“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’”
Three words stuck out to me in this passage: free, content, and forsake. Freedom. No one knows what freedom really is until they have first experienced captivity, bondage, and slavery. Most people would never admit to being a slave and I don’t think most recognize that they are in bondage. It seems degrading, offensive even, but we are all slaves whether we choose to believe it or not. Some are shackled by money, as the verse describes, others by relationships. The list could go on and on with thousands of different sins, unique to every person living in this world. But all of mankind has one thing in common: we are all held prisoner by our very own flesh. It seems inescapable, being that it is our innate nature and way of life. Moment by moment, my own thoughts hold me prisoner, and some days, I just don’t feel like fighting. 2 Corinthians 3:16-17 offered me hope. “But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” When I turn to the Lord, there is freedom. When I allow Jesus to grab both of my hands and peel them away from my eyes, I can see again, and the light that encapsulates me is nothing short of glorious. It is true that sin will always find a way of creeping in to my life, but I can choose who I will be a slave to: God, or the devil. I know that sounds weird, being a slave to God, but this week Pastor Don McClure explained that a bondservant is a person who has gone bankrupt and must work a minimum of seven years enslaved to his master. If by the end of those seven years the slave decides to continue working for his master, he becomes a bondservant. For a moment it puzzled me. Why would anyone want to remain a slave? Pastor Don wisely continued, saying that it was the mutual love between the master and the slave that would keep him possessed by his master, and no one else could ever own the slave. He was fully his master’s servant, out of his own free will. Now it makes sense. In order to be truly free, I have to change my alliance. Do I want to be possessed by the world, or by the Lord? Am I so in love with Jesus, that I would let him invade my heart, and chisel away all of my sin? This leads me to the next word, content. Am I content in being God’s servant? Am I satisfied in being his daughter? Does he fulfill the deepest parts of my soul? Better yet, do I let him? I hate recognizing my own discontentment and emptiness. I have a loving family, great friends, an incredible church, and a home, but still there is a hole. As I mentioned earlier, God completely stretched my idea of contentment and satisfaction when my dad lost his job. I recognized the deep longings of my soul and I knew that I needed something more, and that something more was God. Psalm 36:7-8 says, “How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.” My God is a God of simplicity. All he asks of me is to come to him and he will give me fountains of living water to fill my heart to the point of overflowing. When I find my soul searching for more, stuck in the rut of discontentment, all I have to do is come and take refuge in the shadow of his wings. But pride. Pride holds me back constantly. I think I can do everything on my own, in my own strength, but as God has been teaching me, I can’t. In fact, I can’t do any good apart from Him. But if I humble myself and cry out, he will hear my voice, answer my call, and empower me. I can be free and find contentment because my God does not leave or forsake me. He is not a far off God, and every day he wants us to boldly approach his throne and lay our sins down at his feet. Pride, again, keeps me from wanting to do this. I love to believe that my sin is not that bad, or that I don’t really need to change, but that is a lie straight from the devil. I do have sin in my life, and the only one who can deliver me is God. And here is the wonderful thing: when you lay your sin at his feet, you are set free, and when you are set free, your heart is filled with joy and contentment for the grace that God has lavished upon you. I deserve nothing, but freely he gives. He is the Supreme Being, the Creator of the Universe, and he will not leave the one his soul loves and longs for. Yes, God longs for me, and he longs for you. May our hearts glory in who our maker is, and how he loves us recklessly.
Application: This week, I will pray every day for God to open my eyes and show me all of his faithfulness in my life. I will ask him to make me content, wholly in him alone.