P.E.A.R.s™ Periodic Encouragement And Reminders
Content, But Never Satisfied ©
Robert E. Alderman, Jr.
Many readers I’m sure have some familiarity with the Apostle Paul’s declaration of contentment in Philippians 4:11 as well as his similar teachings for peace that surpasses understanding. What is frequently overlooked, however, and seldom expressed as serious exhortations or admonishments in Bible studies and/or from the pulpit is the underlying foundation or side companion by which the contentment and peace of Jesus Christ is “learned” (as Paul says in 4:11) and then continually expanded.
The foundation and constant companion for such is: dissatisfaction – i.e. a state of never being satisfied or becoming passive in one’s desire to gain more and more and more of God once we have tasted and experienced the wonders of His presence in our lives!
The Apostle Paul, of course, repeatedly exhorts us to that kind of mindset and passion in virtually every one of his letters. (Philippians 3:8 is one example immediately at hand if you already opened a Bible when you began to read this P.E.A.R.)
John 17:3 is the “cherry on the icing” statement for knowing God…eternal life through an intimate, abundant, joyful, fulfilling and wondrous, indwelling, all consuming relationship with the three Persons of Almighty God that is beyond description in any human language.
Here are a few excerpts from several authors pertinent to the plight and privilege given to Christians of being “content, but never satisfied” during their life on earth after receiving Christ as their Savior and Lord:
“Disciples are made not born” by Walter Henrichsen
The disciple himself is not one who has arrived. On the contrary, he is a learner, a pilgrim, one who is on a quest to make his life all that God would have it be.
We fall into the error of thinking that happiness necessarily involves ease, diversion, tranquility – a state in which one’s wishes are satisfied. For most people, happiness is not found in this vegetative state, but in striving toward meaningful goals…He may often be tense, worried or fatigued…But he has found a more meaningful happiness. (Quoting John W. Gardner from “Excellence”)
“The Dream Giver” by Bruce Wilkinson
I tell motivated Dreamers [those who are pursuing God’s plan and purpose for them] that if they are not encountering a Comfort Zone issue regularly, something is wrong…Maybe they need to check their pulse!
“Changed into His Image” by Jim Berg
“Of late God has been pleased to keep my soul hungry almost continually, so that I have been filled with a kind of pleasing pain. When I really enjoy God, I feel my desires of Him are more insatiable and my thirstings after holiness are more unquenchable.” [Quoting David Brainerd)
“How people change” by Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp
God calls you to be dissatisfied. You should be discontent, restless, and hungry! The Christian life is a state of thankful discontent or joyful dissatisfaction. Why? …Because when I look at myself honestly, I have to admit that I am not all I can be in Christ. I am thankful for the many things in my life that would not be there without His grace, but I will not settle for a partial inheritance!
In this sense, it is right for me to be discontent. It is right for me to want nothing less than all that is mine in Christ. He does not want us to enjoy only a small portion of the riches He has given us. He calls us to wrestle, meditate, watch, examine, fight, run, persevere, confess, resist, submit, follow, and pray until we have been transformed into His likeness.
Have a great week! (and to my family, Love Dad)
Orig. Publication 11/18/10 – 1st blog posting 2/15/17
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