Last night I has this hilarious dream where I picked up Rodney Howard Browne (a charismatic minister) from the airport because he was a guest speaker at my ministry school and I spent the day with him before our night service began where he was going to minister at. For some reason I get him to listening to the Black Eyes Peas song Boom Boom Pow and he loved it! So that night in service he ministers… about the song!
He went through the song listing each material good and how they would not satisfy you. ” The next HD flat won’t do it for you! Sexy ladies won’t do it for you, the Boom Boom Pow won’t even do it for you!!!” I cracked up when he said that but everyone was dead serious listening to him. Someone “sshhh’d” me so I tried to contain my laughter from that point on. Eventually the sermon ended and my friend reaches in to to this wicker chest that everyone had their feet on and pulled out his dachshund wearing a colored sweater and I begin rolling on the floor laughing so hard could barely breath!
I don’t know what the dachshund has to do with anything and the dream was hilarious, I woke up laughing but the point was clear and true! Material junk will not give you that final measure of satisfaction you have been seeking. In fact it’s just a vicious cycle of self deception. The new thing comes out and makes your current thing out of date, therefore you must have the new thing when you get it you are happy and temporarily satisfied until the same cycle happens again. The same process applies to money and wanting more money, eating food and wanting better food, receiving attention and wanting even more attention, having fun and seek more fun, taking risks and seeking bigger risks. It’s a never ending escalator of dissatisfaction which leads you no where but further from seeking God for satisfaction.
I want to talk about the danger of this mindset and how it constructs itself in between you and God.
The Rolling Stones were right “I can’t get no satisfaction”.
Before currency, before immorality, before entertainment, and before iEverything what satisfied Adam? I believe it was God. After Adam and Eve had sinned they heard the sound of God walking in the garden and hid in the trees. This tells me two things: God walked in the garden enough for Adam to know it, and Adam knew that the sound meant God was coming near so they better hide their sin.
But before sin what truly satisfied Adam? I believe it was communing with God through obedience and stewardship, God gave him the task of naming the animals so he did, god gave him the task of taking care of the immense garden and he did (although he needed a lady friend to help him with this one). He simply obeyed and I think he walked with God and talked with God in the garden. Am I assuming and presuming? Yea, but we see men of God walking and communing with God through the Bible and it appears to be the one thing that satisfies both man and God. We also see that throughout the scriptures the redemptive will of God reveals that his underlying master plan is to bring mankind back to Him and have an intimate relationship with Him. The Bible begins and ends with a marriage, the ultimate relationship.
For more on this check out my Christianity is Marriage blog.
So back to the point. Chasing stuff is a vane attempt at filling your “God shaped hole”. Solomon knew all of this when he wrote Ecclesiastes:
Ecclesiastes 1:9 – That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.
2:11 – Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.
Although it may seem that Solomon forgot to take his antidepressants before writing Ecclesiastes, the book uncovers a grave error of the Western society! Seeking eternal satisfaction in material things! I will even go as far as to say that through doing this we make things our gods and idols. This is because we have replaced God with stuff!
Matthew 6:21 – “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
So ask yourself this: where is my heart, based on the location of my treasure? Is it in heaven or on Earth?
Philippians 3:20 – For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
With people who do not believe in Christianity or God I have found that they fill their life with something that is in place of God. The very things believers receive through intimacy with God are found in other things.
Our hope is in Christ (1Peter 1:3)
Our life is from Christ (Romans 6:23, John 20:31)
Our joy is because of Christ (Romans 14:17, 15:13)
Our peace by Christ (Romans 14:17, 15:13, 1 Thessalonians 5:23)
Think of those four things: hope, life, joy, and peace those are things we try to find or have in material possessions, social status, and human relationships but ultimately the only true source of these things is from God.
The Egyptians believed that when you died you would proceed to the Hall of judgment where your heart was weighed against a feather, if your heart was heavier than the feather you failed and the gods would eat your heart as well as your body. The other organs such as your liver, stomach, lungs, and intestines were also preserved for use in the afterlife. Oddly enough the brains were seen as useless and throne away after being removed through the nose. The organs would be placed in special jars that surrounded the mummified person. The linen surrounding the body also was believed to preserve the body for the afterlife. Aside from the dead persons organs other things were kept by the dead body such as personal items for comfort, tools for jobs in the afterlife (no retirement?), and food for future offerings.
The problem with all this is that it’s all physical and temporary stuff! It will not pass in to the afterlife. At least the Egyptians knew that their heart would be judged by God in accordance to their sin, after all the Egyptians were descended from Ham, Noah’s son.
God is the Goal
So let’s get our goals in life straight, are they to obtain the next thing or luxury? Or are they to spread the good news that God is the satisfaction we have been looking for? Satan wants you to be occupied with things and carnal living which is not only not focused on God but it’s directed inward, it’s all about you. Gods will is that you would first and foremost go after Him and secondly that you not live inward but that you point yourself outward and poor your love, resources, and affection on others instead of yourself.
The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways, But a good man will be satisfied from above.