I've been thinking so much about what it means to be truly satisfied. I can look back through my life and pick out so many things I pursued that I thought would satisfy...but they all came up short. Relationships, money, possessions....none of these things satisfied me completely. Temporarily, yes. But not completely and without fault. The only thing that can offer that kind of satisfaction is Jesus Christ. Knowing Him. Loving Him. Glorifying Him. To quote John Piper, "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him".
Psalm 90: 14
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. (I love this one...when I meet with Him early in the morning, I am filled and satisfied all day. I am much more able to resist the temptations of this world!).Psalm 145: 15-17 15The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.
16 You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.
Isaiah 55:2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Isaiah 58:11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Over and over, He says that HE will satisfy our needs. But in a culture that screams so loudly about how we'll never be satisfied without more money, more stuff, more square footage...it's no wonder we are distracted to the point of forgetting His promise.
If we take Jesus at his Word, and start trusting that He will give us all that we need...why do we need to pursue all the things that the world pursues?
Piper has this to say about it:
If Christ is an all-satisfiying treasure and promises to provide all our needs, even through famine and nakedness, then to live as though we had all the same values as the world would betray him. I have in mind mainly how we use our money and how we feel about our possessions. I hear the haunting words of Jesus, "Do not be anxious, saying 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things" (Matthew 6:31-32). In other words, if we look like our lives are devoted to getting and maintaining things, we will look like the world, and that will not make Christ look great. He will look like a religious side-interest that may be useful for escaping hell in the end, but doesn't make much difference in what we live and love here. He will not look like an all-satisfying treasure. And that will not make others glad in God.
What would happen if every Christian lived a life that "looked different" than the world? Would it be possible to live lives like those in the early Church? To live in complete community and share all that we have?
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales, and put it at the apostles feet and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. *Acts 4:32-35
There were NO needy persons among them?! Amazing. The thing is, if everyone just shared what they had today, the same would be true. There is more than enough to go around...enough for the entire world. I know I'm thinking crazy thoughts...but it's good to think about such things.
No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had?! Wow. Think about how much crime and hatred is the result of jealousy of someone else's possessions. How caught up we get in determining what is mine and what is yours. Lawsuits, wars, divorces...
When we release our possessions and recognize that everything we have comes from Christ and belongs ultimately to Him, it's much easier to have a loose grip on it all. We are just stewards of everything God has given us...none of it is OURS anyway. They are His to do with what He wants. It's much easier to be satisfied when you take the distraction of possessions out of the picture. Jesus loved talking about money the poor. Fifteen percent of all His teaching revolves around those topics. I used to just skip over those passages apparently, because it wasn't until I went deliberately searching that I realized how much Jesus wants us to take care of the needy. Lastly, I will leave you with one last passage from Piper's book "Don't Waste Your Life". It's such a great reminder that although we should be salt and light and be "attractive" to others in order to win hearts to Christ, we also must be wary of becoming to comfortable in the "world".
I am wired by nature to love the same toys that the world loves. I start to fit in. I start to love what others love. I start to call earth "home". Before you know it, I am calling luxuries "needs" and using my money the way unbelievers do. I begin to forget the war. I don't think much about people perishing. Missions and unreached peoples drop out of my mind. I stop dreaming about the triumphs of grace. I sink into a secular mindset that looks first to what many can do, not what God can do. It is a terrible sickness.
A very convicting reminder...we are in this world but not of it. Do you look different? I'm going to leave it at that, and let you ponder. If you've never read of heard John Piper, I urge you to check him out. It's deep stuff for sure, but well worth your time.