‘Tis the season to be buying…
Oh wait, that’s not how it’s supposed to go!
But isn’t that what happens?
We get overwhelmed with the media blitz that programs our willing little minds with the mantra, “Shop, shop, shop…”
Our church is doing a message series between Thanksgiving and Christmas called, “Consumed.”
It's a thought-provoking word. What consumes us?
I looked up the definition for the word “consume.” This is what it says:
“To spend wastefully; squander; use up; waste or burn away; perish.”
I’m not pointing fingers here! I’ve been a recovering “shopaholic” my whole life. It’s difficult not to WANT MORE. It’s even more difficult when you have the financial means to get more. And even when you don’t, there’s credit.
Oh yes, the urge to acquire is powerful.
But where does it come from?
Our pastor testifies that it started in the beginning. In a perfect place where EVERY need was provided by a loving and attentive God.
And that’s when “THE LIE” came –
The devil placed a niggling worm of doubt in the mind of Eve.
“Psst. God is withholding something from you – something GOOD.”
Oh, that wily serpent. He implied that God was strict, stingy, and selfish. He got Eve to forget all that God had given her.
He moved Eve from a heart of gratitude to a mind of discontent.
He does the same thing to us. He gets us to focus on the ONE thing we DON’T have. And then, the seed begins to grow. We get “consumed” with what we think is “missing” from our lives – the one thing we “have” to have.
Discontent grows into resentment. And unchecked resentment grows into anger. And unchecked anger grows into bitterness.
We forget to be thankful. We allow gratitude to die.
How do we fight against this insidious attitude?
We battle with the truth!
God is good.
Life is dependence on God.
All life is a gift from Him.
That’s how we break the confusion. We dedicate ourselves to gratitude. We learn to cultivate contentment.
Today’s “Bible Pick ‘Ems” completely enhances this valuable lesson. Listen to the words of Paul:
“…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 to living in every situation…For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13)
Paul looked at life from GOD’S perspective.
He focused on what he was supposed to DO, not on what he felt he should HAVE.
We can learn some powerful lessons from Paul:
1) Set our priorities straight.
2) Be grateful for everything God has given us.
3) Detach ourselves from the nonessentials.
4) Concentrate on the eternal.
5) Fill up that “empty” place in our hearts with God – not with things.
Here’s how our pastor summed it up – Want what you have, and don’t want more.
Contentment is found right HERE – right where you are. It is a discipline of mind, and a surrender of heart.
It is rejecting society’s message to consume. It is resisting the urge to accumulate. It is refusing to fill empty places in our hearts with “stuff.”
It is renouncing the enemy’s lie.
It is claiming God’s goodness, and living like we believe it – single-mindedly, wholeheartedly.
The other definition for “consumed” is this: to be engaged fully, to be engrossed, held firmly, completely occupied!
Let GOD consume you…
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
“When in doubt, search God out!”