Our greatest goal needs to be helping each other come back to God, because only God can truly satisfy.
So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”
2 Corinthians 5: 20 (NLT)
What a person desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar.
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
God’s love offers to satisfy us each morning so that we may have joy. Every morning we need forgiveness, kindness, and encouragement — the only place we can look that won’t fail us is God.
You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure. You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy?
James 4: 2-5 (NLT)
There is a satisfaction that we can pursue that will destroy our hearts, lives, and relationships. Verse 5 says that our spirit within us is filled with envy. It’s natural for us to want sin, but what we are really longing for is the perfect relationship with God.
Danger comes when we stop letting God meet our needs and instead we become insatiable, discontent, and people-reliant. Basically, we become dissatisfied. And dissatisfied leads us to drinking, emotional unfaithfulness, over-working, and strained relationships.
5 People We Become When God Isn’t Meeting Our Needs
- The Narcissist – attention hogging, and hungry for admiration.
- The Victim – demands that others rescue him and hates taking responsibility for guilt and sin.
- The Controller – has an opinion about everything and feels a need to dominate.
- The Criticizer – feels qualified to judge you and bolster his or her own ego by making you feel small and ashamed.
- The Splitter – may treat you like their best friend one day, and then mercilessly attack you the next day when he feels wronged. He keeps others on an emotional roller coaster.
But there is another way!
God’s Word Satisfies
After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 25 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces. 26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
Luke 7:24-26 (NIV)
God’s word is attractive because it satisfies. John was in the wilderness, wasn’t well dressed, and didn’t live in luxury — but people went to see him anyways. Why? He had God’s words in his heart and spoke them to the people. He helped people find a real relationship with God.
As friends, it’s our job to point each other back to God and to work hard in our relationships with God.
Effort Is Required
The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. 4 Restore our fortunes, LORD, like streams in the Negev. 5 Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. 6 Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.
It takes work to find God’s satisfaction! What kind of work are you putting in?
Effort Towards a Good Conscience
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk.
I Timothy 1:5-6
We can’t love people if our consciences aren’t clear, and a clear conscience starts with honesty. How often are you talking with God and people about your guilt, fears, and pain?
Effort at Home
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Are you working to focus your spouse and family’s hearts back on God’s word?
Effort at Work & School
Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.
I Peter 2:18-19
Are you working at shining in your community? We are here to make God attractive.
Effort In Relationships
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Which relationships does God want you to work at changing?
When we decide to make the Bible the standard for our lives, we find true satisfaction that can’t be taken away.