Recently, after seeing a “Christian” book entitled How to Get Everything You Want, I was reminded of God’s call to contentment. The Apostle testified to living out God’s expectation for his creatures. He wrote, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 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” (Phil.4:11-12). God’s call for his people is not to utilize him or anything else to “get everything you want,” for that desire, if fed, will dominate our lives. Scripture says, “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income” (Eccl.5:10). From the beginning God has commanded that we keep our desires in check. It was the archetypal sin and continues to ruin many lives (1Tim.6:9). The tenth commandment to resist all temptations to covet should be evidence enough (Ex.20:17). The goal then is to want less. Ideally, it is to only have one desire! Oh that there were more modern Asaphs to write true Christian books which we could entitle, Earth Has Nothing I Desire Besides God (Ps.73:25). His words and his values are desperately needed in an age that fails to detect the “loves” that God labels “the root of all kinds of evil” (1Tim.6:10). The New Testament teaches that compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ everything else is just garnish. God may temporarily bless your earthly plate with a few side dishes, and if so enjoy them. But when the garnish is providentially removed, no real problem. God is the main dish. He is “our portion forever” (Ps.73:26). We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Phil.4:13).
Times are changing, and at a dramatic pace. Much of the shift in our culture has been over just a few short years. Not too long ago the kinds of things happening today would have provoked public outrage. This is no longer the case. However, we should not be surprised; the Bible tells us that people will be “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3).
As our culture continues down this path, calling “good evil and evil good,” we are challenged more and more to live as a countercultural Christian in today’s world. In his book Prepare, Dr. Paul Nyquist, president of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, urges us to prepare for a future none of us could have imagined just a few years ago. This book will help you understand how to live faithfully in this new America.
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