Luke 11:24-25 – When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, “I will return to my house from which I came.” And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order.
Colossians 3:8-10 – But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
Philippians 4:11-12 – Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
Jesus was teaching the principle of replacement when He said that if a demon were cast out but the Holy Spirit did not take its place, then seven more demons would fill the gap. This is why Paul tells us not only to “take off” certain mind-sets and desires but also to “put on” others. It is not enough to simply cast out or take off coveting.
It’s not enough to give away everything that doesn’t “spark joy” or to move into a tiny home. Contentment has nothing to do with your stuff and everything to do with your soul. Like Jesus, who was equally content whether rich in heaven or poor on earth, we have to welcome in and put on contentment. Just as light drives out darkness, so contentment drives out coveting.
Contentment is based upon what we have in our relationship with God, because He meets our deepest needs and is our greatest treasure. A content person can be ruling from a lofty position or serving from a lowly position with an equal amount of peace in his or her soul.
This is the example of our Lord, who was content to sit on a throne and be worshipped by angels as well as to hang on a cross and be mocked by enemies. A content person can be rich in possessions or reeling in poverty while having the same quality of character and life of love as Jesus. This is the example of our Lord, who is today bountiful and blessed in the kingdom and was equally content while homeless and hungry on the earth. The key to contentment is trusting the Father heart of God.
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