Contentment & Emotional Doorways
The following is a compilation of revelations that God showed me about myself, and I just wanted to share these thoughts with you in case anyone is going through the same things that I am working through.
Do any of us know any Christians that are always whining and complaining? Do any of us know any Christians who always seem to be on some kind of emotional roller coaster? Well I know I do and I have come to realize that these brothers and sisters do not realize that they allowing two huge doors to swing wide open in their lives which allow the enemy to come right on in. The two doors that I am speaking of are “discontentment” and “no emotional control”.
Door#1 – Discontentment
Philippians 4:11“Not that I speak in respect of want for I have learned that in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content”
Hebrews 13:5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness and be content with such things as ye have for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee”
1 Timothy 6:6-8 “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out, and having food and raiment let us be therewith content”
No matter what came Paul’s way he learned to be content and he told us to let our conversation (manner of life & character) be without the love of money. Many people think that if they get more money they will have a better life, but most people who get more money are still just as miserable because they have not found out what true contentment really is. Sadly many Christians also constantly whine about being broke, and even after God opens doors for them they are still not content and they still continue to complain about not having enough money. Why? Because they think that more money will make them less miserable, but no amount of money will ever make someone like this content because they do not know what Godly contentment is. Christians need to realize that when they are not content with what God has given them they open a door so that satan can waltz right on in and set up shop in their life. I hear so many people saying that “satan” is coming against them when it reality it is THEY who have opened the door and let him in because of their ungratefulness toward God.
Door #2 – Loss of Emotional Control
Proverbs 16:32 “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city”
Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”
Colossians 3:2 “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead”
Psalm 139:23 “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts”
Reading through these verses we see that being in control of our emotions is something that we need to do every day. Christians who let their emotions rule over them will live up and down defeated lives until they learn to control them. They are real easy to spot because one day they will be shouting and the next they are moping around like their world is coming to an end. Even though occasionally we all have “bad” days people who let their emotions rule over them are constantly having bad days. I read a message on 1 Peter 5:8 and found out that the word “sober” means to be calm, collected, and dispassionate. When I looked up the word dispassionate in the dictionary it means to “not be influenced by strong feelings or emotions”. The Bible says he who rules his spirit is “greater” than he who takes a city so how can we rule our spirits if our emotions are the ones guiding our lives? God wants us to learn how to keep our emotions in check so that we can be a solid witness for him in this dying world.
We have to understand that we will always have emotions as long as we are on this earth, but we are to rule over them and not let them rule over us. There is nothing wrong with being passionate as long as that passion is focused on Jesus Christ and channeled into that God has called us to do for Him! As I look around Churches I see Christians more passionate about a rock concert, movie, or a sports team than Jesus, and this breaks my heart because they do not even realize that they have traded their Lord for the world. I am not saying you cannot watch a game, but when your passion for that game is greater than Jesus then YOU have a MAJOR problem. If we are having some emotional issues then we need to seek God, pray, and do whatever it takes to get them in check. We can love, laugh, and cry but at the end of the day we must control our emotions through the power of the Holy Spirit so that we keep this door closed because once this door is opened it will allow our enemy to come in and wreck havoc on us.
Door #1 – The first door we must close is the door of “discontentment”. Most of the Christians in America do not realize that the “poor” in this country live better than most of the people on this planet and it makes me sick when I hear “Believers” whining constantly about how hard their life is or how broke they are or that they can’t get the newest this or the newest that. Fellow Christian, you really need to grow up and start acting like real Believers instead of like the world. Paul was beaten, starved, imprisoned, homeless, and yet he never complained. As a matter of fact he said this “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11). It is interesting that when you normally hear this preached they always mention “That I may know him and the power of his resurrection”, but they never mention the “…and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” part. However, both elements of this passage are necessary so that we can “…attain the resurrection of the dead”. The American Christian has had it far too good for far too long and this is why the Church in America is in shambles even though they think they have it altogether. The coming days are going to challenge all of us, but only those who have learned to be content in whatever situation they are in will be able to survive. Now is the time to learn this skill because we will need it soon enough. If we take a peek into Paul’s life in 2 Corinthians we can see exactly what Paul went through and exactly what is coming to America.
2 Corinthians 11:23-27
“Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watching often, in hunger and thirst, in fasting often, in cold and nakedness”.
But what was Paul’s response to all this suffering?
“Not that I speak in respect of want for I have learned in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content”.
The Apostle Paul had it worse than any Christian living in America today could even possible think of having it yet he did not whine nor did he complain. Now I am not naïve enough to think Paul started out this way, but as he grew in the Lord he learned to be content and this is what got him through the tough times. Dear American Christian YOU DO NOT have it bad, and I do not write this to condemn you but you must realize that your constant whining only shows your lack of thankfulness towards God for all that he has done for you. Discontentment will open up a door to the enemy, and he will come in and steal your joy and your peace so brothers and sisters today is the day to close this door so that you can begin to live in peaceful contentment in Christ. However, to do that you must learn to be content no matter what is going on in your life period!
Door #2 – The second door that we can never leave open is the “emotional” door because once this door is open it is extremely hard to close. We have to understand that emotions are very strong and once they are unleashed in a negative way they can destroy someone’s life. Once our enemy sees us out of control in this area he will just heap on everything he can to keep us in an emotional turmoil because in that state we are no threat to him and of no use to God. As I said we will always have emotions while we are on this earth, but it is in the managing of those emotions that will ultimately decide what type of Christian life we lead. As we learn to deal with our emotions we need to remember to look at what is “causing” the emotions and not the emotions themselves. For instance, are you always getting mad in your car? The emotion is anger, but what is the source of that anger coming out of you? Is it impatience or could it be that you think you are better than the other driver (pride)? Whatever the “source” of the emotion is will dictate what we have to do to bring it under control because once again a Christian that is letting his emotions rule them is of no use to the Kingdom. The key here to controlling emotions is to be completely HONEST with ourselves and not sugarcoat what we are doing, and if we do that we have a chance of closing this “emotional” door! We are told to “keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” or “watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Just like with discontentment we have to be proactive to fight negative emotions so that we control our Christian walks. It is always easier to spot someone else’s emotion problems because we as humans do not want to look at ourselves honestly, but we have to be honest about our lives so that we can keep this door to the enemy BOLTED SHUT! We can’t control what others do to us, but we can control how we react and that reaction is on us and no one else. Do we want God’s peace? Then have to keep our hearts and minds on Jesus (Philippians 4:7). Do we want to live like we should in this life? Then we have to “Set our affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead” (Colossians 3:2) and ask God to “Search me and know my heart & try me and know my thoughts” (Psalm 139:23).
It is time to start being a thankful Christian and it is time to start being a Christian who is in charge of their emotions. In the rough times ahead these two skills will become extremely valuable to every Christian!
Love In Christ,