Once turkey season is over, it is about time to start thinking about the fall season. All kinds of decisions to make…do I need more gear, do I need different gear, have I outgrown my hunting clothes…should I look for different ground or move treestands around on the same ground? Those last two questions seem to take the most time to ponder. Seriously, if you’ve outgrown your clothes (insert cheeseburger comment here), then you need new ones. That one is pretty easy because you know losing weight is never a bankable option. So…is it time to move to a different location? This question causes me to think about the memories associated with the old spot.
- Shot a nice buck there 4 years ago
- My oldest boy got his first deer there
- Easy to get in and out of
- Honestly…I like this spot
Did I just talk myself out of moving spots? Sometimes being happy where you are seems like the secret to contentment. The danger in contentment is complacently. The difference is in being where you should be versus stopping before you get there. Being human…I can’t discount the lazy factor in this. Am I really satisfied…or am I avoiding poison ivy and ticks by not moving stands and selling myself on contentment? That’s a good question.
When God calls us out of the darkness, enlightens our mind, supplies us with faith, we have a responsibility to see His work through. Paul says in Ephesians 1: 15-19, “For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might”
Paul is rejoicing and praying over the conversion and calling of these particular brothers of the Cross. I think it is interesting that he prays for “a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him”…and…”that you will know what is the hope of His calling”. I’ve never really thought about it quite like that before. God has called us, and has a hope for that calling. As if…God is hoping we understand what the call is…specifically, so we will take up those instructions and see it through. The ‘spirit of wisdom and of revelation’ is the stuff necessary to hear and understand. Paul realizes that without it…we won’t ‘get it’. I also find it interesting that…God calls…hopes we hear…but in order to hear we must receive wisdom…which is also supplied by God…but is linked to intimacy with Him…which causes understanding to bloom in our heart (not our head)…all derived through prayer.
Whew…! In other words, praying for direction is a process of supplied grace.
Peter warns in 2 Peter 1: 10, “Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you….”
Sometimes we just know…this is what I am supposed to be doing within the Kingdom. That resolution comes through wisdom and revelation supplied by God through are prayers. Other times…we are not so sure. Especially when our calling was so clear…and now it’s not. We have to remember, God is in control, we signed up for this and should not be surprised when He decides we are done here…and wants us to move over there. I mean think about it…when John the Baptist baptized the lamb of God…his calling was done. The way was paved. Ananias was used to minister to Saul (Paul) until Paul was ready to take up his calling from God…and then the calling of Ananias was done. This doesn’t mean their responsibilities (or ours) to the Kingdom were considered over…it just means that particular task was completed.
The aforementioned Paul in Philippians 4: 11-13 says this, “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
To be content in whatever the circumstances, I believe, is harder than hearing the initial call. I’m not talking about temporal things here…I’m talking about being content when the call changes. Hearing the new call is tough…because usually we are not listening for it. We assume, since we are happy doing…that the call hasn’t changed. But our emotion is not a good indicator…remember, the “spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him”…? The key there is a “heart knowledge” of Him…a unity forged in the fires of real prayer and a seeking of God. Time spent at His feet, in His presence, will keep us from focusing completely on the task…and thus our ear is attuned to His next set of directions. This is a hunger for God that far outweighs the task set before us. Reminds me of Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
Becoming complacent actually means we have stopped listening. Our time at God’s feet has been replaced by something else. That something else may well be the tasks of the original call…! Finding a place of contentment should be the goal of every brother who has heard the call of God. True contentment only comes through time spent at the feet of Jesus…listening and emulating…gaining heart knowledge. I really could live without stomping through poison ivy and ticks to move treestands, but if my Lord calls me to move…move I must. My obedience to His change of call is not only a great gain to the Kingdom, but it only adds to my contentment. I believe Paul said something like that in 1 Timothy 6:6, “But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.”
Don’t we all want that…?