I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Some of us are never satisfied because we don’t place God first in our lives. We have Spiritual Attention Deficit Disorder (SADD) because our focus is first on ourselves and our wants of the flesh, instead of our focus being on God and what He knows we need. We turn our attention away from God, from His call on us, His loving guidance, and we get distracted by all of the nonsense that He can easily resolve, if only our attention was on Him.
Some of us will never be content, never be overjoyed because we struggle with being present and embracing that wonderful gift. There’s two things at play:
1) We have our eyes, minds, and hearts in the future— lost, without a map, because God didn’t give it to us yet or He gave it to us and we carelessly discarded it for something flashier and shinier.
2) Or we’re glued to the past—always going backwards—and backwards is how certain aspects of our lives will always be until we shed our ego, pride, shame, guilt, arrogant thinking and the lifestyle that supports this foolishness, and instead make the choice to embrace a Christ-centered life that believes that our day begins and ends because of God’s will and grace—and that nothing gained without God is worthy of having.
If you aren’t satisfied with what God has given you then you are indeed living a pitiful life, because this very second He can snatch it all away and show you what a life without His gifts really equates to; He can show you what not living in the present with a mission for the future really means; He can show you how dwelling on the past will age you, limit you, and leave you in constant confusion with a future of nothing but pain and despair. He can show you how only having a focus on the future will blind you because you haven’t taken the proper steps today to be prepared for what’s to come.
Think of losing the very things you value most because you aren’t humbly appreciative of and for God giving you those things.
In the past, I would learn the lesson and move forward, not dwelling on what once was because I was too focused on what I was doing in the present and how it could impact my future. I wasn’t concerned with people I once encountered who I walked away from because if they were meant to be in my life today God would have kept them by my side. But I have to be honest with you, the past several years have been a struggle for me. I find myself struggling with learning the lesson, struggle with moving forward once the lesson is learned, too consumed by the past and afraid of what the future holds. I find myself having nightmares and moments of anxiety about certain people from my past. I’m a slave to my past and I don’t realize that I’m already free, if only I turned to God and trusted Him enough to let go and move on.
We’re supposed to become more mature as we age, not revert back to our childish youth. I look back at my maturity ten-plus years ago and I’m shocked and amazed. What happened to me? How did I allow myself to embrace shame rather than victory? How did I not see and celebrate the lesson instead of complain about the process? I am trying to free myself from cynicism and mistrust. I have to remind myself of the very things that I declared almost a decade ago. I want you to speak these words so that they too become a part of you, your affirmation over yourself. Let’s say it together:
I am a child of God whose mission and vision is forward-thinking and fueled by His light, love, and power. The devil has no control over me and I refuse to let him tempt me, to turn around or run ahead, when God has ordered me to do otherwise.
If you are confused, disappointed, frustrated, dissatisfied with what and who God has placed in your life then you need to seek Him, you need to get on your knees and pray for forgiveness for not trusting Him. You need to have the long-overdue conversation with Him and ask Him the questions that would provide you with the clarity you desperately need. You don’t know because you don’t ask. You don’t know because you aren’t listening to Him. For there is nothing better in your past than what you have today, and the joy of your future can only be determined by God—and, no, you don’t always have a sneak preview of His agenda. You just have to trust Him!
If you are miserable with your circumstances or the person you chose to walk with, then that’s because you chose to lead your life instead of letting God lead you. God’s blessings are never laced or filled with pain and misery, that is what we bring to ourselves when we think we can do things on our own. That’s what happens when we ignore Him and make our own decisions about where to go, who to love, how to do things, and when we do them. We cause our own misery. We choose to listen to the devil who always lies to us. We choose to allow him to lead us astray, and then we blame God for allowing us to have free will. We blame God for not stopping us. We blame God for allowing the devil to exist.
So it’s God’s fault that we chose to be stupid? mmmkay…Gotcha!
Those who would argue otherwise don’t have a strong enough relationship with God to see the reality that is before them; they are blinded by their self-centeredness, fueled by fear, and still have a lot of spiritual work ahead of them as they clear out their clutter and baggage in order to have Jesus serve as the guide, who leads them to the command center of their life—God!
As we wrap up this year in a few weeks, increasingly ask yourself whether you have been living a life of contentment, full and satisfied, and focused on what you can do to serve God. Or do you still feel empty and think that life was better in the past or can only get better in the future, if you only skip some steps? If you are conflicted then seek out the problem solver that we call by many names—our Heavenly Father! If you think this message is about or for you then it is!
Father I am so grateful to You for all that I have, for the person I am, for the lessons learned through joy-filled and painful experiences, and for who You are molding me to be. Father I am more than content with the blessings You have bestowed upon me, although I am not content with moments of mediocrity, procrastination, and fear that I sometimes display which blind me from being fully receptive of my gifts. But I know that You are working on me, molding me, and improving me each day. Thank You Father.
There are things I have prayed for and You blessed me with immediately, and there were other times when You made me wait until the time was right, when You knew I would be ready, receptive, appreciative, and would make the most from those blessings. Father I never want to get to a point and place in my life that I am not more than content with my blessings. I never want to pray for something and not be overly satisfied with what I asked for. I know that You answer my prayers as I have requested, so if I foolishly omit details out of desperation, greed, or fear–You will lovingly keep me in check by making sure that I see the err of my ways, so that I am instead very specific and seek only that which I need and not just merely what I want.
I put my trust in You that the life I have as You have outlined is perfect for me; and as long as I don’t interpret things to mean differently, don’t envy what others have, don’t look to my past thinking I’m missing out on my present–my cup will run over with the gifts of Your love. I have no desire to look backwards like Lot’s wife and destroy my life and future. I have no desire to try and navigate my life on my own because I’m more concerned with what could be in the future, instead of enjoying the abundance of today. I have no desire to disobey You Father.
Humbly I pray that You keep my eyes, heart, and mind focused on today and the present work You have planned for me, so that my future is bright and filled with abundance. The devil is a liar and I refuse to let him tempt me to turn around or run ahead, and disobey Your loving command to keep marching forward on Your pace. In Your name I pray. Amen.
I love you all and pray for peace, abundance, and contentment in your life. God bless you and keep you!
Copyright 2011-2020. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com