Looking in All the Wrong Places

The rebellion of humanity against our God turned us away from His life and will in us.  It turned us all toward our own life, our own will, our own way.  The original source of life and meaning was the life of our God in us.  The richness and fullness of the God life was to be given by His Holy Spirit living in and through us.  We are never capable of successfully finding the fullness of life by our own will, our own life, our own way. 

Without the life of God as our source, humankind wandered off in search of meaning.  This, of course, immediately led to the pursuit of the self-life – self-efficacy, management, control, purpose, opinion, expression.  Without the experience of the life of our God in us, all of this self-living seems normal.  It seems right in our eyes. 

The universal expressions of our rebellion are now visible in our search for meaning, purpose, fulfillment.  Humans inherently know that meaning, purpose, and fulfillment is missing from their base existence.  These must be pursued, or they will elude us.  If they are pursued apart from the life of our God, they will elude us anyway.

Even when we try to pursue these in so-called moral endeavors and altruistic pursuits, we are still ignoring the life of our God which is to be the source of all meaning, purpose, and fulfillment.  All our most altruistic efforts, our best intended initiatives wind up being expressions not of our faith in our God but expressions of our rebellion toward Him.  To seek meaning, purpose, and fulfillment apart from the life of our God in us is looking for them in all the wrong places. 

Our institutional religiosity does not fix this problem.  This is because religiosity does not point us to total surrender to the life of our God lived in place of our own lives.  It points us to trying by our religious efforts to please our God and find what we are seeking by our human fervor.  We think that reformed and modified behavior, altruistic values, and the time, effort, and resources we carve out of our living to give to our God in religious activity will somehow bring us to meaning, purpose, and fulfillment.

It might, but not the durable fulfillment that comes by the life of our God in us.  It will come only in short spurts and unsatisfying increments.  The evidence of the failure of this approach to bring us into the life of our God and to bring His life into us are many.

  • Divided heart living.
  • Divisions among adherents over worldly issues such as political solutions, cultural values, doctrinal differences, liturgical practices, and more.
  • Our preoccupation with worldly things and experiences at the expense of the experience of the life of our God in us.
  • The fact that we continue to feel the gnawing lack of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment very soon after our efforts to find it.
  • Our overwhelming preoccupations with entertainment, human solutions and efforts, comfort, and worldly goods and experiences.
  • Our preoccupation with making our own decision by our own wits, gaining our religious knowledge by means of worldly ways and means,

The list could go on.

We were created to be joined into union with our God, and to derive all our living directly from Him.  This is how we were created, and this is why we were redeemed.  Only by the life of Christ put within us by the indwelling Holy Spirit can we find the meaning, purpose, and fulfillment for which we seek.  Nothing else will deliver.  To keep seeking life anywhere but the life of Christ in us is to look for it in all the wrong places.

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