He was our connection at a conference I was attending. And, he was my ride to the airport. What a terrific brother in the Lord. It was an amazing time of sharing our testimonies about how and when we were saved by the Lord and then chatting about what He is doing in our lives today as we continue to serve Him. Mutual sharing back and forth … so good, so very good.

It is always amazing to meet people in another nation – and I do work in a number of nations – who have had amazing encounters with the Lord. People who are true disciples of Jesus and are still growing and maturing becoming more and more like the One whom they follow. Not only have they had an initial encounter but they continue to have experiences with the Lord on a regular basis. And, so they are excited about the Lord and they have lots to share that is ‘fresh manna’ and so powerful to hear.

We talked and shared the whole way into the city – an hour of driving in the dark with little to no traffic. Times goes so quickly when sharing real fellowship and testifying to what the Lord is currently doing in our lives. It made me think about how amazing heaven will be as all of us will have so many stories to share that will glorify and honour the Lord as we spend eternity with Him. Our lives now, then, and forever should, as believers, point to Jesus and bring Him glory and honour. 

It was a great time and made the drive into the city go much faster than it usually does. We were not talking ‘church.’ We were talking Jesus. We were not discussing church issues. We were talking Jesus. We were not swapping medical histories and naming all the drugs we take. We were talking Jesus. We were not sharing things that are heavy on our hearts. We were sharing Jesus. We were not sharing the difficulties and circumstances that we are facing. We were talking Jesus.

It is so refreshing to have the opportunity to talk with another serious believer and follower of Jesus and focus our whole conversation on Jesus. Jesus is so amazing and we should never run out of things to share about how amazing and awesome He really is in our lives.

Wisdom

Had lunch today with two amazing men of God. Two apostles. Totally different from each other in personality, manner of ministering, giftings, and experiences. But, as I sat with them discussing the work of the Kingdom and, in specific, the church I am here working with, it was amazing to see the wisdom that the Holy Spirit was bring out of the three of us. The discussion was great, the insights bountiful, and the wisdom was definitely godly. 

The Bible states, “There is wisdom in the multitude of counsellors.” I agree. So, three apostles discussing the church that we oversee as a team seeking wisdom. Three men in spiritual oversight over a local congregation that is in a season of transition and replanting looking for direction. It was so good to fellowship with these men and share our hearts as well as our insights with each other.

As we were leaving the restaurant and paying the bill several of us felt that we needed to encourage the other one. And, so we sat outside the restaurant for another 20 minutes asking our brother specifically how he was doing and how his wife was making it through all the changes and challenges. He shared openly and honestly and we were able to pray for him and encourage him. He knew afterwards that he was not standing alone and not facing the challenges by himself. Again, as the scripts state, “It is so good when the brothers dwell together in unity; there the Lord commands a blessing.”

It was a good few hours. We were about our Father’s business and we worked as a team in shedding new light on an ongoing situation. We pooled our understanding of the Kingdom and the current move of the Holy Spirit. We shared from our experiences as each of us have been in ministry over 40 years and have certainly seen a lot and learned a lot. We laughed and we cried. And, God’s plan and purpose began to be seen and we understood the next few steps that we needed to take as overseers of the local church we were talking about.

God gave us wisdom in a very difficult situation and allowed us to focus on the solutions and not just the problems. As a mentor of mine once taught, “anyone can see the problem; don’t come and just tell me the problem, come with two or three solutions.” So, we were seeking the solutions God has for the situations we were and are facing. And, God gave us His wisdom because we sincerely and earnestly asked for it. And, because we were seeking Him together in unity and with one accord He certainly poured out His blessing and made a way where they was no way.

Wisdom – godly wisdom – is a gift of the Lord who seek Him and ask for His insight and understanding. And, we all need wisdom.

Fellowship?

Had a great morning yesterday teaching at a local church in Ohio, USA. The worship was great, the spiritual atmosphere was terrific, the offering was taken up after a young person spoke and she did such a terrific job you just want her to keep going. She was electric, alive, and believed what she was sharing. The teaching was well received. I believe God was honoured. Then we had a fellowship lunch. I use the word “fellowship” lightly. 

I sat with a young man and his family (mom, wife, two kids) and asked him about his journey with Jesus and his connection to the church. Everyone joined in and it was amazing. It was true fellowship because we were talking about Jesus and how amazing He is and all that He has accomplished for us, in us, with us, through us. There were a few side conversations with those around us as well. All good. Then, as the kids got restless and the food had disappeared from the plates they got up to take care of the young ones. I sat. I simply sat. No one approached me, those beside me did not begin conversations. I sat, just sat. I have been working with this church for 8 years. But, if I had been a stranger, a first-time visitor, I would not have returned.

