We are created in the image of God which means, that unlike animals, we have the ability to have a relationship with God. That need for God may be characterized as “a God-shaped hole in our hearts.” We all are born with a knowledge that the death of this body is not the end, because God designed us with that knowledge. People are designed to be incurably religious—we all worship something. What is the object of our worship? Whatever motivates us to live, hope and act. Objects of worship take many forms—drugs, work, relationships, wealth—in short—anything that is most important to us—that becomes our god. It can be anything or anyone. Most of us can look at a drug addict or alcoholic and readily understand that their addiction has driven them to heartache; the loss of family, friends, job…and, ultimately loss of their freedom or their life. But the addict will tell you that they didn’t begin the addiction thinking it would end so tragically. However, these addictions are not so different than addictions of the pursuit of wealth, power, relationships, or work. Anything can become our god—and thus, what we spend most of our time thinking about and pursuing. While being a workaholic may not land you in jail or end your life, the truth is you can still be shackled to it. So if everyone ultimately serves a god (even laziness can dominate and become an addiction that drives us to poverty); which god should we choose? Which god will bring us joy and freedom?
For a minute, I’d like for you to take a look at the god that ruled most of my life—the god of love and acceptance. My obsession with being accepted and loved drove me to sacrifice much and hurt many. I spent countless hours trying to win favor, improving my looks and accomplishments, bending over backwards to gain acceptance, doing crazy and unmentionable things to be loved and accepted. Most of these things were not bad in and of themselves; however, they were all for the singular purpose of gaining approval and love from others. I was a slave to the god of acceptance and love; doing all to gain it, not realizing I would never find it in another person or a thing. God finally showed me that my friends are imperfect like me; and, although they love me, no one loves me like He does. I was searching for this unconditional love—but no one else was capable of giving it EXCEPT God. I spent years of time and energy and bad decisions, enslaved in pursuing something that could never fill the “God-shaped hole in my heart.” This misplaced pursuit of human love is just as destructive as the behavior of a workaholic or an alcoholic—looking for perfect love from objects or people who can never give it—because they don’t possess it to give—only God does! So what is your god of choice—food, wealth, drugs, fame, etc.? The god of love and acceptance just left me hungry for more of the same because I was trying to fill a spiritual need with a physical thing.
The physical cannot satisfy the spiritual hunger because that’s not how God made us. We are designed with a need that can only be met by a relationship with God. Design is easy to understand—for example, my old truck is designed to run on gasoline and be driven on land—and if I put mud in the gas tank and drive it into the lake—it’s spells disaster for the truck! We are designed by God Who created us in His image and He knows exactly what we need. Just as the designer of the truck knows better than anyone what fuel, maintenance and conditions will exact the best performance—so does God–Who is our Designer, know exactly what is best for us.
So why is it we choose something or someone to idolize other than God? It is because the world has blinded our minds from the truth. (2 Cor. 4:3) The truth is that we are all in deep trouble because: “All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.” (Rom. 3:23) Furthermore, we refuse to believe the truth about the consequences of our deep trouble “…the wages of sin is death…” (Rom. 6:23) Many times we think we need to make ourselves good enough for God, but we fail to remember “…by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Eph. 2:8) This was me–For years I tried to make myself good enough to come to God. You see, I was going to help Him save me! But I failed to recognize that I could not help God save me because I was already condemned. For example, a person who is in prison because he has been convicted a crime, cannot get himself out. It takes intervention by someone on the outside. We are condemned by our own sin…” (John 3:18) Therefore, we need someone who is not condemned to save us from condemnation. There is only One who has lived as a sinless human and thus, was qualified to save us: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Now, you have heard the TRUTH—so what will you do with it? Will you believe and obtain everlasting life?
As I faithfully continued to meet with Him in the morning, soon it crossed over from something I committed to do, to something I can’t wait to do. He has become the Source of that security, warmth, wisdom and safe place that I need every day. Some mornings, before I even get out of bed, He begins to talk to me. When I go to our special time, I often come to Him with this question: “What is it you want to teach me today?” Well now, God has A LOT to teach any of His children who will listen! Now as I begin to comprehend and appreciate His friendship, my 15 minutes have almost always become an hour or more. And it doesn’t even stop there – I don’t even like to leave home without Him. When I let Him, He leads me throughout the day with a peace that passes understanding no matter what storm may be brewing. Yes, I still fail. But, when I feel that peace slipping away – He reminds me about who I am and draws me back to Him. The music, the website and the testimony are simply an expression of His heart shining through me.