13 Aug 2017
We are all susceptible to this fast spreading cancer of the soul called a desire for more. This desire for more has infected all of us and it does so in different ways. For some it is a bigger house, new car, larger salary. For others it might be greater thrills, more gadgets or longer vacations. If we are not careful this desire for more can bring great hurt and heart ache into our lives. It is this desire for more that drives a person to buy a house they cannot afford, love a woman that is not their wife or use money that is not their own. So, what is the answer to our discontentment? Our passage in II Samuel 11-12, gives the answer it is knowing and drawing near to God.
Open your bibles, if you would, with me please, to the book of Second Samuel, chapter 11. Our text this morning is Second Samuel, chapter 12. We're going to end on verse seven and eight, but we're going to work our way there, beginning in Second Samuel, chapter 11, in your bibles today.
The Irony Of Not Being Satisfied Despite Getting What We Want
I heard a story of a business-owner one day [who] was walking through his office. He overheard one of the colleagues say, “You know, if I just had $1,000, then I would be a truly contented person.” Well, that stopped the owner in his tracks. He went back to that employee and said, “You know, I heard what you said, that if you had $1,000, you'd be a contented person. I have never met a truly contented person. So, I want to give you $1,000.” So [he] pulled out his checkbook. He wrote a cheque for $1,000 [and] handed that to the employee. As he was walking away, he heard that employee say this, “You know, I should have asked for $2,000!”
The disease of the soul is the desire for more
You know? All of us, whether we know it or not, we are susceptible [to] that fastest-spreading disease of the soul. The disease [is] called “A Desire for More”. Whether we know it or not, everybody desires more. This disease “[The] Desire for More” has at times affected me. Especially at all-you-can-eat buffets! You know what I’m talking about? I'm talking about [a] mere few years ago here in Singapore. An all-you-can-eat Japanese restaurant opened up. And I remember going there once. I was invited by a member of the church. We were there looking at this line and the line literally wrapped around the entire mall! It [took] sometimes over an hour wait to get in. But it's always worth it because once in, you could pay a nominal fee and then, you can eat! And you can eat! And you can eat! And my rule of thumb at all-you-can-eat buffets is [that] you don't eat until you're full - you eat until you're tired! I often use what we call a “sky-high technique” where you take carrot sticks to build a retaining (sic) wall around the edge of your plate. Then you'd fill it as high as you could get with food. Then the gorging would begin. You know? You would end one plate, and go back, and get another plate. You know? More prawns. More sushi. More tempuras. More California rolls, and so on. Sometimes I would eat so much [that] I would slip down into my chair, put my hands upon my now bloated tummy, I would say, “You know what? I feel like a beached whale.” And then, I would say invariably “I could not eat another bite!” And just as I said that, I'm reaching up, grabbing one more tempura, one more sushi roll, one more piece of sliced fish! Because you know? At all-you-can-eat buffets, it seems that ‘enough’ is never enough. You just want a little bit more.
The desire for more is not for much - just a little bit more
Yet sadly, that is the way it is with us! It seems today for many people ‘enough’ is not enough. We just want a little bit more in life. Is it not the way it is? We want a bigger salary. We want a larger house. We want a newer car. We want greater thrills. Sometimes people want more sex. You know? They want bigger salaries. Larger homes. They want longer vacations. A younger wife. Smarter kids. You know? We want more power. I want more influence. We want more! We just want more! We just want more! That seems to be, as it were, the mantra of our day. I remember some years ago that late billionaire, Howard Hughes, was asked the question, “How much is enough?” And he gave back that answer “Just a little bit more!” And that seems to be the cry of our day. We just want a little bit more.
Yet sadly, this desire for more has gripped the lives of so many people. Sadly, [it] has brought great hurt and heartache in the lives of many. Because we know: It's that desire for more, that poison of the soul that just wants a little bit more – [it] is what drives a man to buy a house that he cannot afford. To love a woman, as it were, that is not his wife. To use money that is not his own. Or to push his kids beyond their ability. Or take a job that they know, deep down on the inside, is not God's will for their life. This desire for more.
