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Holy Discontent

This morning after our bible study I was driving back home when I noticed that gas prices near my house are coming down. Today they are $2.29 on average. I glanced down at my gas gauge to see if my wife's car (which I steal whenever I can) was in need. To my shock... I mean delight... it was in fact full. My mind shifted to my college days when for one semester gas at a gas station behind the college was only $0.72 per gallon.

The reason I recalled those days was because today when I noticed the gas at $2.29 I got excited. Then I quickly thought "Why am I excited about gas that's 3 times what it was 8-10 years ago?"

My mind then drew a parallel to my own life.
I started to think about how we can easily buy into the temporal circumstances as if they were branding etched into our lives permanently. I think God would be able to use a 'heckova' lot more people for his glory if only they wouldn't buy into their present circumstances. We've bought into the wrong idea of 'contentment'. Paul said that he's content in all things. But he didn't say that he chooses to stay in any one of those circumstances. The reason his life had such a pendulum shift was that God moved him from city to city, people group to people group and from social status to social status. Paul's contentment was not in embracing mediocrity or failure. His contentment was in the understanding that he served a big God. In the meantime he kept growing, kept studying, kept improving whatever place he found himself.

Joseph was another guy. No matter where he was placed he rose to meet the challenge. You couldn't put that dude in a prison because he would quickly rise to the top. God's men and women can be put in any circumstance and they will rise. That (I believe) is a sign of leadership God has called some to.

Then there is the other side. The other type of people tend to buy into their present circumstance. Another illustration would be good here. You see, I was raised poor. Yeah... I know that now. I don't think I fully understood that then. If you watch pro sports you hear guys talk about what being poor did for them. For every person who has succeeded and come out of poverty there are a dozen or more who have embraced that lifestyle. They've made the leap from "This is my present circumstance." to "This is who I AM."

I know what its like to stand in line for welfare cheese. I know what its like to live in a government project. I know what it's like to get jumped simply coming home from school. I experienced a lot as a kid. For some reason (still trying to figure it out) I did not embrace the status quo. I know what a roach fogger is. I know how the banks work to the point I could (If I wanted to) juggle bank accounts to stay barely above board with my finances long enough to cover my bills. But knowing all of these things doesn't mean I've embraced them. Thos situations were simply circumstances. Circumstances from which I rose by God's grace.

This morning we read in 1 Peter 5:6-7:
6Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO PASTORS?
Today I also thought about the men of God who fall from their spiritual positions. None of us are different. We all face the same pressure, same trails, same challenges, same enemy. We all are tempted the same and face the same inward struggles. Sure we try to ignore it and wear the spiritual red cape but it's a front. So what separates the spiritual lightweights from the spiritual giants? The giants don't view themselves as lightweights. They never embrace the lies of the enemy and they have a HOLY DISCONTENTMENT. The spiritual status quo isn't acceptable.

In our ministries we can never accept that our present situation is acceptable. Yes it is a fact of where we are today but the moment we embrace status quo and accept the branding, the vision dies and we might as well manage a McDonalds because we lost the anointing of God. I don't care if you church stays at 20 people for 20 years... never lose the passion to reach the lost! I don't care what your present circumstances are... never lose the Holy Discontentment for God's move. Henry Blackaby isn't the only one who can experience God. The message I'd give for the inner city poor is the same I'd give to Pastors around our country... do not embrace a label. Do not mistake WHERE you are for WHO you are. Maintain a Holy Discontentment about your present ministry, your family, your relationships, your study and anything else God has brought you to. You and I should stop only when God Himself tells us to stop. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and I assure you he'll guide you through it.

Just because we were "poor" when I was young, I never thought of myself as "poor". Just because your church runs 20 right now, do not think of yourself as a Pastor who can only lead 20. It may or may not be the case but that is for God's sovereignty to decide, not yours. The movement you embrace your present circumstance as if it is who you are at the core, God can not bring you to the next level.

Men and women of God let us have a Holy Discontentment.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Wednesday, September 13, 2006

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