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We are a grasping society. We want more things. We want more entertainment. We want more things. We want more recognition. We want more things. We want more advancement. We want more things. We want more control. We want more things.
The fact is, we want more things. We're not satisfied with what we have.
There is a sense of frustration which accompanies dissatisfaction. There is a reason for such frustration. We tend to try to satisfy with that which can only pacify. We find things that pacify for a while, but they soon wane and our thirst reappears with an even fiercer bite to it. Off we go, searching for some new invention, only to find that the same fierce appetite curse.
We're trying to satisfy ourselves with paltry means. Satisfaction can come only when we feed the whole man -- and with the things He (God) intended. It's not wrong to have things; things satisfy. But what about the other appetites we have?
God Has Given Us An Intellect: -- He satisfies the needs of that intellect by giving us information and by allowing us to "subdue" the earth (Gen. 1:28). There is a sense of satisfaction when the mind is given its learning exercise. When there is no learning man shrivels mentally; he feels empty, unfilled. Man was made to learn.
God Has Given Us An Aesthetic Nature: -- Man naturally tends toward lovely things. He alone of God's creatures is fitted to appreciate the beauty of art, the harmony of music, the symmetry of a fine piece of sculpture, the song of a bird (Psa. 19:1-4). God has provided what we need to satisfy this appetite by giving us beauty in nature, color, harmony, design, order. When man deprives himself of this natural tendency he will have a deep feeling of dissatisfaction. Man was made to appreciate.
God Has Given Us An Emotional Nature: -- This basic characteristic makes him tune in to his surroundings. Emotion is especially pertinent to human relationships -- friendships, camaraderie, erotica. Man loves, he hates. He laughs, he cries, He appreciates, he disdains. He hurts, he feels good. He gets angry, he is passive. "Jesus wept" (Jno. 11:35) is a statement about His emotional nature. When the situation calls for it and we don't cry we're apt to have it well up in us until sometime later a veritable emotional explosion takes place. Furthermore, something is seriously wrong with a person who sees no humor in life. Contentment in this area is hard to achieve, but is a supreme satisfaction when it is achieved. Man is made to feel.
God Has Given Us A Soul: -- This soul must be fed just like the body (Matt. 4:4). There is a hunger that attends man's moral nature just like that which is physical, and when it is not attended to there is not only an unfulfilled appetite, but serious consequences may result to the body's health. God has given His Word to satisfy man's hunger for the soul (Jno. 6:35). His conscience cries out to God for relief out of his recognition of his sins, and God provides (1 Pet. 3:21). "The appeal to God for a clear conscience" is an effort to satisfy the longing for forgiveness. Worship is the provision for man's inherent need for recognition by his Creator. The local church and its various activities serve to provide man with the need for spiritual fellowship. Man is made to glorify God.
With faith God appeals to a man's intellect. With repentance He appeals to man's emotions and will. With obedience (first baptism, then faithful participation) He appeals to man's desire to be recognized and be in fellowship with Him.
Special things satisfy special needs. When I'm hungry for popcorn, only popcorn will satisfy. When I hunger for exercise, only some strenuous activity will satisfy. When I long for good music, nothing else will do. When I long for my beloved Norma, only she can warm my heart. And when I have an ardent longing for recognition by my Creator, only He and His methods will answer my needs.
Satisfaction is a fine feeling. Being unfulfilled has a gnawing effect on a person. The only real satisfaction is that which comes from the knowledge that you've done your best to serve and reverence God (Eccl. 12:13). After all, that's what man is all about.
By Dee Bowman, via. Gospel Power Vol. 15, No. 5, Feb. 3, 2008.
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