Maybe that's where you find yourself today? Maybe there is within your heart a desire for more? For you, ‘enough’ is not enough. Maybe you're not happy where you are in life? And maybe you're not satisfied with what God has given to you? Or maybe today, this desire for more has already brought great hurt and heartache in your life, and in the [lives] of your family members. And maybe down on the inside, you're asking the question, “Can I ever be satisfied? 05:13 Will I ever be content?” Well, the answer [to] that question is, is absolutely! There is contentment and satisfaction available for all.
The Slippery Slope of the Sin of Discontentment: David and Bathsheba
That's what our passage here in Second Samuel chapter 12 is all about. Remember, in this passage, this great passage, we meet a man by the name of David. David was a great leader. He was a superb general and he was a revered king. But this desire for more gripped his life, and it almost destroyed his life. So, from his life, I want us to see when ‘enough’ is enough. I want you to see today how you can be truly content and satisfied in life. So, let's pick up David's story beginning in Second Samuel chapter 11. This is a familiar story I know. But we'll trust God, the Holy Spirit, to speak this passage to our hearts in a fresh way. So, let's pick it up in Second Samuel chapter 11. Let's read verse one:-
2 Samuel 11:1
It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle that David sent Joab, and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the people of Ammon and they besieged Rabbah. But David, he remained at Jerusalem.
Now why David was in Jerusalem when his men were on the battlefield fighting, we do not know. Maybe David was bored in life. Maybe David wasn't happy with where he was, in what he had achieved in life. Or maybe David was having that Old Testament equivalent of ‘a mid-life crisis’. But whatever the reason, David was not where he ought to be. The Bible does make it clear that it was on a balmy spring evening that David went to the rooftop of his palace. There he began to look over all that God had given to him. And lo and behold, he saw something that God did not give him. And that was a woman bathing. Why this woman was bathing on the top of her house, we do not know.
2 Samuel 11:2,3
But the Bible says that when David saw this woman, he said that she was very beautiful to behold. And so, David, rather than fleeing the lust of his flesh, followed his carnal desires. He asked his servant, he said, “Who is that woman next door?” And he came back with these words, as we read in verse three, “Her name, David, her name is Bathsheba. And she is the daughter of Eliam. And she is, (notice his word) she is the wife of Uriah the [Hittite]”. And you know? When the servant mentioned to David, “David, she is the wife of Uriah,” this should have stopped David dead in his tracks. At that moment, he should have realized, “This woman is off-limits to me. Why? Because she is already somebody else's wife.”
God Gives a Check In Our Spirit Before We Sin
Haven't you ever wondered on reading a passage like this? Have you ever noticed that every time we're about to do something that God doesn't want us to do, that God always gives us a warning? God always gives us a caution. He always puts a check in our spirit. You see? That's exactly what happened here. But that's what happens in our life as well. You see? When you're about to do something that you know, or you're tempted to do something God doesn't want you to do - sometimes God speaks to [you in] your morning devotions. And He gives you a verse that's speaking to the very thing that you're tempted to do. Or maybe it's in a sermon. Just like this [one]. As the preacher brings forth the word, there's a story. [Or] there's a comment. Or there's a passing or a fleeting thought. And [God’s check] there! What it's doing is it's reminding you that you are not to do what you're being tempted to do. Or maybe it's [through] a conversation with a friend. And that friend brings up [to you] the very thing that you are being tempted to do. Well, that's exactly what happened to David.
You see? David, when he asked, “Who was that woman next door?” and the words came back, “Her name is Bathsheba and she is the wife of Uriah the [Hittite]”, it was God warning David. It was God saying, “David, listen, she is off-limits to you. David, listen, she is the wife of another man. David, do not touch this woman. She is not for you.” God was warning David.
