Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What's your own personal Heaven?

I’ve noticed in our day and age a constant longing from people to create their own personal heaven that is designed by this world. We have everything this world has to offer to create our own personal happiness. People are creating their own individual paradise in order to make themselves happy. The problem is the way in which they gain happiness. See all of us were created with a longing for an eternal paradise (heaven) but sin has tainted this longing. Instead of worshipping the Creator we worship the creation. We tend to use sinful means in order to gain that temporary paradise.

“What causes quarrels and what cause fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:1-4)

All sin stems from idolatry. We want what we worship and most of us will do whatever it takes to get it. We worship the god of the opposite sex so we commit adultery or fornication to obtain that personal god. We worship what someone else has so we covet and lust. We worship a fancy car, a big house, a boat, a lake house and so on so we get in debt over our heads in order to worship those gods. Many times in order to gain what others have we steal to get it. What happens in all these circumstances is we sinfully gain our own temporary heaven while committing acts that damn us to hell. All the while we find out as time goes on that those things never completely satisfy us so we repeat the very same actions many times in this life never finding the joy we are seeking.

Is there a solution?

If there wasn’t a solution I would have never noticed the reality mentioned above in my own life. The solution is to recognize our longing for something greater than this world. This is instinctively in every single human being because God has created us with a longing for him. We were all created to be eternally satisfied. We were all created to crave eternal pleasures. Sin has tainted this craving to where we seek after the “various passions and pleasures” of the world instead of God’s eternal pleasures. But God graciously sent us his Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us from this curse of sin. He sent his Son so we could have our sins forgiven and his wrath taken away so that we might enjoy him forever. Forever? Yes, forever. The thought may cross your mind, “How is it possible to be satisfied forever?” I’ll let God answer that question: “Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water [the world] will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life’” (John 4:13-14). The promise is given that drinking from the fountain of life, Jesus Christ, will produce a “spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

The solution is humbly confessing that you are a sinner whose heart sinfully craves after the things of the world. I was once one who fought and quarreled to get what I thought was joyful pleasures but God opened my eyes to see those things were not ultimately satisfying. I kept craving for more. But in Christ I have found “fullness of joy” and “pleasures forevermore.” While I am on this earth the world will continue to tug at me to come back to its temporary, fleeting pleasures but God has given me his Spirit to fight in this battle. We must walk equipped with the Sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. We must keep our eyes upon Christ and his dwelling place in the New Jerusalem. We must keep our focus on the true heaven where Christ is ruling and reigning. We ought to crave to be with him in that place where there will be no more sin. As we keep our focus on our eternity with Christ we will soon realize our purpose in this world is to bring God the maximum amount of glory which will ultimately bring us to our greatest amount of joy.

Grace upon grace,
JRL

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