I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” Psalm 16:2
As someone who has been in missions and ministry the past 6 years, I have had the great delight of mostly working and living in faith based environments. My peers and I train leaders and students in Biblical teachings and principles. In our community, we live by scheduled weekly rhythms purposed to value the presence of God corporately. Our personal lives are highly encouraged to seek Jesus daily in intimate connection through spiritual disciplines such as prayer, reading the Bible, and worship.
But you know, even with the best kind of set up there could be, how is it that we still find ourselves discontent and unsatisfied with our lives, relationships, and circumstances? The more I think about it, I am convinced it is innate within our human nature to run to other (and lesser) things when we have a perfectly good God in front of us. Let’s take a look at this fallen track record of man throughout the Bible:
Right off the bat, we can remember what happened at the fall of man in the garden of Eden. Think about it—Adam and Eve had everything they could’ve needed and wanted. They walked in the cool of the day with God Himself. They had dominion and authority over creation and earth. They lived intimately and unashamedly of their nakedness up until they partook in sin. They wanted other things—not God.
Remember David? Yeah, the one popularly known as the ‘man after God’s heart’, the former shepherd boy anointed to be king of Israel, the guy who defeated the giant with a slingshot, the warrior leading armies and defeating enemies, the man who was zealous for the presence of God to dwell in a temple. Wow. What a guy! But let’s not overlook the time he got caught up with Bathsheba. In plain terms, his actions showed that he was an adulterer and a murderer. His fallen nature showed that his eyes were not on God as he was consumed by the desires of his flesh.
Last but not least, we have the Israelites who are notorious throughout the story of the old testament as stubborn, obstinate, stiff necked people even though they were freed from slavery and brought into the promises of God’s heart. His faithfulness, goodness, and provision followed them throughout many generations but the Israelites constantly faced a habitual sin: They often turned to other idols and loved those more than they loved God. Even still, He wanted to be their God and would soon send many messengers like judges, kings, and prophets to get them to repent and turn their hearts back to Him.
Let the reader understand, my heart is not to emphasize the mistakes and wicked patterns of man’s fallen nature just for the sake of it. In current relevant terms and circumstances today, we are no different from those in the Bible. In the western world today, we may not have much of an understanding about the worship of idolatry, but we definitely have them. We can turn to things such as entertainment, occupation, relationships, and much more to fill a God-sized void in our hearts. Now, don’t hear what I’m not saying. Those things are not evil. They’re actually supposed to be gifts and blessings from the Lord! Jonathan Edwards said that everything else that brings us happiness in this age,
“the most pleasant accommodations…fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are scattered beams, but God is the Sun.”
We are meant to enjoy God and everything else in Him. So the point is this: Let us be believers with the conviction that God’s ultimate goal in the world (His glory) and our deepest desire (to be happy) are one and the same. As John Piper says, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” Not only is God the supreme source of satisfaction for the human soul, but God Himself is glorified by our being satisfied in Him. I pray we would understand and experience the great joy it brings the Father’s heart when we, His children, delight ourselves in Him.
Listed below are some resources to give guidelines and help on this pursuit of becoming satisfied in God:
Samantha || YWAM KC Staff