Summary: Do we really desire a genuine relationship with God?
December 14th, 2008
It seems to me that something has been lost. Do you ever feel like something is missing? You come to church sing some songs, hear some words, and you leave but do ever find that unsatisfying? I am not knocking church. Church is great. There is nothing really like the church…but do you ever feel like you want more? Do you ever just get tired of the religious traditions, and the programs of man, and going through the same motions week after week each time feeling a little emptier inside? Have you found your Bible reading something less than life changing? Have you found your prayers short of intimate? You know what I am talking about. We all feel this. We know there has to be something more to this life. And we desperately search for it. We will spend our time, our money, and a great portion of our lives looking for the pieces that we know are missing. You see we are hungry for that which is missing in our lives. We search with everything we have because we are desperate to fill the void inside of us.
Are you hungry? I want to show you something. Here I have fresh steak, just cooked; nice, juicy, ready to eat. Oh man, this steak looks good. Does anyone want this? Would anyone like to eat this steak? Maybe steak is not your thing. So I brought some pasta. This is linguini in a sun-dried tomato and basil sauce. Anyone interested? Yea, looks good right. But I have saved the best for last. This…is a trash bag. Inside I have some things like a rotting banana. Some crumbs of bread. This is just you know some left over’s tossed out. Anyone want eat this? Of course not. This is gross. You wouldn’t want to eat crumbs from the trash, not when there is a perfectly good steak or some fresh made pasta. Let me ask you this: if there was not steak. If there was no pasta, would you eat these left over’s if it meant staying alive? Would you eat this if it would give you a break from the hunger pains you were feeling? If you had gone a few weeks without food you would eat anything you could get your hands on.
When I was little I always used to tell my mom I was starving and I was going to die if she didn’t feed me right away. I was a dramatic kid. So she would offer me something like a tomato or an onion. I would turn my head in disgust and say eww…no I don’t want that. To which she would reply: then you are not starving. If you were starving you would eat this. I used to think that was annoying. Now I know she is right. The hungrier you are the less concern you have for what you are eating. Go a few days without food and you would become much less concerned for the quality of your food. Go a few weeks without food and you would be willing to eat almost anything, even Brussels sprouts. We understand that our body’s hunger for food and when they do we make sure to properly satisfy that hunger by eating. Yet even when we do this we can still feel unsatisfied.
You see something has been lost. We have forgotten about the hunger that exists inside of us all. We have allowed ourselves to fill our lives with senseless garbage so that we forget about the hunger that we have for God. We fill our lives with work, and games, and toys, and projects, and every other sort of thing that serves no greater purpose than to fill our life with more stuff. It’s almost as if we are trying to fill our lives with so much garbage that we forget about our hunger. When we come to church we are not looking for an almighty sovereign lord who gives us commands and rules to follow. We are just looking for enough God to fill in the gaps. We don’t come seeking the fullness of God, just enough to keep us from feeling empty. Week after week we come to church and pray before eating our food so that we can fill the holes. We trade away a genuine relationship with God for inoculations of Spirituality and then we surprised when we find ourselves something less than satisfied.
We are starving. Not for more money even though we like to think that would solve all of our problems. We are starving but not for nicer things. We are starving but not for a better spouse, a happier family, a better job. We are starving but not fame, not for friends, not for popularity or entertainment. We are starving for something more. We are starving for the one thing that is often missing from our lives, and sadly often from our churches. We are starving for God. We were created to fellowship with Him. The void that exists in our lives can only be filled by our creator. We can pour all the things we want into our lives but all they do is fill the hole, they cannot make our hearts complete. In Acts 17 we hear the Apostle Paul in one of his sermons say: