Because we are made by God for God, we have a God-sized hole in our soul that can only be filled by God. No matter how hard we try to fill the hole in our soul with everything other than God Himself, nothing else will do the trick. Some try to fill it with their careers, finding their identity in what they do for a living. Others try to fill it with materialism, finding their meaning in the stuff they have accumulated. Still others try to fill it with relationships, finding their fulfillment in family, friendships, or romance. And, of course, there are those who try to fill it with everything from sex to alcohol to drugs.
If you attend Cross Community Church, you’ve probably heard me quote Augustine: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” There is nothing—absolutely nothing smaller than Jesus—that can fill the longings of the soul.
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?
We spend far too much time trying to satisfy our natural appetites. And, all too often, we who have trusted in the name of Christ for our salvation miss this vitally important truth: Jesus did not come to earth and come into our lives to satisfy the appetites we already have; He came to transform our appetites so that we would desire things we had never dreamed of! Jesus did not come to fit into our agenda and help us accomplish our goals. He came to give us a whole new agenda and begin working toward the accomplishment of His goals for our lives.
What have you been working toward satisfying lately? Your natural appetites? Or the new ones Jesus came to give you?
When Adam and Eve turned away from God in the Garden of Eden, they denied their very humanity. They were not designed to seek their own truth, their own desires, or their own goals. They were designed to listen to the truth of God, which would lead them to the pursuit of desires God gave them to accomplish His goals for their lives. Adam and Eve were hardwired for intimacy, fellowship, and communion with God, which would forever fill the God-ordained hole in their souls.
Sin changed all that. Now our first parents were running away from God, rather than toward Him. They tried to fill their souls with everything other than God. But God stepped in and gave them—and us—a promise that a Savior would come, One who will fill the hole in our soul once and for all.
So . . . is it well with the hole in your soul? What have you been trying to fill it with lately? One of the quickest ways to check and see what you have been pouring into your soul lately is to measure the amount of time you spend watching television or surfing the Internet, compared to the time you spend in God’s Word. It’s hard to fill the God-shaped hole in your soul when you have one foot in the world and one pinkie toe in the Word!
Your prayer life is another way to measure how well you have been filling your soul lately. If the bulk of your prayer time is spent praying over your food, you are probably close to running on empty . . . if you haven’t already run out of spiritual “gas.” Corporate worship is still another measure. It has been well said that a week without corporate worship makes one weak!
God has given us a variety of ways to keep the hole in our souls filled on a daily basis. But just like the modern gas station, no one comes running out of the gas station to wash your windows, check your oil, and pump your gas. You have to do it yourself! God has given you the grace to grow, but that grace must be appropriated along the way.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!