Summary: This message continues a discussion of the spiritual disciplines. Specifically God calls us all to serve one another.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
The discipline of simplicity arises out of the state of contentment. Contentment is a feeling of calm satisfaction. Discontentment is a feeling of agitated dissatisfaction. Discontent in the dry soul, is similar to thirst to the dehydrated body. It signals that some vital element the body needs is missing. The body needs water. The soul needs the Water of life. Many things can produce such a sense of calm satisfaction and quench the thirsty soul, but anything having to do with the actions of people, cooperation of circumstances or acquisition of things is temporary and does not address the cause. Contentment based on people, circumstances or things produces a false satisfaction that in reality generates greater thirst and dissatisfaction. It is like drinking Coke to alleviate thirst. Caffeine is a diuretic (causes the body to eliminate water) and thus does not really provide the necessary elements to satisfy the need for water that the thirst alarm signals. The core secret to diminishing discontentment and developing contentment lies in a proper perception and conviction. Jesus is all I need! Jesus is all I want! Because of Jesus, it is well with my soul whether my circumstances are peaceful like a river or turbulent like raging sea billows. Whatever my lot God teaches us to say, “It is well, it is well with my soul” because of Jesus. We all expectantly wait for the return of Jesus to restore both people and things as God originally intended. Even so, while we wait, it is well with our soul because…Jesus is all I need!
I can be content with what I have even if it is down to food and clothes.
I can enjoy what I have rather than strive for what I don’t have.
I need not fret or worry but can pray until the peace of Christ guards my heart and mind.
I can endure hardship realizing that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
I need not demand response or change from others because Jesus is all I need.
I can be content when things or people or circumstances don’t line up because my life does not depend on any of those things.
I can have a calm satisfaction because God has promised never to leave me or forsake me.
When Jesus is with me, I need not fear what man can do.
I can endure or conquer all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Such contentment stimulates simplicity. Simplicity confirms contentment.
The more satisfaction we find in Jesus the less stuff and clutter we want in our life.
We are able to lay aside not only every sin that trips us but encumbrance that slows us in the race of faith. We keep looking to Jesus, the author and perfector and model of our journey of faith. Again I want to reemphasize that there is a great difference between contentment leading to simplicity and complacency leading to inactivity. Paul said I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. He did not say I can avoid all things through Christ. Contentment relates to the motivation of activity more than the moderation of activity. Contentment engages life because of connection with Christ; His purpose, power and provision. Complacency disengages from life due to disconnection from Christ; lack of eternal perspective
Paul made it clear that in spite of contentment in regard to people, circumstances and things he was not content to remain stagnant in His pursuit of Christ and the Kingdom.
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14
He urged those believers to adopt the same fervor.
Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained. Philippians 3:15-16
He lamented those who sold out to seek contentment through the flesh.
Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things. Philippians 3:17-19