I have a confession… I wrestle with a lot of discontentment.
Despite my efforts to guard my heart and captivate my thoughts, I still many times find myself comparing my life to those around me and wondering if at times I am missing out.
Maybe it is just me, but it seems like in our culture it is only getting more and more difficult to find contentment. We have a front row seat to so many individuals' lives. We see how they live, what they drive, how many hours a week they work, and even how they spend their free time. Anything and everything is broadcast across YouTube and Instagram for us to absorb. It seems at times like an impossible barrage relentlessly beating down the door of our hearts.
Most recently I found myself discontent with where God has me right now in this season. I consistently find myself asking God, “Is this where I am supposed to be?” as if God messed up and what my life needs is my own human intervention (more on this to come).
When I am really struggling to identify the source of a feeling in my life I always go to two things: my journal and prayer. Word by word I began to chip away at the outer shell of the discontentment that I have been wrestling with. At the center of it all was the enemy’s not-so-secret weapon. The lie that has been told since The Garden… the lie of “I know better than God, and He should write my story my way.”
Man… is this not the battle cry of our culture right now? You can’t go a single day without hearing things like:
Follow YOUR heart!
Stop focusing on others, you need to focus on YOU!
Live YOUR truth!
At the center of our flesh we all desperately desire to be the lord of our own lives. When I examine my own life I am no different. Apart from Christ I am an attention seeking, envy driven, prideful individual. Much of my discontentment comes when my focus is on how far I still desire to go, rather than how far God has brought me. It is centered on a belief that God should be taking me constantly onward and upward by the trajectory of my own standards.
Recently, during one of my episodes of discontentment, I was looking through some posts that I had saved on Instagram and came across an old post from Loui Giglio. It said:
Young leaders, the goal isn’t getting the microphone. What’s important is having something to say. Not just mimicking those around you, but telling the world what Jesus has done for you, what you have built and how, what storms you have weathered and the truth that has sustained you, what pain you’ve endured and the way God is bringing you through.
Message > Mic.
Getting the mic is easy. Having something to say is a process. Make the process your goal.
Drop the mic Loui…
It is so easy these days to believe that we are equipped when truly we are just mimicking information that we have heard time and time again. We are at an increased danger of this given the massive amount of information and knowledge that is at our fingertips in 2021. But friends… don’t mistake knowledge for wisdom. Wisdom is the product of knowledge rightly applied. Knowledge is rightly applied when we walk the path God has set before us specifically tailored to the curriculum of who Christ is calling us to become.
Our job is not to cut corners or build platforms. Our job is faithfulness. It is to trust in the Lord with all of our hearts… even when the path that He has us on makes absolutely no sense (Proverbs 3:5-6).
To believe that we shouldn’t be where we currently are is to believe that God got it wrong. For many of us, this idea is the exact source of our discontentment. We focus all of our efforts on our future instead of being fully present to learn the lessons that God is teaching us in each season.
We don’t abide in the process that God is taking us through. In theory it sounds good, but the application we find too difficult. The great irony of it all… the best way to be most prepared for the future is to be diligent and faithful in the present.
So friends I encourage you… read Proverbs 25:6-7 and 1 Peter 5:6-7. We are not to call ourselves up on our own timeline. God is the one who lifts up and He does it in His own timing. As our friend Todd Wagner puts it, if we try to do God’s job of exalting ourselves, God will do our job of humbling us (1 Peter 5:6).
Seek faithfulness where you are called. Invest more in being a person worth following than an individual with a following. Your steadfastness in each season is building in you a character. Don’t seek to let your competence outrun your character. Invest in who you are becoming. Trust in God’s process. Drop the mic and let God write a message.