David Ignored God’s Means Of Restraint
But you know? Like David, or David, I guess, like us, David spit to the wind! He cast aside this caution by God. So, David now using his position and power as the king of the nation Israel, he invited this lady over [to] his house. One thing led to another and soon this one-night stand became a positive pregnancy test. David now found himself in the horns of a dilemma. Because David knew that the city of Israel had seen this lady, obviously coming in and out of the king's palace, David feared that every eye would be looking at David and [saying], “David, you are the reason that this married woman is pregnant.”
So, David wanted to cover his tracks. David had to plan some kind of a cover-up to put a smokescreen to his unlawful actions. So, David decided that he was going to invite back Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, from the battlefield, hoping that he would go in and have relations with his wife. And so, every eye, once she was discovered that she was pregnant, that every eye would be cast from David and they would think that Uriah was the father, the legitimate father of this child. But David did not realize that this man, Uriah, was a man of unbelievable and unique character. Instead of going in and having relations with his wife, he would not afford himself any pleasure that were not afforded to his own men on the battlefield. Rather, this man, Uriah, would sleep at the foot of David's door. David now found himself in a desperate situation, knowing now he had to definitely cover his tracks! He stepped it up. And he decided that he needed to have now Uriah killed. He brought him back. But now he had to have him killed. So, David wrote a note to his chief and commander, a man by the name of Joab. Here's what David said. He said, “Joab, send Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die.”
Our Sin Always Leads To Another Like An Interconnected Web
It is interesting that David was trying to hide his sin. It is interesting how one sin always leads to another sin. Have you ever noticed that? One sin always breeds another since like a spiderweb they're interconnected. You know? Immorality is always followed by lust. Is it not? A man who lusts somehow, somewhere, in some way, is going to commit some kind of act of immorality. Adultery is always followed by a lie. Always lying to - you know - hide your steps or to cover your tracks. Many times, you know, bitterness will produce revenge. Yet in David's case, his adultery would result in murder. But David would not get away with his sin. You see? His cover-up would eventually be uncovered because God brought into David's life - and praise God - God brought a man by the name of Nathan. Nathan was a prophet. I, like you, [I] have read this story many times. I have often wondered as I read this story, “[Wouldn’t it have] been neat to be a fly on the wall watching this whole episode transpire between Nathan and David?” I don't know if you think like me! But I thought it would be neat to have some insight information, and to watch how all of this played out.
Nathan confronts David
Well, I want to give to you what my mind sees. Because when I read the Scripture, especially a narrative like the story of David, Bathsheba and Nathan the prophet, I see in pictures! Do you guys see in pictures? I see in pictures. Can I tell you what I see in my mind? That was not a rhetorical question. Okay? I know many of you are not used to me! But when I communicate, I like to communicate with the crowd! I like to talk to you. I’d like you to get involved and what we're doing here. So, you know, that was not a rhetorical question. You'll figure me out. Sometimes they're rhetorical, and sometimes they're not. But here's what happened. All right? David just had Uriah put to death. David [was] thinking, “Man! I got away with it! I have hidden my sin. It is covered. Nobody's going to find out.” And all of a sudden, this old prophet by the name of Nathan shows up at David's palace. I can picture in my mind's eye, Nathan. He's an old man. Probably dressed like the average prophet [of the] day wearing animal skins. Covered with all kinds of dust. Holding onto [a] wooden staff because of his feeble knees. He comes hobbling into David's court. You know? And I can see it. Here's this old dirty, dusty man - unkempt hair - looking at David in his beautiful, gold-gilded palace. And David there, sitting upon his throne and his crown with the jewels glistening. You know? [And] the sunlight bursting through the colored windows of that palace. And I can see it, and there [Nathan] is as he comes hobbling up to David. You know? David, kind of adjusting himself, thinking, “What does this old prophet want? What is he doing here today?” You know? So, the prophet comes up to David. Of course, he shows David some respect.
