I believe with my whole heart we were created to be satisfied by someone outside ourselves. Not only that but I will contend, we were created to be dependent on someone outside ourselves.
That doesn’t make us bad. In the beginning God created us and declared us very good. Even before the fall of man and in all our goodness, we had need. That need was to fellowship with God. That need was dependency based and created in us a desire to be satisfied in the depths of our being. That need was a gift to open our heart to our Creator.
Though there was no sin in the world before Eve’s act of mistrust, obviously the ability to be tempted was possible. Eve’s desire to be satisfied was bait for the enemy’s knowledge of free will. The enemy knew God did not create obedient machines but souls with the capacity to choose. Because love isn’t love unless there’s a choice.
Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden. They tasted the deepest satisfaction they could experience and yet, they were drawn to find satisfaction with the hope of becoming like God. They both knew they were created in God’s image but they also knew they were not God in omnipotence-all powerful, omniscience-all knowing and omnipresence-everywhere at the same time. Adam and Eve wanted those qualities and who could blame them?
The problem was, to be all those things meant you could not be tempted by evil. And only God held that position. Only God, the Uncreated One is, at the core, the essence of perfect love. Which makes Him a perfect leader who can always be trusted. Though we were created in God’s likeness with the capacity to love as He loves, we needed to be able to choose. Once again, love requires the freedom to choose.
So what bait is the enemy using in your life to draw you away from experiencing deep soul satisfaction in your relationship with God? What “apple” is being placed in front of your face? I can promise you, there’s something that’s been assigned to you and you most likely know what or who it is.
It’s the thing that if you take a bite, you experience some relief. You taste a little comfort and some joy. It’s either going to be something hidden like thoughts of lust, revenge, anger and emotions that you’ve become dependent on or it’s going to have morphed into behaviors that give you temporary relief. Things like sex, pornography, drugs, alcohol, self-harm or even things like causes we’ve come to worship. It’s anything you have become dependent on to escape the longing in your soul for the deepest satisfaction we can have in God. No matter how much or how often you taste the fruit of all the things I mentioned and the ones I left out, you will never feel deeply and eternally satisfied by them.
I’m writing this blog on my phone’s notes at 12:30am, on vacation, after going to bed at 9:30pm. (In a really cool cabin bunk bed) I woke up with a weight resting on me and couldn’t go back to sleep. I finally gave up trying and asked, “What is it, Father?” Even as I write those words, I have tears form. I know it’s moments like this when I feel He’s asking me to share about His goodness. His glory. His commitment to you and me. This time feels a little different. Like maybe it’s for someone specific and He wants you to know a few things. So here they are:
Anything and anyone we’ve become dependent on, other than God, is shakable. And I’m mean anything or anyone. I saw this more clearly over the last few years as I began reading the words of a friend who lost a child. The pain I’ve witnessed is off the charts and I can’t imagine expericing such loss. We love our children with all we have, but if we depend on them to meet our deepest need of soul satisfaction, we could have our world rocked to the core, maybe not even wanting to live ourselves. It’s true that life can change in a moment’s time and what we once depended on could either be gone or destroy us. (Like drugs, alcohol etc.)
It’s different with God.
“Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken.” Isaiah 28:16
This stone is Jesus Christ. He is a firm foundation for our soul’s satisfaction to land upon. His presence in us creates a place that’s steady, unshakable (Even if our world is falling apart) and eternal. It will never leave or change because that “it” is a very real being that lives in us if we believe. He doesn’t force His way in but He does awaken us to the choice. Genuine belief in Jesus isn’t easy at first, because this kind of believing means handing over the reins and seeking God with all our hearts in everything. This kind of believing awakens us to another world, in another place that never ends, and will one day be our eternal home. It’s intense to ponder and the reason why Jesus told us that it will look foolish to those who don’t believe. But if you believe and continue to believe, you will no longer care what it looks like.
The presence of Jesus in us is our one true safe and perfect place. The place in us that’s unshakable. His presence is not hard to find when we are no longer dependent on a certain feeling or external temporary source. He’s just there, all the time.
Of course we will be tempted to find satisfaction elsewhere but the deeper your experience of knowing Christ in you, the more you will recognize the fraud of anything or anyone who promises to deliver deep rest and peace in your soul. The presence of Jesus in us is our deep satisfaction, our living waters and our eternal hope. And though God has given us many gifts in creation, they were never meant to be depended on for our deepest need.
His presence is our deepest need and our greatest gift.