Something that has become quite apparent to me after viewing ad after ad on TV, in the magazines, and on social media is the fact most of us seeing these ads had absolutely no idea we actually "needed" or "wanted" this stuff until we saw it! Have you ever seen those little videos featuring some product they 'found' on some shopping site and didn't know they needed? That's what I am talking about. It is just like us humans to be content with what has worked for so long until we see the next amazing device and then our appetite is whet! We want it! Wouldn't it just dazzle God to no end if we had such a tremendous desire for the things he reveals to us of his power, grace, and truth?
You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. (Matthew 5:5)
The ads cultivate a sense of "need" for somethings we had no previous desire for - in other words, they cultivated our discontent!
Sensing the "next move" in your life is a little different from having a sense of discontent, though. Discontent really is a restlessness coupled with a craving for something you don't have - even when you might not actually need it. In one sense, discontent has a positive effect - it gets us up off our posterior end and gets us moving toward what it is we see as our need. We need to tap into our discontent - but only as far as it leads us into the things God has purposed for our lives. If I was married and I no longer found the "love of my life" to meet my "needs", it would be totally wrong for me to allow this discontent to drive me to find a new mate or to have an affair. That would be using my discontent to drive me in the direction of my flesh, not my spirit. When we allow God to direct our contentment, he also influences the sense of discontent we might experience in life. In turn, the discontent drives us toward the things of the Spirit he desires for us to engage with and incorporate into our lives. In this sense, discontent is a good thing - it drives us closer to God.
Learning to rely less upon what makes us content and focusing on what might actually be the object of our discontent may not seem like a big deal at first, but if we are to accurately respond to our discontent, we need to focus on it. The issue arises when we focus on our discontent apart from the advice and guidance of scripture, mature brothers or sisters in the Lord, and good biblical counsel. We cannot figure out our discontent on our own - we need God's oversight in order to evaluate the source, the potential ways of dealing with it, and how it will impact our lives once we deal with it. Just sayin!