Today we get the pleasure of hearing from Bethany Allen about desire versus contentment and if god will grant the desires of our heart.
You have a choice around this topic.
How do we get beyond these definitions to the power what lies within them? How do we know what to expect when we do?
Obstacles and How to Move Trough Them
How to Move Through This
Heyyy Heart of Dating famm! Today we have a bit of a throwback for our episode but one we think you NEED to hear! Bethany Allen joined us for the Heart of Dating Conference 2023 and BLESSED us with a WORD about desire and contentment. We thought in this season of tools to thrive in singleness, this sermon would be PERFECT! So let’s jump into this treat of an episode today with Bethany Allen!
The word Bethany is bringing today isn’t from some abstract reality, it’s coming from her ACTUAL life of the journey it’s been to balance desire and contentment. This desire she feels for a partner, a family, children and yet somehow finding satisfaction in the waiting. The truth is for Bethany this hasn’t been an easy journey.
A really unraveling and hard moment for Bethany was at 24 when her boyfriend of 5 years ended up not choosing her. The worst part was that she felt like God was in it. She felt like she had godly desires for him and marriage but at the end it didn’t happen. While she thought that the worst of it was the man she loved leaving her and her dreams being shattered, that actually wasn't true. What came to be in the fallout of this breakup was Christian people surrounding her and saying “you made an idol out of him, that’s why this didn’t work,” “you just weren’t ready,” “you just weren’t content in the Lord that’s why this didn’t happen for you.” This was the worst part of it for Bethany. These subtle words were actually catastrophic to what she thought about herself and God. What she heard in their words was that desire was dangerous, and contentment was fragile. Both of those realities set Bethany on a trajectory in her relationship life that forced her to redefine her own goodness and God’s goodness.
This season left her holding some really hard questions that all of us have or will probably hold. Like, “How do you hold desire for something while also being content in your current season?” Deeper than that, “What do I or can I expect out of life? What can I expect from God in my life?”
If you’ve wrestled with these questions then you probably understand what Bethany says when she says she’s wrestled or held tension regularly between this world and the ache for something that will actually satisfy a deeper desire. While this tension is noble and beautiful and theologically rich in so many ways, when it intersects with our real life, it’s a little tricky. When it intersects with my deepest desires the things I feel are most true and aligned with me that’s when things get harry.
So you can either join Bethany on the adventure and let God maybe speak to you, or not.
Philippians 4: 10-13.
Paul wrote this in jail. “Whatever the circumstances.” Paul has learned in any circumstance to be content.
There are 2 things Bethany wants us to grab right here and not miss.
Which takes us to verse 13 where he says I can do all things, and what he’s really saying here is, “I can do anything through the one who empowers me and enables me to be satisfied. Making Jesus and dependence on Him central and key to experiencing contentment.
So, some of you are looking for contentment but you don’t have Jesus you’re not going to find it.
When I think about this, I think okay that’s Paul but I’m Bethany.
Psalm 16. It’s here we’re plopped into the very personal prayer of King David. David never shys away from telling God how he feels and no matter what he’s taken back to satisfaction.
The point here is that David is saying something we don’t want to miss. We see all across the old testament David’s desire and his contentment seem to be rooted in the same thing. There were a lot of things that David desired in his life but didn’t get. Somehow though, we see David had both desire and contentment. Despite every desire not being met, and every circumstance not going his way, he had hope that led him to find rest for his soul.
Paul and David, in them we see an image that actually challenges what it means to walk well in our season. Each fought for and fought against the challenges and tensions that many of us have spent much of our adult lives avoiding. Somewhere within their wrestle with God and with their desires, they found contentment that could satisfy their souls. The truth is what we see in them has less to do with their abilities and more to do with their willingness to avoid sanitising what they most desire before God and trusting God that He would be faithful to them without compromise until the end. We see in scripture that God does not separate desire from contentment. It’s from their desire, their wrestle with contentment and how they’re inherently linked we find greater revelation and greater insight. Desire and contentment need each other. If we can get that truth that can change everything for us.
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