Nathan’s parable: a rich man steals and kills the only lamb of a poor man
He says, “Master, I know that you are the king of the nation of Israel. I know that you are the anointed one of God. I know that God has given you - most holy and noble king – God has given to you, wisdom. David, I have a situation that I cannot figure out and I need your mind upon this matter.” I can see David adjusting himself upon his throne and saying, “All right, speak up, prophet of God. I truly can help you by God's grace with the answer to your dilemma.” So as [it] was the custom of the day, [Nathan] tells David the problem by way of a parable. He says, “David, there were two men. There was a rich man and there was a poor man. This poor man had one little lamb. And he loved this lamb. And it was his only lamb. His neighbor was a very rich man. And he had a lot of sheep. But one day a traveler came - a friend of this rich man. He visited the rich man's home. And he wanted some lamb chops for dinner. And so, rather than going to his own flock and killing his lamb and serving the lamb chop to this man for dinner, [the rich man] hopped [over] the fence and went in to this poor man's house, stole his only lamb and killed it and served that lamb to his friend for dinner. David. What do you think about that?” David, now a bit restless upon his throne, his face turns bright red. I can see him, if it happened this way, standing to his feet. Here's what he says to Nathan, the prophet. He said, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this thing, he shall surely die!” And I want to say, and Nathan was probably saying, “David, watch your words...”
15:28 And [David] goes on to say, “[The rich man] shall restore fourfold for the lamb because he did this thing. And because he had no pity.” I can see Nathan the prophet, there now lifting himself upon that wooden staff, strengthening his feeble knees, stretching out his old arm, and his crooked finger pointed in the face of this hypocritical king. And he says, “David! You. Are. That. Man.” There in an instant, his sin had been uncovered. The words of that old prophet exposed his sleep of deception. And David was awakened to the reality that not only God but others knew of his sin. And [yet] David was still a man of humble heart. There he fell upon his knees to the ground. And he cried out to God, as we read in verse 13, David says, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
What Led David Down This Destructive Path?
Friends, this is a tragic story in the life of a truly great man. Yet this story brings to mind a question. And the question is this one: “What led David down this destructive path?” You know? Sometimes we get caught up in the story of David and Bathsheba. We fail to ask the question: “What led David down this destructive path?” I have an answer for you. What led David into the arms of another woman, is the fact that David was not satisfied with what God had given to him. What led him down this destructive path? It was [the fact that] he had been possessed with this desire for more. You know? Humanly speaking, David had everything! I mean, he had everything that a man in this life could want. I mean, David was one of the most powerful and influential men on the planet. I mean, he had wisdom given by God - wisdom beyond recognition. I mean, he was a man who was a king. He had a palace. He had a city. He had an army to protect all of his assets. He was a married man with several wives, by the way. And multitudes of children. Listen, you would think a man like David had everything that a person would want to be happy. To be satisfied and be contented. But David wasn't. You see David wasn't satisfied with what God had given to him. He wanted now what somebody else had. He had been possessed - with his desire for more. He was seeking his contentment outside of an intimate walk and relationship with God. You know, what's sad about this? David's desire for more destroyed Bathsheba’s life. It took the life of her husband. A man she desperately loved. And it would take the life of the child that was still in the womb. This desire for more in the life of David would eventually bring great destruction, and hurt and heartache [in the] life of his family for generations to come. Because several of his sons follow his footsteps and their lives had a terrible end.
Where then, do we find contentment?
So, what led David down this destructive path? It was his desire for more. The fact [is] that he had a heart that was not content. It brings us to a second question then: “Where then do we find contentment?” All right? Where then, can this contentment be found? What is the answer to our discontentment? You know? What is interesting is that this very man, David, gives us the answer. It's a few years later. David now had been taught by God, learned his lesson. By the way, you know? We all fall. And we stumble into sin, is that right? But you see, it's what we do when we sin that determines the outcome of our life. David fell upon his knees and he asked God to forgive him. And he got up. He began to seek the face of God. God began to teach David. And God reminded David of something.
God points out to David that He could have been the Source for more.
