Summary: How many of the fulfilled desires from your past are still making you happy today? Is life just chasing after the wind, or is there a simple path to contentment?
James 1:13-15, “When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
Today’s sermon is about desire. Everyone has it and we all want to fulfill our desires. But how many of our desires are godly desires and how much will fulfilling our desires really accomplish in making us happier? How many of the fulfilled desires from your past are still making you happy today? Is life just a meaningless chasing after the wind, or is there a simple path to contentment?
That’s what I hope to uncover for us in today’s sermon, “Living The Simple Life Pt II: When You Can’t Be Satisfied.”
I was watching a new show the other day called, “I Want That.” It’s a new HGTV program about all the latest and greatest gadgets that people just have to have: kitchen good, BBQ’s, gadgets: you name it, they’ve got it… And if you watch it long enough, you’ll find something you want, guaranteed… There’s always something to be wanted in life.
Desire is an endless emotion in every person here today, believer or not.
Everyone here desires something. Some of our desires are healthy, and others aren’t…
What is it that you want today, to make your life happier?
If you could have anything you want right now, what would it be?
Some of us want financial security; others want some rest and relaxation, recreational toys or vacations. Some of us would rather find that true love… Whatever it is, we all have our desires.
The question is does that thing have potential for long-term satisfaction or short-term satisfaction?
Is it a healthy desire, or an unhealthy desire?
Illustration: When I talked my wife into letting me fulfill a life long desire: buying a Ferrari.
When I was young, I had a poster on my wall. It had a beautiful, red Ferrari on it… And I told my sister, “Some day, I’m going to have a Ferrari.” She said, “I believe you because when you say you’re going to do something, you do it…” Since then, I’ve always wanted a Ferrari…
At some point in our marriage, I told Jennifer that one of my life desires was to have a Ferrari, and over time, I was able to convince her to allow me to purchase one… She actually gave me permission to spend $50,000 on a pre-owned Ferrari Testarossa or a 348, and I researched them for weeks… I knew exactly how much the insurance would cost and how often the car would need maintenance… But but the more I researched it, the more I realized all I was going to do was spend a lot of money on another car… A CAR! Was it going to give me long-term satisfaction?
The point is, we all want something, and nobody’s satisfied till we have everything, but once we have everything we realize it’s nothing and we go back to being dissatisfied about not having something.
The one thing that always eludes us is; the thing we can never grab hold of is satisfaction!
WHY IS THAT? It’s because we’re filling the void with all kinds of empty calories…
You know what I mean by empty calories… Like when you’re hungry and in a hurry. You eat something quick. It doesn’t have to be healthy; all it has to do is fill the immediate need.
But in the long run, that junk food: those empty calories make for an unhealthy body and a lot of the things we fill our hearts and homes with are just empty calories: things that satisfy our desires for a little while, but in the long run are very unhealthful to our souls.
Take for example: Stan. He’s a 40-year-old man. He’s married, has 4 kids, a white 2002 Cadillac SUV with 35,000 miles, a fishing boat and a flat screen TV in his 5 year old house. He’s the shipping manager at a warehouse where’s he’s worked for 15 years, and the mortgage on his home is half way paid off. You’d thing he has every reason to be happy with life, but he’s not.
Stan is dissatisfied with life because he’s 40 years old and he feels like everything he’s worked for has amounted to nothing. What has he done with the last 20 years: the most productive years of his life? He spent them climbing the corporate ladder and paying for things he doesn’t care about any more… Let’s face it: 3 years ago the Cadillac was incredible. Self-warming seats, 4 wheel antilock disc breaks, the pearl paint job… He got a kick out of driving that around for a while, but today, it’s just another mode of transportation and he has to pay $500 a month for it.