Casey Brooks Casey Brooks

This past week I spent a few days at an English camp in Losevo, Russia, where we helped young Russians practice and improve their English and start Spiritual conversations. It involved some English lessons, some games, some tea, some banya, and a lot of great conversation.

The first night I was playing a game called “Contact” with several Russian non-believers. In the game, one person thinks of a word, and the other players try to guess that word by describing another word that starts with the same letter. If another player understands the word being described before the first person does, the next letter of the secret word is given. So when it was my turn to come up with the secret word, I chose “sacrifice,” and maybe get a chance to use it to talk about the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. And one of the words that a Russian described really got me thinking: “It is the emotion you feel after sex.” The word he described was “satisfied”.

And it hit me just how empty that life is. They had used sex slang previously in this game, but it wasn’t just the fact that sex is so prominent in these people’s lives (so prominent that they know it in multiple languages). What hit me was how sex made them feel, the emotions sex gives to them. It satisfies them. And that’s it.

You know what else satisfies? Food. And not even good food, but if you are hungry enough any amount of food will satisfy. A drink of water will satisfy. Seeing a person understand what I explain will satisfy. But what happens after that? Won’t that person be hungry again soon? Won’t they still want more water? Won’t there be more that I could convince someone of? Won’t they want to have sex again later? And what happens when what satisfied you before becomes stale? Would you rather have a gourmet meal than a packet of ramen, and so no longer accept the ramen as nourishment? Would you resent the tast of water and only drink fine wine to sate your thirst?

Would you start to lose interest in your sexual partner and look to others for that fulfillment?

Would your desire for more pornography lead you to more and more disgusting parts of the internet? Child porn? Rape?

Would you let your occasional fit of rage begin to manifest itself in physical violence? Assault? Murder?

Would you let your depression take you to a point where you feel the need to hurt yourself? Even kill yourself?

Now these are all very extreme examples, but I am using them to make a point. If all you are looking for in life is to be satisfied, then you will never feel satisfied, because the satisfaction will fade and you will begin to look for your next fix. Look at the entire book of Ecclesiastes, this idea is the very theme: “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil...Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income...Everyone’s toil is for their mouth, yet their appetite is never satisfied.” (Ecc. 2:10, 5:10, 6:7). A life lived to try and fill these worldly desires will just leave you more and more empty, farther from the only thing that will ever fulfill that need for satisfaction.

In my post “God-Shaped Hole” I shared an idea of packing your heart with dry ice that illustrated this exact idea. You can put dry ice in that hole in your heart as a temporary plug, but it will soon go away leaving the hole even more damaged and larger. You can fill your life with sex, but each time you indulge that desire you will need more to feel the same level of satisfaction, because we were created with a need that needs to be filled, and nothing of this world will ever fill it.

So what can fill this desire that exists within us all? For years I sought satisfaction in women: after breaking up with Alex following my move to Texas, I wanted to feel like someone cared about me, and began to look at women just as objects to be used for pleasure. I did not honor women with my thoughts, and I dated a girl I had no feelings for. And each passing day left me more empty than the one previous, hating who I was on the inside. But it was this pursuit of false satisfaction that ultimately drew me to Christ, who has given me a satisfaction that is not possible from anything else.

Jesus tells us that he is the bread of life, and from him pours forth springs of living water (John 4, John 6). Whoever eats this bread will never go hungry. Whoever drinks this water will never thirst. And while for this immediate life this is a metaphor to explain that nothing of the world will satisfy, I know that one day this metaphor will become a reality. One day God will judge the world and he will judge me and find me guilty of breaking his Law. But He loves me, and has given me that which will save me from his wrath: he gave me his Son. And I won’t be cast to the pits of Hell, but rather will spend an eternity in Heaven with my Father, my Creator, where “to the thirsty [Jesus] will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.” (Revelation 21:6). In Heaven I will feel no thirst, no unsatisfied desire, because I will be living with the only thing that has ever been able to satisfy.

I am going to leave you with some awesome lyrics. It's pretty funny, before I knew that the lyrics of this band all point to Jesus, I took the line "I will never be satisfied" and said, "of course you won't be satisfied, you don't have Jesus." I now know that he said this line as a point, that until he bids farewell and severs the ties to this world, he will never be satisfied.

I will bid farewell, sever the ties

This is all I am, this is all that's left

Turn from deceit, the love of self is death

Deliverance is given to you

I will bid farewell,

Sever the ties

Now your heart beats black with deception, you have been forsaken

Leave behind (I will) all reminders of you

I will bid farewell

I will bid farewell

Sever the ties

Searching, always searching

Hoping for a change

I will never be satisfied

I will now bid farewell

I will bid farewell

To all lies

I will bid farewell

Sever the ties

~ A Bid Farewell by Killswitch Engage

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