Oh, by the way, can I just stop for a moment and go back? I want you to see something. Why did David fall? Because he had desires for more than God had promised to him, right? In fact, you know that God put His finger on David's problem when He said this. Look at this. All right? This takes us to our text. I almost missed this! This is a preacher's confession. Are you with me? I didn't have to tell you that. You would have never known. But here it is. All right? I just want you to know that I'm human! All right? I can't miss it. It's the key to our text! [It] is what the whole message is about. Right here! And listen! God puts His finger on David's problem. And notice, He says, “David, I have anointed you king over Israel. I have delivered you from the hand of Saul. David, I gave you your master’s house. And your master’s wives into your keeping. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And all that had been given! If that had been too little, David, I would have given to you more.”
Hear what God is saying, “David, I gave you everything that you need. David, what more did you want?” And I can hear David say, but God, “I want just a little bit more.” See what led David down that road? What led him down that road 20:31 was his desire for more. Not satisfied with what God had given to him. So, he wanted what somebody else had. This brought a nasty end of the life that Bathsheba had, and would affect his family in years to come. So, it brings us to this question: “What is the answer then to our dissatisfaction?”
What Is The Answer To Our Dissatisfaction?
As I said earlier, David, again, gives us the answer. It's a few years later. David now had been taught by God. God had given David the answer. Under the inspiration of Holy Spirit, David penned these words - Psalm 65 verse four. Listen to what he said. David [has] given us the answer now to his discontentment. He said,
“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.”
Isn’t that a great phrase? How blessed? How happy? How contented is that one, to whom God - You choose? In other words, how contented is that man who knows God, and who is drawing nearer to God. For that man will dwell, Lord in Your courts. He will be satisfied. He will be contented with the goodness of Your house. What is he saying? He's saying, “Listen! Here's the answer to man's discontentment. Here's the answer to our cry: When is enough ‘enough’? Here's the answer to our desire for more. The answer is an intimate walk and relationship with a God who made you - in a God who loves you. The answer is God! The answer is a relationship with a God who made us. Are you with me?
Knowing God and drawing nearer to Him
I'm going to show you why that's true in just a moment. Because here's what we know. Friends, we do know that mountains of money, millions of dollars in the bank will not satisfy you. You can have millions of dollars in the bank. But you see, if you don't know God and [are] not drawing nearer to God, you know [that] money is not going to fully satisfy the heart of man. You can be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. I mean, you could have the accolades of peers. You could have controls of billions of dollars and thousands of employees. But listen. If you don't know God, and are not drawing near to the God who made you and love you – listen - your position in life won't fully satisfy.
You can be a minister in this church, serving God anywhere. I mean, you [could] be leading worship. You could be in a in a teaching class. You could be working in the kitchen. You could be sharing the gospel on the street. But listen. If you are not drawing nearer to God - if you're not practically and proactively seeking God - do you realize that your ministry won't fully satisfy? Why? Because that's what satisfies the heart of man: [It] is knowing God and drawing near. In fact, listen to what David said in Psalm 73 verse 28. David said,
But for me, the nearness of God is my good,
Simon Cowell is not satisfied- despite having it all
You see: If fame and fortune - if praise and popularity - could satisfy the heart of man, friends, then we would have a world filled with the rich and famous, absolutely happy and contented in this world. But that's not true. See? If fame and fortune, praise and popularity, if the things of this life could satisfy the heart of man, then a man by the name of Simon Cowell would be - without a doubt - the most contented man on the planet! You know that name? Don't pretend you don't! I said to the early service, “Don't give me your spiritual piety, ok? Hey, listen! If Simon Cowell walked in the door, everybody would say, “Wow! I didn't know he comes to church!”
