Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
By Chris WittsMonday 28 Sep 2020Morning Devotions with Chris Witts
Continuing our look at this question again, Do you believe in God? I’m sure there is a universal search on for God, the Creator of our universe.
I like the story of two boys who had such a reputation for acting up that their mother was at her wit’s end. One day she was so exasperated that she called her minister and asked him to come to the house to talk with the boys. The pastor arrived, and the woman sat her two sons on the couch to talk with the pastor, but before the preacher could get a word out, one of the little boys bolted out of the room. The mother said, Pastor, you talk to this one, and I’ll try to retrieve the other.
He looked at the lone remaining boy on the sofa and said with a stern look in his eye, Son, where is God? There was no response from the boy. The pastor asked again, Son, where is God? Again, no response. Finally, the pastor asked one more time, Son, where is God? and at this the boy bolted out of the room.
He caught up with the other boy in their secret hiding place in another part of the house, and the little brother asked, What’s up with all this? The older boy said, We’re in deep trouble. God’s missing, and they think we did it!
The Hunger Only God Will Satisfy
It’s a nice amusing story, but it reminds us of what St Augustine once said, “Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You, O God.” In every single one of us there is a yearning to search for God, to find him in order that we might know him. Blaise Pascal, the French physicist and philosopher, once said, “Within every person there is a God-shaped vacuum which we try to fill with all manner of things, but only God will satisfy.”
There is a hunger for God in our day that is insatiable. If you type the word ‘spiritual’ into Amazon.com’s search engine, you will find tens of thousands titles! With such offerings as 100 Ways to Keep Your Soul Alive and The Amazing Laws of Cosmic Mind Power, it is all too easy to poke fun at the hunger, but I think it reveals a yearning for God unlike anything we’ve ever seen, perhaps in our lifetime. Sadly, many people longing for something deeper—searching after God outside of Christianity—find themselves at spiritual dead ends.
Other people, trying to satisfy this hunger for God, choose to follow after little gods that never deliver. They choose the god of money, or the god of sport, or the god of power, or the god of sex, or the god of status. These little deities satisfy only for a while, and in the end they suck you dry and steal your soul. They exchange the best part of you for a bill of goods that won’t last.
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Life After God
The Canadian novelist and artist Douglas Coupland has written a book entitled Life After God. In a very revealing and vulnerable way, he writes of the spiritual hunger of our day and time. He said:
Ours was the life lived in paradise, and thus it rendered any discussion of transcendental ideas pointless. Life was charmed, but without politics or religion. It was the life of the children of the children of the pioneers, life after God. A life of earthly salvation on the edge of heaven. Maybe this is as much as we can get. Yet I find myself speaking these words with a sense of doubt. Because there is a trade-off. I believe that the price we pay for the golden life is the inability to fully believe in love. Instead, we gained a cynicism that scorches everything it touches. And I wonder if this irony is the price we paid for the loss of God.
I think I am a broken person. I seriously question the road my life has taken, and I endlessly rehash the compromises I have made in my life. I have an insecure and vaguely [bad] job with an amoral corporation, so that I don’t have to worry about money. I put up with half-way relationships so I don’t have to worry about loneliness. I have lost the ability to recapture the purer feelings of my youth in exchange for a narrow-mindedness that I thought would propel me to the top. What a joke.
Here’s my secret. I tell it to you with an openness of heart that I doubt I will ever achieve again. So I pray that you are in a quiet room when you hear these words. My secret is that I need God, that I’m sick, and I can no longer make it alone. I need God to help me give because, I no longer seem to be able to give. To help me be kind, because I no longer seem capable of kindness, to help me love as I no longer seem to be able to love others.
Many people know a lot about God, but they don’t really know him personally.
Are You Searching for God Today?
I’m wondering if Doug Copeland’s words describe how you feel today? Are you searching for God today? Do you agree with St Augustine’s words, “Our hearts are restless till they find their rest in You, O God”? Then come home to him—give your life to the Lord, and begin a relationship with the living God of the universe.
You see, many people know a lot about God, but they don’t really know him personally. They know about him from a distance, but they haven’t come to a place of putting their trust in him as their own Lord and Saviour. They know information in their heads, but they don’t trust God in their hearts, and they haven’t committed their lives to him.
Do you know God, or do you just know about him? I pray that this day you would pause before you leave this sanctuary and give your life to the Lord. Don’t leave this place without establishing a personal relationship with the living God of the universe. He wants to know you, and he wants you to know him and his Son, Jesus Christ.