"And the Lord will ... satisfy your desire in scorched places."
Isaiah 58:11 ESV
The test of our religion is not in the ardency of our singing or how many pages of Scripture we read per week. The test of our faith is in whether or not Jesus is enough for us at any given minute.
Jannie had hoped that she could go to the movies with her friends. She had been looking forward to it the whole week. She was doubly excited to find out that Belle, her best friend who had moved away two months ago, was going to be back in town for the movie debut.
Needless to say, she was crushed when her mother told her the night before that she was needed to babysit.
Julie has been planning a surprise meal for her husband all week. She looked online for just the perfect recipe. She compared several sites and determined which would be the most tasty. She spent an hour going to the store to get the ingredients and another hour hovering over the pots and pans preparing it that afternoon.
When Jim came in the door, the table was all set. The prize dish was spread out on the platter like a master chef.
Jim's grimace was noticeable upon entry. He picked and ate the obligatory amount. Julie's hurt was only compounded when he pulled down the peanut butter jar just an hour later.
Jim couldn't wait to get home. It had seemed like he had been battling one person after another all day.
The project manager had bounced his plans back with several items he said needed fixed (but really didn't). The sales personnel had phoned numerous times for the rush order, which had only been submitted that morning. Not only that, but Julie had interrupted his concentration with what seemed like 1000 texts about napkins, spices, and the dishwasher.
He couldn't wait to get home, turn on the television, and veg out with some peace and quiet.
When he opened the door and saw the table, he hoped that his irritation hadn't shown itself. He knew that it was going to be a long time before he got to the TV.
You can probably identify with at least one of these scenarios. They represent our daily conflicts and unfulfilled desires. They are indicative of each of the many disappointments, hurts, and irritations that come our way.
Yet each is also indicative of a worship mentality. In each story someone is craving something--something more than Jesus.
Idolatry isn't necessarily about bowing to funny looking statues or praying to certain deities. It is about these sorts of things. It's about finding our fulfilment and satisfaction in something other than the all sufficient God.
Jannie wanted a movie and fun with her friends. There's nothing wrong with that. It's a great thing, as a matter of fact. The problem is that she wanted that night out more than she wanted Jesus. Her heart was finding its satisfaction in the theater, rather than in Christ's will for her life.
Julie's love for her husband is commendable. She should be praised for going out of her way to make this wonderful meal for him.
Yet her hurt cut so deep because she yearned for his approval. She found her satisfaction in his being satisfied in her meal and her hard work. If her heart had been set more on the approval of Christ, her meal would never have been spoiled.
Jim needed more satisfaction in Jesus too. His desire to be left alone and enjoy his little utopia free from other people's interruptions made him irritable. It stole his personality. If he would have simply remembered that Christ set aside His utopia and dealt with the interruption of Jim's sin through His sacrifice, he might have been a lot more cheery in his demeanor.
These scenarios remind us that our hearts crave Jesus. The good news is that Jesus is the fulfilment of every one of our cravings. That's why we must seek to orient our souls towards Him and put Him first in our lives.
When we settle for anything less, we will have problems. The wages of that sin will be death in one way or another.
Yet Christ came that we may have life and have it to the full. The Gospel lifts our minds from this world and shows us that there is a fountain of eternal satisfaction in the Lord.
The gospel also calls for us to drink deeply of Him. Sorrow and sadness flee away when we consider how He is our All in all. Christ never disappoints. He is a shield from sorrow. He is utopia and he makes our hearts abound with joy.
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Midweek Virtual Study
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