Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Created to Crave: Part 5

Hoping for Satisfaction

When it comes to our cravings we can seek satisfaction through indulgence.  It seems to make sense that if we give into our cravings that those cravings will be satisfied.  The problem is that the response of indulgence often leads to increased cravings.  Rather than decreasing our cravings we actually discover that we are craving more and more.  Satisfaction is not found in indulgence.

Since we cannot find satisfaction in indulgence we will turn to a life of self-control.  Self-control isn't designed to bring satisfaction, rather it is designed to reign in our cravings so they don't dominate our lives.  So once again we are left unsatisfied.

A third response to our soul cravings is faith.  Faith allows us to live our lives believing that one day all our deepest desires will be met.  A life of faith enables us to live with the hope that we will have satisfaction. 

Jesus had just finished feeding 5,000 people with a few loaves of bread and a few fish.  It was a miraculous meal.  The people wanted to make Him King, after all a man that can heal the sick and feed the hungry, could lead an unbeatable army.  Israel could be free from Roman control! Listen to what happened:
The next day the crowd that had stayed on the far shore saw that the disciples had taken the only boat, and they realized Jesus had not gone with them. Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten. So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, "Rabbi, when did you get here?"  
Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don't be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.  
They replied, "We want to perform God's works, too. What should we do?"  
Jesus told them, "This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent."  
They answered, "Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, 'Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"  
Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, Moses didn't give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."  
"Sir," they said, "give us that bread every day."  
Jesus replied, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But you haven't believed in me even though you have seen me. However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. For it is my Father's will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day." (John 6:22-40; NLT)

Jesus said don’t worry about the things of this world, but think about things that can’t perish.  He claims that  in Him our longings, our hunger and thirst, will be satisfied.  Get this, our longings cannot be truly satisfied as long as we live here in this world.  We will find temporary satisfaction, but the longings will continue to come back.

What Jesus told the crowd, what he wants us to know, is that only when God's Kingdom arrives in power will we experience the lasting satisfaction that we want to have. We will be known like we want to be known.  We will have value, not because of what we have done, but because God has declared us valuable.  We will understand truth and the meaning of life and realize that what we need is found in God alone.  I believe that following Jesus will give us the best life we can live right now, but the best part of following Jesus is that it gives us hope that one day all the cravings of our souls will be satisfied.

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