Last week we were talking about the fruit of the Holy Spirit which is peace, found in Galatians 5:22-23. We were looking at the definition of peace from the Strong’s definition which said peace is the “tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot of whatsoever sort that is”.
We looked at the first part, fearing nothing from God and how all our peace comes from God. What about the peace that makes our soul content with its earthly lot whatsoever sort that is? We were looking at the Apostle Paul last week. In Philippians 4:11-12 he says, “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
This is the type of peace that we get from the Holy Spirit. The peace that makes us content in every situation and in every circumstance. The peace that makes us content whether we live in a small cramped up house or in a mansion. Because, I will say this, if you do not have internal peace where you are with what you have, having more stuff, a new Tesla, a better job (and so on) is not going to give you peace.
The life of chasing more or chasing the next best thing is not what we are called to. We are called to a life that is surrendered to God. A life dedicated to serving God no matter what that looks like. When we say yes to God, we better understand that we are going to have to say no to our fleshly desires. Our flesh craves worldly things. But our spirit is chasing after God. We can’t chase after the world and after God at the same time because we stand to lose. Romans 12:1-2 warns us that we are not to conform to the patterns of this world. So we must let our spirit rise above our flesh. We must crucify our flesh daily so we can chase after God.
In Mark 4 we hear the parable of the sower. You can go read the full version when you have time. In verses 18-19 Jesus explains what happened to some of the seed that fell among the thorns. He said, “Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.” When we try to chase after the world, the seed that God has planted in us becomes unfruitful. We are talking about the fruit of the Spirit, so unfruitfulness is not our goal.
I am not saying we need to aim to have nothing in life, no. If in serving God you are blessed with a mansion and a Tesla and and and… then that’s awesome! But if not, we need to be okay with that too. We need to come to a place where we trust God with our lives, where we trust Him with everything. I remember a while ago, I received a really good job offer. The money looked great and I was weighing it out in my heart and I felt God say to let it go. Not because God doesn’t want me to have money, quite the contrary. He supplies all my needs! But because sometimes what seems to be good is not God and if God is not in it, it will pull you away from God. God’s blessings never leave you with less time for God or leave your relationship with God hanging in the balance.
This is why we need to learn to be content. So we are not jumping at every opportunity but we have a quiet trust that God will take care of us where we are. Isn’t it amazing that the verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” comes straight after Paul is talking about being content in every season of life? We don’t get this contentment because we are so great. It goes against our flesh to stay put sometimes. But if we allow the Holy Spirit to infuse us with His peace and anchor ourselves to Him, then we will not be so jumpy.
Ephesians 6 tells us that we are to keep our full armor on. In verse 15 it says we are to have our, “…feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” To me that says we need to be stable people. We can’t be jumping into every opportunity that presents itself. We can’t be chasing after everything that seems ok. We are to have enough peace to stay put and wait on God. Enough peace to be content in every circumstance. Enough peace to trust in God.
I will leave you with this; 1 John 2:15-17 says, “Don’t set the affections of your heart on this world or in loving the things of the world. The love of the Father and the love of the world are incompatible. For all that the world can offer us—the gratification of our flesh, the allurement of the things of the world, and the obsession with status and importance—none of these things come from the Father but from the world. This world and its desires are in the process of passing away, but those who love to do the will of God live forever.”
Be encouraged, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us and Galatians 5 ends with telling us in verses 24-25, “Keep in mind that we who belong to Jesus Christ have already experienced crucifixion. For everything connected with our self-life [all our fleshly passions and desires] was put to death on the cross and crucified with Messiah. If the Spirit is the source of our life, we must also allow the Spirit to direct every aspect of our lives.” As long as we stay connected to the Holy Spirit within us, we will be A-Okay. The desire to chase after the world was crucified with Christ. We must embrace our new reality, which is life through the Holy Spirit.
I hope you have a great week and that you find contentment in whatever situation you find yourself in!
Love and blessings