Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Content Where the Shepherd Places You

Living life abundantly should be one of the easiest things to do. After all, Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. He is the door and He is the shepherd, We are the sheep. If I would simply Listen to His voice and follow His commands, I will live an abundant life.

So what's the problem?  There is a saying "The grass is always greener on the other side...." The problem is it is hard to have a spirit of contentment when you have an attitude of complaint. This attitude is birthed out of the seed of comparing which is the enemy of contentment.

Howard Hughes, the famous billionaire demonstrates this attitude when asked the question, "How much money does it take to make a man happy"? He said, "Just a little more"!

Just a little more is birthed by paying attention more to what someone else has instead of being appreciative for what the Shepherd has provided you. Your 55" TV is actually good, until you saw the 70' inch. Your car is top of the line, gets from point A to point B until you saw your neighbor in a newer model. Your wife is beautiful, faithful and loyal until you looked across the fence and saw the next generation. The shepherd provided what you needed but because of comparing, the spirit of complaint seeped in and contentment was forfeited.

What is contentment? Contentment means my happiness is not dependent upon my circumstances. The belief that if I can just get a little more or to this level or to this place then my life will be right. This level of money...this size TV, house paid off. God says NO because once you get there you will still want something more because abundance is not found in things, abundance is found in Jesus.

Robert Fulghum, author of the classic book "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" put it this way, "The Grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. No, not at all! The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend to the grass wherever you are"

Troubles in life come when we believe the myth that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. We are taken over by envy, believeing that other people have the good stuff and then feeling depressed, anxious, and persecuted by the belief that we have so little. We are taken over by greed, wanting more and more and more, feeling that what we have cannot ever be enough.

The Bible clearly teaches us "to be content" no matter what our circumstances are. Philippians 4:11 says, "I have learned in whatsoever state I am in therewith to be content" The Amplified Bible describes being content as "satisfied to the point where you are no disturbed or disquieted". It doesn't say satisfied to the point where you don't want change, but you are satisfied with what God has provided and will be patient until God brings about that change.

Contentment will help you say the first sentence that an abundant life believer need to realize: I am exactly where the Shepherd wants me to be.

The Shepherd loves me too much to put me in a place where I couldn't grow, prosper and thrive. He has provided everything I need, protected me from the elements that would hurt me and from my enemies that would destroy me. What I didn't think to ask, He didn't forget to provide.

When I do my job as a sheep, LISTEN and OBEY, Jesus will do His job as a Shepherd and He will provide, protect and help me Prosper.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11

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