In our churchwide community group we talked about the fact that everyone has something they look to as their Savior, and what they would consider their own personal hell. These things motivate us, either by desire or by fear, are made evident in how we live: how we spend our time and money; in the things that occupy our thought life.
This was something I had never examined before. Sure, I knew that people were driven by different things, but I never looked deep enough to see the underlying reason WHY people did the things they did when it came to these issues. Anything that we look to for ultimate fulfillment, that “If I just get _________ , then I will be happy, successful, secure, etc. etc. You fill in the blank. It could be money, a nice family, a great job, that house in the suburbs, relationships, popularity, making a difference in social causes. Anything that we think that once achieved will mean we’ve “made it” or had a life that was worth the breath poured into it. Hell for us would be not measuring up to what we think would be the mark of a life well spent.
We want to matter. We want to be happy. Many of us want to be loved or thought well of. There is nothing wrong with wanting the “good things” in life, but ultimately, what is our true purpose? As Romans 1 says, one only has to look around to see the evidence that there is a Creator, but we are ruled by evil desires and don’t want to be accountable to God, so we pretend He’s not there. We harden our hearts because we want to do this life thing on our own, to achieve on our own, so that we receive the glory and praise. We want control. The thing is, no matter what we acheive, there’s always SOMETHING missing. We set out to find it. We look for satisfaction in things that weren’t meant to satisfy us. They do a terrible job of making us feel content, and in fact we may just become enslaved to the pursuit and sustaining of these false saviors. Job 8:14 says “ What they trust in is fragile ; what they rely on is a spider’s web.” Read the book of Ecclesiastes. It is believed to have been written by King Solomon, a man who had everything: money, wisdom, power, women (lots of women), and declared that the only thing that was worth anything was to “Fear God and keep his commandments”- Ecclesiastes 12:13. Why?
My savior was relationships. I thought that if I could just be loved by a man, THEN I would be happy. I was never money hungry or that worried about success, because happiness in my eyes was having someone love me, and being able to love them. If I just had that, I would know what joy was. What I found was that even in the midst of relationships, I was still lonely. I was always worried that everything was on the verge of collapse, and I was usually right. I would end up alone, again, and would feel depressed and worthless.
That’s what is so futile about depending on these things as our Savior, because they won’t fulfill us..the money can’t satisfy, the relationships don’t deliver security, the good works we do don’t change the fact that inside, we are sinful. Sin is living life apart from the rule of God. Anything we gain apart from God will only last a little while before it fails us. Ultimately, none of these false saviors can deliver us from that Great Equalizer, death. It’s kind of inevitable. So what’s the point of any of this? Is there one?Is there anything that can answer that longing we have to be loved and be important?
We have all tried to do life apart from God. We have declared that we are wiser,smarter, and much better suited to rule than He is. We have turned to sin and embraced it, calling it “good” and calling God bad. This is treason. Christ came and died to take the punishment we all deserve for our rebellion against God. He did it so that we, realizing there is no lasting satisfaction apart from Him, can be brought back into a restored relationship with God. Because God is both loving and just, He doesn’t let evil go unpunished, but he gave us grace by sending His son to take the death penalty we deserved. (John 3:16) Now we have a choice: turn from OUR way of doing things and enter into the contentment of a life lived under the rule of a great and loving Father God, or continue to look for other ways to achieve that fulfillment apart from Him. If we reject His offer of forgiveness, insisting there is nothing to be forgiven for, we ignore the consequences of choosing to be our own God (which we are woefully unequipped for). Jesus proved he has power over death, and says that if we allow HIM to be our Savior, we can spend eternity with Him. It’s a good eternity. It’s heaven: no more evil, no more tears: all that is wrong with the world will be set right. The alternative is life spent apart from Him, and as an extension of that choice-eternity spent apart from Him. Hell. The absence of God’s presence and His good gifts. The eternal perpetuation of mourning the rejection of the only Savior that can deliver. He’s real, what He says is real, and the God that made you, me, and this universe that sustains life, wants to be the One you trust in. He’s the only One worthy of our trust and devotion. If you turn to Him, He will save you. He is love. He is satisfaction. He is security. He is what you have been searching for.
When I turned my life over to the rule of God, it was scary. I didn’t know how to trust in Him ( a God I couldn’t touch or even see) to bring me happiness. But, by acknowledging that there had to be a God, logically, from what I could see and from the personal experiences I and others have had, I by faith, have prayed to Him, and seen Him answer. I have studied His word and found it to be the Ultimate Truth. It explains who we are, and what our purpose is. It shows how wrong things have gone, and how this loving God has made a way for it to be right again. I have experienced a peace, joy, and satisfaction that is impossible to lose, because God is eternal and unchanging, and for some reason, He loves me with an everlasting love. Jesus saved me from myself, from the rule of sin and death, because he had mercy on me. It wasn’t that I was good, or worthy. I was sinful and wicked. He showed me that He was the only one who could deliver me from this death that was steadily advancing. I believed that He had the power to do it, and I took Him up on this free gift of salvation. Praise God that He loves us even when we don’t love Him back!
Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.