Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"Be Content"

      "The soldiers likewise demanded of Him, saying, And what shall we do? And He said unto them... be content with your wages" (Luke 3:14).

    Unto conscripted Roman soldiers who had no say or latitude in the matter, the Lord Jesus Christ commanded the men to receive their remuneration without dissatisfaction or complaint.

    The basis of such a challenge to contentment involves God's involvement and provision, and our confidence therein.  Do we trust that He is the essence of our provision in all things, including the material aspects of our lives?  Promises for such supply fill the pages of Scripture, including the Apostle Paul's bold assurance that "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).  Upon this foundation of confidence in our Lord's provision, wages must be viewed in terms of His personal administration and will concerning our personal experience.  "
Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows" (Luke 12:6-7).

    Of course, unlike Roman soldiers, many people in modern times have the freedom to negotiate with employers in matters of reward for work done.  Christians can certainly do this, and can also determine to seek employment elsewhere if greater wages are desired or needed.  This may not always lead to the desired result, however.  Employers frequently balk at salary increases, and no other opportunities for work may present themselves.  Thus, we find ourselves in a tacit "conscription" wherein, like the soldiers of old, we seem to have no choice in the matter.  In such times, the Lord Jesus' challenging command meets us where we are.  Again, "be content with thy wages."

    Herein lies a far deeper matter than money, namely, God's relationship to us, and our response to Him.  He promises His presence, His loving involvement, and His provision in all things according to His wisdom and personal purpose in our lives. Sometimes, however, He administers these assurances in ways mysterious and challenging to our understanding, allowing unpleasant conditions to remain with us rather than change them (or enabling us to change them).  Perhaps even more challenging, He commands that we experience contentment in the midst of the difficulty.  "Be content with such things as ye have" mandates the writer of Hebrews, who proceeds to provide the basis of such tranquility of heart - "For He hath promised, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5).  Herein we discover that contentment lies not in emotionally, mentally, or physically pleasing circumstance, but again, in relationship and response.  Is there a place deep in our hearts where we have joined the Lord in building an altar whereupon we sacrifice devilish and carnal notions regarding where our true contentment originates and continues?  How we answer this question determines our capacity to know and experience the only true satisfaction available to our hearts...

"He is thy life."
(Deuteronomy 30:20)

Weekly Memory Verse
    For by Thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.
(II Samuel 22:30)


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