Am I Satisfied?
Tragically, this is the pandemic we face. We are part of a generation who pursues happiness at all costs, yet lives constantly unsettled.
“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” Matthew 6:22
A singular focus, undivided attention, purity in priorities; Albert Richardson said it this way, “But our eye must be single if our faith is to be simple and our ‘whole body full of light.’” The Kneeling Christian, 1924, p. 48
Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light
When we speak of God as a jealous God, we are also speaking to this singular, undivided focus. He must be all, and He is jealous to be our all.
“For I the LORD thy God am a jealous God.” (Exodus 20:5)
“For the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Exodus 34:14)
“For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.” (Deuteronomy 4:24)
“For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you.” (Deuteronomy 6:15)
“For he is a holy God; he is a jealous God.” (Joshua 24:19)
What else can be meant by this jealousy other than a command to exclusivity? His people are to, ‘come out from among them,’ ‘be separate,’ and ‘set apart for the gospel of God.’
If we are truly to come out from among them, what must be left behind? Everything.
We must reorient and restructure our life around Him and let everything else fall where it may. Habits, practices, priorities - everything. He must have our first and best even if it comes at the great expense of losing something else.
Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art
Likewise, in the pursuit of this exclusivity, the concept of self-indulgence must become foreign to us. What is meant by indulgences? Anything which we use in place of Christ to bring ourselves temporary enjoyment or happiness.
The day is finishing - I indulge
The day is beginning - I indulge
The day was hard - I indulge
The day was celebratory - I indulge
There is wrong in the world - I indulge
There is right in the world - I indulge
I am looking forward to… - I indulge
I am running away from - I indulge
I am dreading - I indulge
I am empty - I indulge
I am full - I indulge
My life is good - I indulge
My life is worthless - I indulge
In pursuing exclusivity, in light of the jealousy of God, we must stop with the indulgences. And as we abstain, we must remember, He does not ask us to abstain, nor does He take away from us, so He can watch us starve, but rather that we might grow hungry enough to ‘open our mouth wide that He may fill it.’ (Psalm 81:10) And fill it not with temporary indulgences but with lasting satisfaction.
This is Jesus, the bread of life, our only source of lasting satisfaction, “If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.” And, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him, will never thirst again.” (John 6:51 & John 4:14)
Ultimately, however, this is not an issue of abstaining or indulging, for, “There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him.” Instead, it is an issue about living. Do we exclusively, simply and singularly live in Him, by Him, for Him, through Him, and to Him in all things? (Mark 7:15)
In answering this question, we must ask another first, “Are we satisfied?” And more specifically, although there is no other way, “Are we satisfied in Christ?”
Tragically, this is the pandemic we face. We are part of a generation who pursues happiness at all costs, yet lives constantly unsettled. We are willing to minimize, rearrange, self-help, medicate, entertain, redefine, relocate…all in search of a remedy for the aching dissatisfaction. We are willing to do anything, except…sacrifice.
The sacrifice I speak of comes in the form of mine exchanged for Thine.
No longer my kingdom, but Thine.
No longer my will, but Thine.
And these will I seek above all else: Thy kingdom, Thy will, Thy righteousness, and all these other things will be added unto you:
Give us this day our daily bread - Your material and physical needs shall be added unto you
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us - Forgiveness and the ability to forgive others shall be added unto you
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil - Deliverance from evil shall be added unto you for “sin shall not have dominion over you.” (Romans 6:14)
Yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever, amen.
Yours is forever. Mine, on the other hand, must be dead, gone, buried, crucified.
“If any man come unto Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
“If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24
“So likewise, whoever of you who does not forsake all that he has, cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33
“And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:27
For many of us, these words are quite common. Yet, it is wholly possible to see these things, such as ‘seek first,’ ‘take up your cross,’ and Thy kingdom, yet never perceive them. To hear them, and to even call them familiar, but never understand.
As we’ve studied previously, the understanding God speaks of is more than mere intellect. Mark teaches us that God’s understanding leads us to a place we can not enter on our own, instead, it is by grace alone, “To you it has been given the secret, but for those outside everything is in parables…lest they should turn and be forgiven.” Mark 4:12
Let us then pursue understanding with urgency. Seek ‘Thy kingdom, not mine,’ until it has been found. Stop with the indulgences and profess in faith, “The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.” (Psalm 16:5) Being fully persuaded that what He has promised He is also able to perform.
He will satisfy. We must simplify.