And, I listened to the conversations going on across the table and on both sides of me. They were talking about hair styles and where best to get hair products. And, what is the current trend in hair styles and colours. Not very edifying and certainly not fellowship. More like gossip and “idle words, non-productive words” which Jesus reminds us will be judged. So, I got up and walked to the front to pick up my Bible, Pepsi Zero, and iPhone. 

At that point I was approached by a person who has been attending for years and actually plays a major “helps” role in the Sunday service. She asked if I had a minute to talk. I did. Her first concern – the fact that people don’t spend time talking to each other very often and, when they do, they don’t talk about Jesus. I was listening. I was also agreeing. It had been my experience earlier in the day. And, sad to say, my experience almost everywhere that I go regardless of the nation or the culture.

When Christians gather our focus should be Jesus and what He has done in our lives and what He is currently accomplishing, changing, adjusting, working on in us. True fellowship is not just believers talking about anything and everything. True fellowship is founded in our basic fellowship with the Holy Spirit as we share that connection with Him with other believers. And, the Holy Spirit always glorifies Jesus and draws our attention to what it is Jesus is currently doing in our lives. So, If we are experiencing true Christian fellowship we are all listening to and following the lead of the Holy Spirit who lives in us and, as we share with one another, our words and our focus will be Jesus.

In my life I have a Christian brother as a close, personal friend. He is also my accountability partner. We just spent three weeks together on holidays camping and kayaking. Each day we spent considerable time walking and talking. Each evening around the campfire we would sit and chat. Our focus was always the journey we are both on with Jesus. It was true, in-depth fellowship that glorified God and honoured what He is accomplishing in each of our lives and in our friendship together. The focus was Jesus and where we are at in our journey with Him and how He is working in our lives changing and adjusting things. And, although others may think our focus was us – it was only so indirectly. The big picture was that we shared what the Lord was doing currently in each of our lives and in our friendship and the relationship we share. That is true biblical fellowship.

Often we call our time with other believers “fellowship.” When really it is simply talking. Often it is sharing gossip and pulling others down. The topic for more senior type people is often their medical condition and the prescriptions they are taking. For men it is sports. For many it is the latest TMZ or People Magazine buzz on Hollywood stars and the latest movies. But, it really is not fellowship unless somewhere and somehow people speak about Jesus and glorify God in the conversation.

Just a thought – but a decently deep and possibly life-changing thought.

Early Morning Coffee

I am in the hills of Ohio ministering and enjoying the beauty of nature. Out front where I drink an early morning coffee I see the rolling hills and the forest into which is nestled a few homes that in the summer cannot be seen because of the trees. It is certainly a beautiful area and one that I never tire of seeing and experiencing. Early in the morning the coffee is hot, smells great, tastes even better. The birds are all out singing and the squirrels and wild turkeys are scurrying about finding their morning meal. Did I mention the flowers? 

Most people are still asleep. And, this is good. I am looking for quiet during an early start of the day to reflect about life and ministry. I am looking for solitude to contemplate, read, and journal about the life journey that I am on. I am looking to grasp a wider Kingdom perspective as I sit, relax, enjoy the sights and sounds… uninterrupted by other humans for a few brief moments. 

It is here that I recharge. I sense God’s presence in a very real and tangible way. I experience His peace in both my head and my heart. My head is the hardest because my mind is always thinking, analyzing, and sorting. I sense and experience His power as I pray through some things that are fresh on my heart and need my attention today as I attend meetings and spend time with my host who leads the church here that I work with.

Being outside and alone in nature is refreshing. It is a time of solitude when I can connect with the Creator in ways that are not as easy when the weather is colder and the sun rises later in the morning and sets before the evening meal. The early sunrises and late sunsets allow for more time to connect with the God whom we worship and serve. Please note that I said that I am using the time to connect and not reconnect. This is because a believer should never disconnect in their relationship with the Lord and Giver of life. Thus if we don’t disconnect then we don’t have the need to reconnect. But we can always go deeper in our relational connection.

I use the summer to spend extra time in the early morning when the sun is rising and in the early evening when the sun is setting – time to spend deepening my relationship with the Lord. This means taking time to be still and know that He is truly God as the Psalmist stated so long ago. This means making sure I guard this time to be alone with Him – solitude. After all, even Jesus frequently went away by Himself to spend time in fellowship with the Father. It means being silent in His presence allowing Him to speak to me in my spirit. In this way I am sharpening my listening skills and taking the time to really hear Him speak to me about me and about us – His relationship with me.

And, in these special times in this slower season it is good to grow in my fellowship with the Holy Spirit as He is the One who is here to guide and direct me in all aspects of my life and ministry (2 Corinthians 13:14). So, I spend time focusing on my relationship with Him as I learn to be more sensitive to His voice, His leading, and His guidance in my life.

