I have had a handful of emails since Sunday’s message inquiring about practical ways to find that lasting satisfaction in Christ alone. Some of this was mentioned Sunday, but let me offer a few suggestions that may help. Before you think too highly of me (which even sounds weird to write), I struggle every day to find my lasting satisfaction in Christ. With every lustful look, angry thought, anxious feeling, I display that Christ is not my greatest satisfaction. And let me say this, as Jeremiah 2:13 alludes, I believe that the great sin in NOT finding deep, lasting satisfaction in God through Christ is DISBELIEF. What is it in John 3:18 that condemns? Disbelief. When we cease to find satisfaction in Christ it puts on display that we do not believe that He is satisfyING.
So, any “practical” help in finding satisfaction in Christ is rooted in the question, “What will bolster my belief in God?” Like the father of the demon-possessed boy in Mark 9, we cry out desperately, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Anything, therefore, that I mention from this point on that sounds like human effort, we must know comes from an indwelling Spirit that will provide all access to all-sufficient grace to do all that God has commanded that we may be satisfied in Him!
Psalm 34 is personal favorite. I encourage you to click on the above link to read all of it, but here is an exerpt:
8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
9 Oh, fear the Lord, you his saints,
for those who fear him have no lack!
10 The young lions suffer want and hunger;
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
The most “practical” advice I can give relates to how we can find Him as our LASTING satisfaction. You know, it’s like the giving a man a fish (feeding him for a moment) and teaching the man how to fish (feeding him for a lifetime) kind of thing.
In our study through John’s gospel we have come across many passages that relate to taste and consumption. In fact, the all-satisfying self-reference of Christ being the “living water” in whom we find forever our thirst quenched, is very significant. The Word of God and the gospel are referred to as “milk” and “meat” to be consumed.
To taste that the Lord is good demands that we actually consume that which He offers us as a “good” thing. There is nothing more practical that tasting the goodness of the Lord by the regular reading, meditating, and memorizing of SCRIPTURE.
In fact, if you will find the scriptures to be most satisfying in your daily “diet” you are guaranteed to be satisfied in Christ. Matthew 5:6 promises that those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness” will be satisfied. This means that we cannot be satisfied with simply have a TIME in the Word of God. WE MUST FIND SATISFACTION IN GOD IN HIS WORD! There is a difference. The action itself does not satisfy itself. It is the God revealed in the scriptures that satisfies. This leads me to the next point…
Perspective is very important. Your perspective of your “quiet time” as mentioned above can be the difference between works righteousness and true satisfaction in Christ’s righteousness.
John’s gospel has also pointed us to the fact that we will treasure what we behold. When Christ told Nicodemus that he must be “lifted” up like Moses lifted the serpent in the wilderness (Numbers 21:9), we are drawn to the healing effect of beholding Christ as the ONLY means of salvation. Christ in John 4 told the disciples to “look up” and see the harvest. Psalm 121 charges us to “look to the hills” to find our help. Scripture constantly points us to the fact that our eyes (physically and spiritually) are key to what we find satisfaction in. Mark 9:47 tells us to tear out our eye if it causes us to sin in a statement of great fidelity to Christ-only satisfaction!
So, what do you look at as all-satisfying? If we saw people from a spiritual perspective, our greatest satisfaction would be in proclaiming the gospel to the lost world. If we see Christ through the lens of scripture, then He himself becomes our greatest satisfaction. This is probably the greatest reason to avoid (even fight against) the “prosperity gospel”. To use Jesus as a means to make me more satisfied in myself and the things that make much of me, is heresy and unbiblical!
Train your eyes. Hebrews 12:1,2 charges us to fix our eyes on Christ. See as Christ sees and see Christ as our all in all. The only way to do this is to look on Him often through scripture. Also, we must pray constantly. What is prayer but getting God’s PERSPECTIVE on our lives and this world. Only when we pray will we “see” our circumstances, the world, the lost, the church as Christ sees them.
Well, I know this is lengthy and might sound still very “theoretical” but it really isn’t (theoretical). To TASTE and SEE that the Lord is good is bound up in the “fear of the Lord” (Psalm 34:9). And Psalm 34:10 says that “those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” So, to be satisfied in Christ is to learn the fear of the Lord and seek after Him! What is that but to be saturated with His Word in a satisfying way and to pray to see as He sees?