(This is a lesson that I taught our children last Sunday minus some of the following introductory thoughts and quotes).
I’ve found it interesting through the years that world renowned therapists/psychologists see the effects of people not living according to purpose and not being satisfied, though they themselves never fully understood that purpose or the path to being satisfied. Here’s a couple of examples:
- Dr. Carl Jung writing about what he calls “a neurosis of emptiness” stated, “When goal goes, meaning goes; when meaning goes, purpose goes; when purpose goes, life goes dead on our hands.”
- Sigmund Freud wrote in his book “Civilization and It’s Discontents”, “Only religion is able to answer the question of the purpose of life. One can hardly go wrong in concluding that the idea of a purpose in life stands and falls with the religious system.”
I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised at these observations or by those of so many who have experienced “the American dream” but who live lives of desperate emptiness such as:
- A one time leading Hollywood actress told USA today: “It sounds so trendy, California….but I believe a lot of us feel a kind of hole in our heart – an unfocused ache that’s fixed by some people eating too much, for others with free base. In my case, I’m a romantic junkie.”
- Media mogul Ted Turner described life as, “…like a B-grade movie. You don’t want to leave in the middle, but you don’t want to see it again.”
What we should be surprised at is how the people of God so often find ourselves not too removed from the ones mentioned above. God asked through the prophet Jeremiah this probing question to His people Israel: “…What injustice did your fathers find in Me, That they went far from Me And walked after emptiness and became empty?” Jeremiah 2:5
C.S. Lewis put it this way, “Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
God’s strong desire is that we all are increasingly satisfied in Him, and decreasingly looking to the world for what only God can give.
So with that introduction in mind, here’s the lesson with some of the probing questions I asked. I walked away from that class very thankful for what children can comprehend by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.
God’s Gracious Invitations & Promises:
“Oh that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways! I would quickly subdue their enemies And turn My hand against their adversaries. Those who hate the Lord would pretend obedience to Him, And their time of punishment would be forever. But I would feed you with the finest of the wheat, And with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” Psalm 81:13-16
What does God long for His people to do?
What does He promise to do if we do that?
What does “finest of the wheat” and “honey from the rock” signify?
“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;….. With a long life I will satisfy him….” Psalm 91:14,16
What is God responding to in this person?
What is He promising for him?
“I will fill the soul of the priests with abundance, And My people will be satisfied with My goodness,” declares the Lord. For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes.” Jeremiah 31:14,25
What does God say He will do for His people?
Testimonies of Those God Satisfied
“As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with your likeness when I awake.” Psalm 17:15
What does David say he will be satisified with?
“O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have seen You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You. My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth offers praises with joyful lips.” Psalm 63:1-3, 5
What does David say about God’s lovingkindness? What does that cause him to do?
What does David say about His soul? What does that seem to cause him to do?
“How blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near to You To dwell in Your courts. We will be satisfied with the goodness of your house, Your holy temple.” Psalm 65:4
What does David say he will be satisfied with?
“Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men! For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.” Psalm 107:8,9
What kind of soul does God satisfy?
Futility of Seeking Satisfaction Elsewhere
“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity.” Eccl. 5:10
Does lots of money satisfy our souls?
“…Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy?” Isaiah 55:2
What do people often do with their money?
Who is the god of this world?
Does he want people to find satisfaction in a relationship with God?
So how does he try to stop that or prevent that from happening?
What are some of the things he does to try to prevent that from happening?
Prayers to Be Satisfied
“O satisfy us in the morning with your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” Psalm 90:14
What did Moses expect the result to be if God answered this prayer?
So how can we learn to find our satisfaction in God alone?