Early morning coffee – and an evening watching the sun set as I drink a mid-evening cup of decaf – during the slower summer season. A real blessing that we can all take advantage of and be thankful for.

Fully Engaged In Life

Most people do not fully engage in life. For many reasons, too many to write about in a brief blog, many people are unable to fully embrace life as it happens to them and engage in it fully. They are hesitant in relationships. They are not fully open to others so others never see the real person that they are. They have been hurt and so have withdrawn in all relationships and don’t let the mask down so that you can come to really know them as a person. They may even be afraid that if you get to know them you won’t like what you see and will reject them, leave them. 

A few months ago I read a book that gave some guidelines that help each one of us to leave the ‘hiddenness’ and embrace the real person that is seldom seen and often is not even known by you – because you hide you from you. These are guidelines that we all need to cultivate so that we can come out of the closet and be yourself when with others. 

1> Cultivate Authenticity. Letting go of what people think about you or might think about you if they ever do.

2> Cultivate Self-Compassion. Letting go of perfectionism. You can never be perfect so stop trying. Be present and not perfect as another book I recently read recommends.

3> Cultivate a resilient spirit. Letting go of numbing and powerlessness. Stop living life in a state of ‘no feelings’ and start taking control of your life starting with your feelings. Take ownership of your life and be responsible for what happens in life. 

4> Cultivate gratitude and joy. This means letting go of the feeling that you don’t yet have enough to be happy or content and also learning to no longer live with the fear that what you have may not be enough or that you may even lose what “little you have.”

5> Cultivate intuition and trusting faith. This means letting go of the need for certainty.

6> Cultivate creativity. Letting go of comparison and simply being yourself – and you are created in God’s image and He is the Creator so cultivate that side of your being.

7> Cultivate play and rest. This means letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as how you earn and recognize your self-worth.

8> Cultivate calm and stillness. Letting go of anxiety and worry as a lifestyle.

9> Cultivate meaning fun work. Letting go of self-doubt and “supposed to” as you no longer live by the expectations of others and the general society.

10> Cultivate laughter, song, and dance. Letting go of being cool and ‘always in control.’

This is called “wholehearted living.” Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection with yourself and others to wake up in the morning and think: “No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.” It is going to bed at night thinking, “Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”

Wholehearted living is not earning your worth but recognizing that you are worthy just because you are you.

Seriously

Guest Blogger – Bill Lewis, Apostle and Lead Pastor of The Connection, Butler, Ohio

Sometimes we feel like we are walking in the dark, totally unfamiliar with our surroundings. We hope we are walking in faith, but the darkness obscures any clues, markers, or clear vision. We are being guided by something internal, deep inside, hopefully we trust the leading is from the Holy Spirit and that voice is his.

When we read the scriptures and the faith voyage of our heroes, we just assume it was easy. We assume they were confident, never wavered, were on task all the way. Then, I come across John the Baptist asking of Jesus, “are you the one or should we look for another?” Wow, the guy was there when the dove descended and the voice spoke. He had the sign from God that he was told to look for. Yet, there he is with doubt. Circumstances had changed fiercely. He was in prison, hated for his message and stance for righteousness. His beheading would soon be the price for a lewd dance.

There are others who were obedient to the call, walked in faith, and wondered if they had missed God somewhere. In our Americanized version of Christianity with modern heroes jetting around the country with multimillions income we have come to belief if you are a person of faith, you get a pass from trouble, doubt, fear, and questioning. Americanized Christianity is little more sometimes than religious capitalism. So, when we face trials and question where we are, we have no one to turn to because often we get the glib answer of the rote phrases of churchianity that mean nothing.

If this is the case, we are doomed to isolation and loneliness. This is really the root of the accusation against Christians that they are all hypocrites. A hypocrite is an actor, pretending to be someone they are not.

One of the principles that has to be ingrained in this new move or as one author put it, the Remnant Movement, has to be honesty. This generation is crying for transparency which is another way of saying honesty. Even though we call and desire transparency, there is a trust level that has to be attained before that can happen because betrayal is so prevalent.

If we are seeking to walk in faith, we must find a new way that reflects Jesus. It is not a matter of confessing till you get something. True faith confesses what has been revealed, not what you want to extract from God. Sometimes faith is a journey of darkness with little being revealed. Sometimes faith is trusting God for the next clue, the next flash of light on the path, the next glimmer of hope generated by the Spirit within. Even Jesus had to have angels come and minister to him at times.

This New Covenant walk is serious. Lives are at stake. Eternity is in the balance for many. Faith will have to be discovered in a way that reflects the new covenant. Real, Transparent, Trust in God!

