“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
― Epicurus (341BCE–270BCE)
CHRISTIANS who have taken God at his Word, have found something of a nirvana experience by following Jesus, by desiring him alone, and in purifying themselves of the outer desires of many a distraction.
Usually because of some crisis or rock bottom experience, they have been led by the Holy Spirit to abandon the old way of life – they didn’t just say they would or did, they actually did it!
When all other desires are subsumed under the Godhead – Father, Son, and Spirit – then there is only one logical outcome: a reliant sense for sanctification. Maybe sanctification was only a word, or a badly misunderstood concept beforehand.
Sometimes the old life – or fragments thereof – needs to be ripped away from us before we are truly ready to give Jesus our all. Until God orchestrates the events of our lives this way, we tend to swirl in a meaningless fashion trying to find the ‘magic’ elixir to faith. The worst circumstance then takes us into something we wouldn’t wish on our enemies (if we have any), but soon, as we struggle well with God, we begin to understand.
The trial is purposed for purification – to purify from us the grip the ungodly desires have over us.
And what does all this have to do with contentedness?
Well, contentedness and desire are linked. We cannot achieve contentedness until we have arranged our desires in such a way that God truly comes first.
Being Able to Say, “Besides God, I Need Nothing”
This is where we need to be: when God’s truth and God’s will, and our love for God, have reached a place where they are foundationally first. When all else comes under God, and our desires have conformed themselves under God, we verily need nothing else.
Contentedness... in one word.
When we truly need no other comfort than the Lord himself, we can live a life free of covetousness, and free of the burden of needing anything. That’s freedom. That’s spiritual living.
I like to think this is the best reward of being a Christian – and it all starts from Christian theology. No other ‘religion’ can compete with the message of grace that underpins the relationship we can have with Jesus through the Holy Spirit.
Being blissfully content is about not needing another thing if God takes supreme position. It is very simple to understand, yet harder to attain, for we must let go of the world and the desires of the flesh.
True contentedness is the arrangement of joy for the lives we presently have.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.