Because everybody would know his name. We know his name because he's a household name. I mean, he's the man that has given the world: “American Idol”, “Britain’s Got Talent”, “X-Factor”. He has made, you know, tons of people household names! In fact, he is estimated to have a net-worth of some one [and a] half billion dollars. Always on the rich list of Hollywood and the rich and famous. I mean, sadly, and I just don't know why this is, but almost every year, he's classified as the “Coolest man on the planet”. I don't get that one! I look in the mirror and I think, “Certainly not me, ok?”. But I mean, he's a household name. We get it. In fact, you know, he - a few years ago - just to add something [else] to his life - he finished building his mansion in Hollywood, California. And he's such a perfectionist, it took him five years to get every single detail right. So, you'd think a man that has all that would be a man that would be contented and satisfied in life. Right? Because you see, that's what the world tells us. The world says fame and fortune, praise and popularity satisfy. But friends, if that was true, then Simon Cowell would not have made this statement. He says,
“I'm quite odd in some ways. I get very dark moods for no reason. I'm just a wandering asteroid without a home. I get to a point in my life where I sometimes think: ‘Am I ever going to be happy? Am I ever going to be satisfied?’”
Robin Williams committed suicide – despite having it all
You see, friends? Fame and fortune, praise and popularity can't fully satisfy the heart of man. Hey, listen! If that were true, then what about a man by the name of Robin Williams? You know that name? The actor? In fact, likewise, if he were to walk through our door, we probably would scratch our heads and said, “Well, I didn't know Robin Williams comes to church!”
But we know him. I mean, he has given the world some 50 films. Listen to his accolades. He's won five Grammys, four Golden Globes, two screen actor guilds, two Emmys, and [an] Oscar. He's brought in over $3 billion in the movies that he had made. And yet, you'd think here's a man who, humanly speaking had everything [which] the world says we need to be contented, satisfied and happy.
And he obviously wasn't. Because in 2014, he took his own life with his own hands. In fact, it was just this year, the motivational speaker, Tony Robbins, in his newest book “Unshakable” he said this about Robin Williams - and I quote - and by the way, [Robbins] is an unsaved man. He said: “In the end, Robin Williams made everyone happy except himself.” Why? Why is it that the things of life can't fully satisfy the heart of man?
We were designed by God to be satisfied by God alone because we bear His image
The answer is because we were not made to be satisfied by the things of this life. You and I, we were made to be satisfied by God. That's why Jesus said to us in Luke chapter 12 verse 15, He reminds us that contentment is not found in seeking possessions or pursuing our pleasures. But notice what He said 2000 years ago. Jesus, knowing the human heart - how we are prone to wander, how we are easy to leave our Lord, and begin thinking that satisfaction is found [in] the things of this life - here's what He said: One's life does not consist in the abundance of things that he possesses.
Did you hear what He said? He says: “Your life does not find satisfaction – [you] will not find [contentment] in the things that you possess.” He is reminding us of something very important. Friends, we were not made to be satisfied by the things of this life. We were made to be satisfied by God! That's why David said what he said “[But] for me, drawing nearer to God, that is my good.” Drawing near to God, that is my highest. Drawing near to God. that's where I find my peace, my joy and my contentment. That's where I find my ultimate satisfaction in life. The reason is because you are not made to be satisfied by the things of this life. You [were] made to be satisfied by God. Have you ever read in the Bible?
The Bible tells us in Genesis chapter one, first chapter [of] the Bible: that you are made in the image of God. Have you ever read that and wondered what does it mean? That I [am] made in God's image? Well, may I remind you: It doesn't mean that you look like God! We don't get up in the morning, look in the mirror and say, “Oh! That's what God looks like. Huh? Sorry, okay?” The Bible says that God is a Spirit and all that worship Him [must] worship Him in spirit and [in] truth. But when God says that we're made in His image here, it means we're made for the capacity to know God. It means that we're made for a reason. And that is [for] a fellowship with God who made us and a God who desperately loves us!
In fact, the Bible goes on to remind us that you're not just a physical body. But you are at the same time a living soul. Remember: The body is that material part of man. It's that part of us [which] enables us to experience the world around us. It's with the body that we can taste, we can touch, we can feel. You see? The body can experience temporary pleasures of this life. Are you with me? Yeah! I mean, there are temporary pleasures. I'm not saying there's no pleasure in life. But it's always temporary.