OverStimulated

Guest Blogger – Bill Lewis, Apostle and Lead Pastor of The Connection in Butler, Ohio

Are we overstimulated? Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and a multitude of other platforms are calling us. Add to the choices we make for social media our smartphones and email addresses. Robo calls are daily interrupting, some days it is incessant. My list of blocked calls is longer than my contact list. Still, they keep coming daily. Everyday I clean out the spam and junk mail from my email accounts. When I empty the trash for the emails, sometimes it is hundreds. Going to the mail box creates another pile of advertisements that add to the trash. We are under an assault.

Driving down the road, I watch for distracted drivers. If you pay close attention, you will see many with their phone to their ears while driving. Even more dangerous are those with their heads down engrossed in their phones. We are being blessed with communication and cursed with communication.

Sometimes when I am preaching, I see people surfing on their phones and it is not just the kids. Our attention span is being reduced to brief moments as we move on to something else. Visual stimulation has overcome the mind. Listening, paying attention, absorbing thoughts, contemplating, and meditation are fading from the majority. If you are amazed at the trend, it is staggering to realize the first iPhone was released in 2007. In a matter of a decade we have been transitioned to reliance on our devices.

Now, I like my devices. They are great aids and tools. I like the technology. However, as in any invention, there are good and bad uses. When anything begins to replace basic human interaction and decency, we have to step back and evaluate. Children are being babysat by devices. Children are inside, on devices, in front of the TV. Playing outside, using imagination, role playing are sadly lacking.

You may think this is a rant by an old guy. Maybe. But I use the technology and like it. But I see trends that concern me, particularly, the spiritual implications.

Looking at the life of Jesus, he constantly had to refresh himself with solitude. He would withdraw for meditation, prayer, heavenly instructions. He also withdrew for physical replenishment. There is a power in reflection and quiet. There, in the quiet, we often find the presence of God. We can hear. The cacophony of sound, motion, pictures are removed. The visual makes a change to the creation of God, the sound changes to the surf pounding or the wind whispering or the thunderclaps and light show of the heavens.

Are we overstimulated? I believe we are by the reactions prevalently displayed in the anger, taunting, and bullying of our current society which is being stimulated by video games, media reporting, video clips, cyber responses of hatred and racism. We need peace, quiet, reflection, and allow our hearts and minds to start healing.

Take time. Reflect. Listen. God is speaking to those who have ears to hear.

Is Jesus Really Enough?

I often ask the question, “Is Jesus really enough?” And, if He is do I live my life as if this was true?”

It seems to me that for many believers Jesus is not enough. They are not satisfied with just Jesus and their personal relationship with Him. It seems that they need Jesus plus something else. Jesus and a healing. Jesus and a miracle. Jesus and prosperity. Jesus and a new and better job. Jesus and an angel. Jesus and the power to heal. Jesus and a prophetic word. Jesus and….

In their daily lives these believers are seldom content with what they are experiencing in their walk with Jesus. And they are certainly not content with the situation in life in which they find themselves. So you see believers often striving for more money and thus a higher wage. They want a bigger house, a better car, better holidays, nicer clothes. They are looking for bigger, better, and more. They are discontent with what is. 

This is true in ministry as well. They want to have greater recognition as a minister of the Gospel. They want bigger crowds coming to hear them. A bigger church. Greater recognition. Being on radio and television, writing books and blogs. Recognition, authority, and popularity.

It seems that people today are simply not satisfied. And, as a result they are not thankful. Nor are they content or at peace with their life as it is. They are always striving and struggling. 

As a result they live unsatisfied lives. They are disappointed with the hand that life (or God) seems to have dealt them. They are discontented with life as they are living it. They are unfulfilled and simply not content. Surely Jesus wants them to have more and better so there must be something that they are doing wrong. 

I believe that this is a sign of a relationship with Jesus that is not healthy. It is lacking depth and substance. Jesus is not at the center of the life of these followers. He is an add-on. He is there for times of crisis and when things are not going as they think they should or as planned. If, and it is a big if, Jesus was at the center of their whole life then He would be enough and they would no longer be striving for more of anything. They would be trusting Him. And, they would be content and not discontent.

Paul states, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”        Philippians 4:11-13

Jesus is always enough. In fact, He is more than enough. And those who have a solid, in-depth, daily, ever-deepening, personal love relationship with Him are people who live ‘content’ regardless of their situation or the circumstances.

Here’s the question the Lord asked me a long time ago when these verses from Paul’s letter to the Church in Philippi first spoke deeply to me… “Content or discontent, which tent do you live in?” That question, these verses, changed my life, my priorities, and my perspective. I live content with what I have and what is happening because I am dwelling deeply in Him allowing Him to live His life through me.

Galatians 2:20 states, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live in my body, I live by faith, indeed, by the faithfulness of God’s Son, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

So, when we are content it is because we have a deep relationship with the Lord where we find satisfaction, fulfillment, and total acceptance. So, we can stop striving and pushing for more. Because, He is always more than enough.