March 23, 2020
Defeating Discontentment, Part 2
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him” (Lamentations 3:24, ESV).
Friend to Friend
I sometimes run to God as if He’s a celestial Target store, purposed to satisfy my every want and craving…
Change my family.
Fix my job problem, God.
Do it my way!
Instead of leaning in to hear the whispered will of the Lord, I selfishly shout my will, my desires and my demands.
Lord, give me relief from life-pressures instead of giving me strength to endure them.
When I’m desperate to fill my mega-sized heart-cart with things that I want, I rob myself of what really matters: the pursuit of God and the blessings found in Him alone.
The truth is that even those of us who are Jesus-girls, you know… good Christian women who strive each day to live for Christ… continually sin and wallow in the shallow, unsatisfying waters of discontentment.
We tell God what we’d like Him to do for us so we can be happy and then expect Him to intervene in ways that suit us.
We blur the lines between our wants and our needs – between our plans and God’s plans.
In part one of this devotion, we were reminded it’s possible and best to be satisfied in God. We looked at His care of the sparrows, considered that God loves us even more than he does the birds of the air, and were challenged not to worry.
Today, we focus on prioritizing God above all else.
Matthew 6:33 instructs us to seek God first: to look to Him as our Ultimate. Our Portion. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33, ESV)
What would it look like for you to seek God first today?
David modeled this beautifully when he called out to God in the midst of trouble and recognized Him as being enough. I cry to you, O Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living” (Psalm 142:5).
In Psalm 119, the psalmist recognizes God as his portion and takes the moment of surrender a step further by tethering his satisfaction with obedience. You are my portion, O Lord; I have promised to obey your words. I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise (Psalm 119:57-58).
Life is unpredictable.
There will always be days that we want to yell, C’mon, God! Throw me a bone here! I could use a little help, please!
It’s not a bad thing to call to God in the midst of our struggles. In fact, we should. We must! The big game changer, however, is not God’s presents – but His presence. Refuge from our circumstances and contentment in the midst of them is found in the center of surrender.
So what’s the connection point between our longings and His provision?
Perhaps the better question is not what but who?
The late pastor and theologian Charles Spurgeon said it this way, “It is not ‘The Lord is partly my portion,’ nor ‘The Lord is in my portion’; but He Himself makes up the sum total of my soul’s inheritance. Within the circumference of that circle lies all that we possess or desire. The Lord is my portion. Not His grace merely, nor His love, nor His covenant, but Yahweh himself.”
Once again, Spurgeon hits the nail on the head.
We are distracted cravers when we expect our people, places and things to fill our hearts as only God can. God loves us so much. Why do we forget this all the time? His plan is perfect and we can trust Him. He knows our needs and desires.
When we seek the Lord as the answer instead of for the answer, He enables us to rest in confidence that He’s working on our behalf and in our best interest, to bring glory to Himself through our lives.
Set your list of wants aside today and seek God.
Go before Him with a heart of worship and adoration.
Get lost in His presence.
Remember His mercy.
Relish His grace.
Choose Him as your Portion.
Dear Lord, Please be my Portion. Forgive me for the times when I seek Your blessings before I seek Your heart. You are all I need. In Jesus’s Name I pray, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Read and consider these verses: “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” (Psalm 42:1-2a)
Spend a moment in prayer asking the LORD to increase your thirst for Him.
Years ago, I co-wrote a song called “Center of Surrender” that invites God to be our Portion in a very personal way. Click here to listen to the song on my blog… let the lyric to become the prayer of your heart today.
Do you want more postivity and inspiration in your days? Hang out with Gwen and friends! Listen to the GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast as you commute to work, go on walks, exercise, run errands, eat guacamole or travel. Podcasts are also perfect to listen to as you do household chores! (Laundry anyone?)
Each GRACEOLOGIE with Gwen Smith podcast episode is filled with fun, faith-focused, grace-filled conversations that will help you know and trust God more.
These discussions encourage you in meaningful ways to live out and lean on the GRACE of Jesus in the midst of cluttered, messy days. CLICK HERE to listen on iTunes, or visit GwenSmith.net/Graceologie for more information.