Summary: DISCOVERING OUR DEEPER DESIRES
Intro: This morning continuing in a series I’ve entitled ‘The Pursuit of True Pleasure’. It’s my observation that we are living in a ‘Crisis of Contentment.’
- Our hope lies in hearing what God is saying to us as His people and our culture at large.
- We began last week asking the most primary question of all: “Is it okay to seek happiness at all? Is the pursuit of pleasure a proper consideration or is such a pursuit contrary to honoring God; as if God is only interested in our duty rather than our desires.
We discovered God is far more interested in our desires than we may think.
- Desire & Duty are two sides of the same coin
- That Holiness is all about our ultimate HAPPINESS
- That Faithfulness is all about our ultimate FULFILLMENT
- Any notion that “real” Christians… radical Christians aren’t concerned about enjoying God, but simply obeying God are false.
- God looks at our desires not as too strong, but as too weak… too weak… they have are suffering from amnesia… in need of being reawakened.
THIS morning, I want to take up the next logical question
“DO WE KNOW WHAT WE WANT?”
- May seem obvious enough, but it’s my sense it is the most important and unanswered question in all of life… a question Jesus often posed to those who called out in need.
- Our fundamental challenge is not one of doing more to be satisfied, but in deciding more deeply what satisfies.
On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is THIRSTY, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. John 7:37-39
I want to consider what these living words tell us; first about ‘Discovering our Deeper Desires’ and secondly, about ‘Discovering Living Water’
1. DISCOVERING OUR DEEPER DESIRES
- Christ’s words are prompting enough, but particularly in this setting.
- Last and greatest day of the feast = Feast of Tabernacles… Jews from all over Judea…
o Here in the midst of a feast, Jesus calls out for anyone ‘thirsty’
o A word also used for appetite; speaking to every soul which could recognize what must be felt beyond any stomach.
- Not an indictment on such earthly pleasure
o Jesus loved feasts… friends… first miracle… wine at wedding… offending many religiously traditional ideas.
- He is not bemoaning pleasure, but rather beckoning perspective.
- He is not bemoaning desire, but rather beckoning distinction.
- He is calling forth discovery of our deeper desires.
- As Blasé Pascal, the early scientist & philosopher described…
“There once was in man a true happiness of which now remain to him only the mark and empty trace, which he in vain tries to fill from all his surroundings, seeking from things absent the help he does not obtain in things present. But these are all inadequate, because the infinite abyss can only be filled by an infinite and immutable object, that is to say only be God Himself.”
- Saint Augustine: “Thou madest us for thyself, and our heart is restless, until it rest in thee.”
- Restlessness… that feeling of never quite being settled… satisfied.
- It is precisely what Christ promotes as the door to our deepest desires.
- C.S. Lewis, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.
- A spiritual restlessness because we were designed to exist in relationship to God; that is our primary nature, and only secondary as creatures of earth.
- Those feelings within of never being quite settled or satisfied in our basic existence, far from being something to be extinguished, are essential to our pursuit of our truest satisfaction as fundamentally spiritual beings.
- HEREIN LIES THE GREAT CHALLENGE IN WHICH WE ARE CONFRONTED IN OUR HUMAN CONDITION:
o Recognizing our deeper desires necessitates engaging the emptiness and void in our souls.
o Our restlessness calls forth the rumbling in our soul to face the very nature of our existence.
o Our deeper desires are those which dare to face the questions of our existence… the meaning of our lives & personhood.
Is there a basis for knowing that my life is meaningful? …that I’m accepted (vs. defective)? …valuable (vs. dispensable)? …even more simply put, “Is there a basis for knowing that I’m lovable… loved… and is a lasting… eternal love?”