Guest Author - Dountonia S. Slack
There is a hole in each of us we try to fill with: money, education, success, children, power, a mate, pleasure, a home, attention-seeking antics, and/or a fantasized version of life we create out of our discontent. Nothing seems to satisfy. We meander through life searching for meaning, building our “self-esteem”, and dismissing the reality of inescapable truth with human wisdom (Romans 1:21-23). Not to mention, some of us even settle for an arm’s length connection with God through church attendance, church busywork, or church positions without ever really experiencing the power of authentic relationship with God and others.
Just a cursory internet search of man’s greatest need will produce a plethora of results: love, reconciliation, salvation, forgiveness, acceptance, security, relationship with God, and the list goes on and on. While in part these answers are true, none of them encompass the totality of our need which is Jesus. For it is in the person of Jesus Christ that one finds everything that he/she will ever need or desire as he/she submits in loving obedience to him. Needless to say, it is difficult to grapple with the fact that Jesus is enough for “life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3) which tells us a lot about what it is some really believe: Jesus is good enough for salvation, but nothing else.
We know this, because we run in futility to psychiatrists and psychologists for help with our marriages, depression, and other issues of life. We escape to sexual obscenities, gambling, drugs, or other kinds of insatiable dopamine enhancing practices. We substitute progressive sanctification towards Christ with a me-centered orientation that is powerless and unlike Christ. And, we deny reality by making it a subjective state of mind that is incapable of being experienced with others.
Jesus is life (John 6:35, 53, 8:12). Not only does the Bible teach eternal life upon acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior (John 3:16), we know that we also have access to abundant life on earth (John 10:10) through Him. Now, this does not necessarily mean wealth, prestige, or other material overflow, but it does mean that followers of Christ, as they deny themselves (Matthew 16:24-25) - their rights, ungodly desires, and “Doing Me,” have the resources to everything that gives meaning and purpose to life. This is that intangible, spiritual maturity that enables a Christian to “consider it all joy” (James 1:2) when we encounter troubles in life. Because, Jesus is the only one that sufficiently fills the gaping crater of insignificance, misery, and sin in our lives.
Additionally, “if our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer. But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior” (Anonymous) who gave His life for our depraved indifference to the ways of God.
And, since God is the One who created us, He knows exactly what we need to live a full life. His ways are Perfect and Holy. Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He gave the greatest Gift the world has ever known, Jesus. No other person, activity, or thing can quench our thirsty longings or wash away the stench of our ungodliness like Jesus Christ does. Hence, we need to spend time with Him; learn how He loved and met the perceived needs of others; and, living and operating with the “mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). These are the Christian’s pursuits in life that give us hope when others can see no hope at all.
If you do not know who Christ is, allow me to introduce you to the Son of God that gave His life as a payment for all the bad things (past, present, and future) we do, think and say. The Bible calls these things sin and there is nothing that is too horrendous for Christ to erase. He wants you to live a joy-filled life that honors God. All you have to do is “confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, [and] you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed” (Romans 10:9-11 NASB). God promises that your needs with be met in Him.
For additonal resources go to http://notreligion.org or locate a biblical counselor for discipleship at http://nanc.org/Directory.aspx