Staff Corner – Greg Spires - Teaching Pastor
“Calvin and Hobbes” was one of the most popular newspaper comic strips of all time. On one occasion, Calvin, a precocious 6-year-old, walks up to his mom and asks for a cigarette.
“Sure,” she answers, “I think your grandfather left some here. Just be sure to smoke outside.”
Stunned at her answer, Calvin gleefully saunters outside with a cigarette in his mouth and is greeted by his tiger, Hobbes. Hobbes is surprised, and Calvin notes that “For a mom, sometimes she’s pretty cool.”
Calvin takes a long drag off his lit cigarette and is soon hacking and coughing uncontrollably.
His mom steps out and asks, “Did we learn a lesson today?”
Calvin made a simple mistake, and his mom let him discover his error through life experience. His mistake was he assumed he knew what he wanted. He wanted to smoke because he thought it would be pleasurable. But Calvin didn’t know enough to know what he wanted.
The Bible says this is true of all of us – we don’t know enough to know what we want, so God gave us over to ignorant pursuits. Romans 1:28 says, “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”
God created us to live in close relationship with Him. We were designed to desire God, above all else. In rebellion, we decided to reject God and pursue any other appetite other than a desire to worship, know, and love God. The Bible says that God allowed us to do just that.
And, like Calvin smoking his first cigarette, we have been sick and dissatisfied ever since.
In our rebellion, though, we blame God for our dissatisfaction. Our desires would satisfy us if God weren’t such a killjoy, we assume. We spend our days chasing satisfaction in innumerable ways: adventure, entertainment, possessions, relationships, accomplishments, and leisure. When these pursuits fail to satisfy (or the satisfaction they offer is short-lived), we blame God for leaving us unfilled.
God is making this point by leaving us to our headlong pursuit of pleasure: that we would finally discover He is the only one who can provide the satisfaction we desire.
One of the most important ways we can worship the Lord is by recognizing that God knows better what will satisfy us than we do. One of the results of our rebellion against God is our appetites have become twisted. We long for things that will not satisfy, and we do not hunger for the one thing that will: relationship with God.
Thankfully, because of Jesus’ victory on the cross and the power of His resurrection, we can set aside obedience to our own passions. Because Jesus lives within us by His Spirit, we have the power to seek God once again. The beauty of life in Jesus is we can finally enjoy satisfaction. It takes faith, but the satisfaction we have in relationship with God through Jesus surpasses by far the empty pursuits of our old passions.
It is worth evaluating where our dissatisfactions are found. We tend to think we will be satisfied if we could have what we want. However, we will only be satisfied when we have the Lord most fully. God is glorified, and we are satisfied when we worship Him by setting aside our desires and seek to be satisfied by Him.
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we celebrate the work of God in Jesus Christ together! This Sunday, we will be seeking God through His Word in Romans 1:18-32.
Praying with you,