Grace For The Journey
How would you answer that question? Would you be offended to be even asked such a question? I hope not, because we are all struggling heat attractions since the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden. What started out as a “heart commitment to the Almighty,” which is great, wound up being a “heart commitment to sin and self,” which is not great at all! Mankind has been on a downward spiral ever since, moving from relationship with God to rebellion against God. Let me make this perfectly clear: for Christians, if our heat attraction is not to the Almighty, it’s the wrong attraction!
As a pastor, I have counseled people who are facing very difficult and often debilitating addictions: workaholism, gambling, alcohol, drugs, food, pornography, success, money, image, approval, or acceptance, to name some of the most common. Regardless of the addiction, the goal of our counseling sessions is to identify what the person views as their missing link in life that compels them to surrender to their particular addiction. You see, it’s not the actual thing they are addicted to that they believe is meeting their needs; it’s what they get from their addiction that is. And what they get is only a fleeting, illusory filling of the void that runs deep within their souls.
What we all need is a little Gospel-satisfaction in our lives. The Gospel tells us that we all have a hole in our soul; that hole is in need of constant filling, or we will feel empty, lost, and hopeless. But when we try to fill the hole with anything other than God, the filling never lasts – and in fact, it only makes us try harder the next time to fill it more. Apart from a personal relationship with the Almighty, this vicious cycle never ends. We move frantically from one attraction to another, in a fruitless attempt to fill the hole that can only be filled by Jesus Christ.
Many Christians remember that when they were first saved, they sensed an overwhelming sense of fulfillment, joy, and peace – a filling of that hole in their soul. This is what the Gospel is designed to do. It fills the void caused by sin with life, love, forgiveness, joy, freedom, and faithfulness. The problem is that many move on from the Gospel, thinking it was only meant to start the filling process by getting them saved.
They see the Gospel only as the “door”
Leading into the Christian life;
They miss the truth that it is also
The “material” upon which they are
To build their entire existence.
Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can fill the hole in our soul, satisfy our soul, and keep on filling it for the rest of our lives. Nothing in this world can do what only the Jesus can do, and God designed it for just that reason. Some think they can fill the hole in their soul completely and finding deep satisfaction in work, or success, the applause of man, of some other worldly pursuit. If this was possible we would never long for or look to God. We would live like Adam and Eve attempted to live – autonomous and apart from the rule of God. Yet, to attempt to live this way is to deny our reason and purpose for living.
All of life needs to be centered in and built upon the truths of the Gospel, the finished work of Jesus Christ. This is the one thing God designed to fill the void and keep on filling it without any effort on our part. That’s the point of grace! It’s a gift that has been given freely and completely and it never stops giving.
Tim Keller writes, “We can make him the new center of our lives and stop trying to be our own Savior and Lord. We can accept both his challenge to recognize ourselves as sinners in need of his salvation, and his renewing love as the new basis of our identity.”
We need to keep looking to Jesus and stop looking to, and longing for, anything else. With hearts “drawn to the Almighty,” we will find a filling that overflows from the Fount of every blessing (John 10:10).
So . . . what are you addicted to today … what is your heart drawn to? Would a little reorientation of the heart do you some good?
This is God Word … This is Grace for your Journey …
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”