Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Contentment Day 9: Citizineship (Appetizers Aren't supposed to Fill You Up!)

Philippians 3:18-21
18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. 

A few months ago I wrote about "The Gift of Unhappiness".  The post was a discussion of Max Lucado's idea that we will never be TRULY happy here on earth because we weren't made for this earth.  He eloquently reminds us that because this world is not our home, we can't get too comfortable here.  Our hearts should always be longing for more.

I have always loved this concept, because it has truly helped me get through some difficult moments in my life.  I love this concept so much that I thought it was worth re-posting about in this series on contentment.  The reality is, to reach contentment in our lives we have to remember that this world is not our home.  Like Paul explains, our citizenship is in heaven. 

Max Lucado puts it best in his book Heaven, God's Highest Hope:

"Unhappiness on earth cultivates a hunger for heaven. By gracing us with a deep dissatisfaction, God holds our attention. The only tragedy, then, is to be satisfied prematurely. To settle for earth. To be content in a strange land...We are not happy here because we are not at home here. We are not happy here because we are not supposed to be happy here. We are “like foreigners and strangers in this world” (1 Pet.

Take a fish and place him on the beach.2 Watch his gills gasp and scales dry. Is he happy? No! How do you make him happy? Do you cover him with a mountain of cash? Do you get him a beach chair and sunglasses? Do you bring him a Playfish magazine and martini? Do you wardrobe him in double-breasted fins and people-skinned shoes? Of course not. Then how do you make him happy? You put him back in his element. You put him back in the water. He will never be happy on the beach simply because he was not made for the beach.

And you will never be completely happy on earth simply because you were not made for earth. 

Oh, you will have your moments of joy. You will catch glimpses of light. You will know moments or even days of peace. But they simply do not compare with the happiness that lies ahead....

Those moments are appetizers for the dish that is to come."

And that is the key to contentment.  Remembering that this world is but an appetizer for what is to come.  It is not supposed to fill us up because it can't.  Too many of us put our highest hopes and expectations into this world, only to be let down time and time again.  Contentment is found when we let go of our expectations of what this world can offer us, and remember that the best is yet to come.  Our citizenship is in heaven.  

Thank you Father that the best is yet to come.  May we never be so satisfied with this world that we cease to long for more.  Give us contentment in our lives as we journey toward greater and greater things. 

1 comment:

  1. Love the comparison of life on earth and appetizers!


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