(Experiencing Contentment in A Discontented World) LaTan Roland Murphy
On Sunday, August 22, 2021 - I had the honor of speaking into the kind people of: thehillsnashville.com
I promised Pastor Jared I would post a few of my speaking notes, here, for those who were unable to attend or those wanting to follow up in private devotional times.
I would love to hear from you guys how God spoke to your hearts through this message. I know He's refreshed my soul through the OVERFLOW of His Word (happens every time I bring my depleted soul to Him). I pray you feel a gushing rush of refreshment as you read this blog, friend!
I'm so glad you are here!
Let's step into the water, together!
Read: Psalm 46 ESV
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved. God will help her when morning dawns. The nation’s rage, the kingdoms totter; the utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah Come, see the works of the Lord, How he has brought desolations on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear. He burns the chariots with fire. “Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of Hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah (Hebrew meaning of Selah = forever) At the time the Choir Director penned Psalm 46: The City of God was under attack. Jerusalem’s fortified city - set high on a mountain top. Its surrounding terrain – dangerous and difficult to travel protected by thick, high walls. The composer of these makes it clear his confidence was not in external/superficial security systems. Instead, he puts his contented heart to pen – proclaiming God’s presence as the ultimate source of contentment. Challenging you and I to find comfort, help, and safety and contentment in God’s presence - ONLY! Confident in God’s protection and power! God’s presence helps us: · Realize we are stronger than we think · More capable than we could have imaged Because…from the moment you and I accepted Christ… God’s presence became: · Indwelling – permanently present · Omnipresent –present everywhere at the same time · Omnipotent—having unlimited power, able to do anything Colossians 3:4 refers to Christ AS OUR LIFE. Christ is: · Refuge – our stronghold, haven, retreat, security · Strength—capacity to withstand intense pressure, endurance · Help In Times of Trouble – the action of helping someone; to make something easier for someone; to do a job; deal with a problem; to aid; assist; etc.… Looking back to: Psalm 46:1, we are able to understand God is not only present in our lives – he is VERY PRESENT (some versions read: EVER PRESENT) Meaning ~ always present, always there, fully conscious of the moment and free from internal noise. God is interested in ALL of YOU! · Your inner’s · Your outer’s · And … Your all-about-errs! Want to experience contentment? · Contentment comes as we establish Jesus as our LIFE. He is all we need. · Contentment comes as we practice being MINDFUL of God’s indwelling, omnipotent, omnipresence at work within us! (His power overcomes every dark, formless part) (Everything changes) · Contentment transforms the way we live, love, and pursue life. · Contentment changes the way we see the world. Making us capable of seeing God in every ‘nook and cranny’ of our lives. Jeremiah 33:3 – “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” ESV To live a life of contentment in a discontented world is to: 1.) Choose to acknowledge our NEED for God. Especially when we feel: · Exposed · Weak · Alone · Afraid · Uncertain Instead of chasing after the wind…striving to gain more…we CAN live a life in hot pursuit of God and experience true contentment. A life in hot pursuit of God IS a life of contentment. But what does ‘chasing after God’ look like? 1.) Cultivate a prayer life – Sit, stand, lay in God’s overflow. It doesn’t matter how you position yourself before him. 2.) COME as you are – get soaked in God’s overflowing grace, mercy, love. Come: Dirty, defiled, depraved, dejected…Simply Come! “God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved. God will help her when morning dawns.” _Psalm 46:5 Some bible scholars suggest “MORNING Dawn” is referenced here to remind us that Abraham met with God in the morning hours in prayer. Where do you meet with God? What time of day? (As I said before - it doesn’t matter where, how, or when; but it might help to pen a set day/time/place since many of us live life based on schedules and calendar events) 3.) Establish a time of day to meet with God. ______________________________________ 4.) Establish a special place to meet with God. _____________________________________ When we reach the end of ourselves – that’s where contentment begins to flow. 5.) Surrender…stop our striving – Let go of our cravings for approval from others. Letting go of the world’s definition of contentment helps us receive satisfaction from God’s presence in our lives. As Christ becomes our life, we will see a reflection of the person God wanted us to become, in the mirror, each day – a satisfied soul living in God’s OVERFLOW. Overflow of God’s Spirit: · Washes away impurities · Fills us with ABUNDANT LIFE! · Helps us to move through life in joy not based on circumstances The world is depleting. Our circumstances hard, at times. But we don’t have to live empty. In fact, we can come empty and leave full: every. single. time. THERE’S NO ROOM FOR CONTAMINATION TO ENTER INTO A LIFE FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH GOD’S WORD AND PRESENCE. ____________________________________________________________________________ NOTE: He will help “Her” = The Church (That’s US!) Psalm 46:4 speaks of a river flowing from God. Water is symbolic of the Holy Spirit, the Living Water poured out on the Church/US and the reference flowing through ‘her’ is symbolic of living water flowing through US, his people. This is not a low-tide spiritual opportunity here! This is tsunami level overflow! John 7:38 “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within him.”
_ a mighty, refreshing resource at work within us
_our super-power, given by God, to discern deep and meaningful things
_ his spirit constantly moving, stirring, rearranging, calling our dry bones to “come alive”
True contentment is found in the active life of Christ at work within us.
True Contentment in Christ:
_washes away insecurities
_fills us with confidence
_ equips us to make capable, wise decisions
_ affects external regions of our lives
_ we are able to become atmosphere changers – overflowing with power of God’s presence
_continually purifies sin/s stagnant waters trying to puddle inside of us
_breaks the cycle of toxic thinking and toxic behaviors
We weren’t created for EMPTINESS. We were created for FULLNESS!
A discontented world tells us we aren’t:
· Good enough
· Rich enough
· Pretty enough
· Thin enough
· Smart enough
· Young enough
· Old enough
· Happy enough
· Sexy enough
The contentment on our faces can remind the world that Jesus IS ENOUGH!
Overflow allows us to experience not only contentment, but:
Overflow happens wherever God is, and God Spirit is within, US, the redeemed!
Psalm 46:7 _ “The Lord of hosts is with us.”
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
“The dwelling place of God is with men.” _Revelations 21:3 Contentment is NOT: 1.) Contentment is NOT complacency. 2.) Contentment is NOT being given all that you want. It’s recognizing all you already have. 3.) Contentment is NOT about knowing WHO WE ARE but knowing WHOSE we are. 4.) Contentment is not settling but realizing we were created to be a part of something BIGGER! OVERFLOW, baby! No matter what depleting circumstances you’ve gone through: · Betrayal · Divorce · Job loss · Health crisis · Relational conflict · Financial Despair YOUR LIFE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE DEFINED BY THESE… “A good man produces good out of the good storeroom of his heart. An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart.” _Luke 6:45 HCSB
“Father, I pray blessing over my readers. I pray every depleted, empty, barren circumstance of their life will be filled to the brim with refreshment from Your Spirit as they press into YOUR TRUTH. I pray healing and a renewed sense of joy in every ‘here and now’ moment of pain. I pray for the One reading this blog who craves for more than the world can satisfy. I ask you to make Yourself known, Father. Soak us in Your love, forgiving grace, and power provided. Bring overflow with every good thing You supply.”
LaTan Murphy, LLC