Thursday, April 19, 2007

Can't Get No Satisfaction

"I can't get no....satisfaction!" Those words are so familiar from Mick Jagger to many of us. Did you ever stop to think that the Rolling Stones were onto something? Their song reminds me of the cry of Solomon in Ecclesiastes, "So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind" (Eccl. 2:17). Mick Jagger was right, there is no satisfaction "under the sun." But why? The answer is pretty simple. You and I were created by God for one purpose (I don't care what Rick Warren says). We are here to glorify God. The Westminster Shorter Catechism captures this beautifully in its very first question when it asks, "What is the chief end of man?" The answer, "Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. "

You will only find ultimate satisfaction if you are fulfilling your great purpose, your reason for being on planet earth. But here lies the problem. Romans 3:23 says that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Don't miss that last phrase. In it Paul defines for us the root of sin. Sin is not primarily "bad things" that we do (i.e. drinking, smoking, cussing, or going with girls who do), rather it is anytime that we fail to bring glory to God. This means that the things that aren't inherently "bad" may qualify as sin. This means that if you feed someone who is hungry simply to be recognized...it is sin. Augustine said that even our good deeds as unbelievers are tainted with unpure motives. Do you see the dilemma? Our great and only purpose in life is to glorify God. However, we are by nature sinners and therefore only capable of NOT glorifying God. We will not be satisfied if our sin isn't dealt with. This is why the substitutionary atonement of Jesus is absolutely essential if we are going to not only go to heaven, but find eternal joy.

Psalm 16:10-11 says, "For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. 11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Here David prophetically connects the resurrection (and therefore death) of Jesus Christ with our complete and eternal happiness. God does want you to be happy. Psalm 100:2 says, "Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! We are commanded to be happy in our service to God. John Piper has said that it is not that we have to choose between God and happiness, the problem is that we settle for so many pitiful things that can never bring lasting satisfaction. God wants us to glorify Him and we glorify Him by enjoying Him! But remember, unless our sin is dealt with, we cannot enjoy God. When Jesus died on the cross, God's wrath was satisfied. It is no coincidence that we use that word to describe what happened on the cross. This is why Jesus is called the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world!

Ultimate satisfaction will only be found in trusting Jesus to pay the penalty for your sins. David said that at God's right hand are eternal pleasures. In Acts 7, as Stephen was being stoned, he looked up and saw Jesus standing at the right hand of God. God has promised eternal pleasure for those who come to His right hand. He has reserved His right hand for His Son Jesus Christ. If you are going to find ultimate and eternal happiness, you have to come through Jesus. "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). This is really everything about who we are at this blog. We are called "Our Sovereign Joy." We didn't come up with that phrase, Augustine did. It was Augustine who addressed God with the name "Our Sovereign Joy." There isn't a better way to describe our Creator.