“I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him… Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:8-14
A vibrant and flourishing life in Christ is an oxymoron of divine realities. Contentment in Christ, a gift of His indwelling Spirit, presupposes it is never enough. Satisfaction in Christ, another gift of His Spirit, awakens hunger for more. The better we know Him, and the more content and satisfied we are in His sufficiency, through a peculiar spiritual dichotomy, the more we long… for more.
We live as Christians in this world in an enigmatic tension. We cannot have both deep satisfaction in Christ and contentment in our status quo. To know Him to the point we find our all in Him, we continually want more. When once we taste and see He is good, our appetite for Him arouses and we desire to partake again and again. He who satisfies our hunger for significance, our longing for purpose and meaning, is the One who daily feeds us on His bread of life. He who slakes our spiritual thirst is our infinite well of living water. (Psalm 34:8; John 4:14; 6:32-35)
He who saves and declares us righteous is the One who continually sanctifies us, making us increasingly Christ-like as we work out our salvation. He who has lifted us out of the pit is He who leads us ever upward, He who freed us from sin and shame the One who teaches us to say no to them. He who has made us a new creation is He who renews us day by day, honing godly character and refining our personality until the moment we see Him face to face and are like Him. (Psalm 103:3-5; Romans 7:6,22-25; 2 Corinthians 4:16; 5:17; Philippians 2:12-13; Titus 2:11-14; 1 John 3:2)
The Lord who grants us soul rest is the One who keeps our minds in perfect peace as we trust Him, and offers rest when we yoke to Him. The One who has given us the mind of Christ is the same who renews our minds and grants us wisdom generously when we ask. We who are rooted and grounded in Christ’s love can live all our days exploring its infinite measure. (Psalm 62:1-2; Isaiah 26:3; Matthew 11:28-29; Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 2:16; Ephesians 3:14-19; James 1:5)
So in this mysterious paradox, where do we stand? Are we content, and satisfied? Good! Are we also yearning to go deeper, and higher? Good!
“Prayer is the heartfelt expression of holy dissatisfaction.” ~John Piper
Lord, keep me content, and wanting more; satisfied, and hungering for You.