Discontentment . . . I wonder how much time, money, and resource goes into battling discontentment. People not happy with their current situation bent on changing it. People frustrated at where they’re at, or how things are playing out, so they pour their blood, sweat, and tears into altering their reality. Whether it’s driven by self-imposed goals . . . or by some “greener grass on the other side of the fence” . . . or by some idealistic view of how their lives should be turning out . . . they want to be somebody else . . . or be doing something else . . . or be living somewhere else.
And it’s not necessarily that what they aspire to, or dream of, is wrong . . . or shouldn’t be aspired to. But it’s not their current reality . . . and so they are discontent . . . and they are frustrated . . . and they can get trapped into being consumed with the “if only.” When, in fact, they may just need to rest and continue in the “whatever condition” God has called them to.
Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. . . . So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God. (1Corinthians 7:17, 24 ESV)
Seems like there may have been some “now what?” confusion in Corinth. “I’m saved . . . now what?” I’m saved and married to an unbeliever . . . do I need to get out of this relationship? I’ve been a Law abiding son of Abraham . . . now that I’m saved do I now try to “remove the marks of circumcision?” Or, I never knew who Abraham was, should I now be circumcised? I’m saved and I’m a bondservant . . . surely God intends a better life for me, do I rebel and run? Now what?
Paul’s answer, lead the life that the Lord has assigned to you.
Not that Paul is saying that God won’t lead us to a very different place than we are today . . . nor that God purpose for us will not involve a change of life situation. In fact, the “life that the Lord has assigned” may look very different tomorrow than today.
But what Paul is saying is that right now . . . in today’s “whatever condition” . . . there we should remain, or abide, with God.
Our current reality should be seen in the context of God’s calling. Our current situation placed under the umbrella of God’s sovereign purposes. And in that, we can abide . . . we can rest . . . and we can trust, that the next steps, or the next season, will reveal itself in God’s timing.
We were bought with a price, says Paul (7:23). Purchased with the precious blood of Christ that He might own us as His special people . . . redeemed at great cost that we might know the divine fellowship we were created for . . . ransomed through the power of a resurrected life that we might be adopted into His forever family. He has bought us and He has called us. And so, I’m thinkin’, He’s got our “whatever condition,” figured out . . . both for today, and for tomorrow. Ours is to live with the mindset that we are living out His calling . . . by His power . . . for His purposes.
And so, while I might have my dreams, desires, and aspirations, many of which I trust have been formed by the Spirit moving within me, I need not know discontent nor frustration. Because I’m called to remain . . . to adide . . . with God in my “whatever condition.”
By His grace . . . for His glory . . .