You can go out for a meal. And that meal will satisfy your body. By the way, how long will that meal satisfy your body? Probably until you have to pay the cheque! And if someone else is paying the cheque, [the meal] will satisfy you until next morning when you're hungry again. That's how life is. You buy a new car and you're excited until what? Till your neighbor dings your door! Oh, you don't own a car? It's never happened to you? And that's the way life works, right?. [Those] jeans are great jeans until you rip the knee unless you bought them that way. All right? But see things of life satisfy but they satisfy us temporarily. But you see: We're not just a physical body. You are a living soul and the soul hides within the body. The soul is the real you. It's part of you that gives you your personality. You know? I know that because you can be looking right at me with your eyes glued on me. And you'd be looking and smiling and thinking about lunch!
Because you see the soul is that part of you that [hides] within your body. But it's that part of you that makes you you. And yet it's that part of you that enables you to know and fellowship with God. And you see the reason [why] we are made in the image of God: The reason that we're a living soul and not just a physical body is so you can come to know God. Because nothing in life fully satisfies apart from a relationship with a God that made you and a God that desperately loves you.
We are designed to run on nothing but Himself
That's why C.S. Lewis made this statement. And you know, C.S. Lewis? The author of The Chronicles of Narnia series? [He] said that God designed the human machine to run on nothing but Himself. And I just say - wisely said! You see, friends: Our satisfaction in life comes when your number one [is to] come to know Him experientially. You come to know Him as your Savior. Once knowing Him as your Savior, you begin, as David said, we begin to draw nearer - because the Bible gives you this promise, as you begin to draw nearer to God, God begins to draw nearer to you!
As you begin to come into an intimate walk and relationship with the Creator of heaven and earth, a God who desperately loves you - that God begins to fill the emptiness of your heart to overflowing - so you can experience the reality of the Lord's words. For Jesus Himself said in John 10, verse 10, “I have come that you might have life and [that] you might have life more abundantly”.
Satisfaction comes when you come into an intimate walk and relationship with a God that loves you! Because friends, mountains of money will not satisfy. Success and praise of your peers will not satisfy. Extra-marital relationships will not satisfy. A new home, a new car, a new wardrobe, smarter kids, longer vacations, more sex - that will not fully satisfy the heart of man.
Getting saved alone will not satisfy – but an intimate walk with God will
Friends, simply let me just say this: I want to add to this. Do you realize that simply being a Christian will not bring complete satisfaction in your life? You say, “Why do you say that? I thought God satisfies?” He does! But it's not just knowing Him. It's drawing nearer to Him. Because I have met some of the most unhappy people on the planet; [they] are men and women who claim to know Jesus Christ as their Savior. You know why? Because they view Christianity like punching a time-clock. You know what I'm talking about? We come to church on Sunday morning. The doors open. We come in. We punch the clock. We sit down and we go through our spiritual routine! We sing a few songs. We pray a few prayers. We listen to a sermon. We give our offering. And as we walk out the door, we punch the time-clock, and we go back to the routine of life. And we wind up asking ourselves, “Hey! Where's God in my life? Is He real? Why am I not experiencing Him?” In fact, some of the saddest and most discontented people on the planet are Christians who simply view their Christian life like punching a spiritual time clock.
Nearer to My God
But the true contentment comes, as David says, when we begin to draw nearer to God. It's a proactive drawing near to God. It's drawing nearer. So maybe this desire for more has gripped your life. Maybe this left you frustrated because you cannot get the things you want. Or achieve the things that you desire. Maybe this desire for more has taken you on shopping sprees, and has left you financially strapped. Or maybe this desire for more is driving [you] into the arms of a woman or a man who is not your spouse. Or maybe it [has] tempted you to take a job that is not God's will or begin a relationship that you know, is not God's desire for you. Or maybe this desire for more as left you simply dissatisfied. And you stand on the edge on the verge of walking out on your family. 33:35 Or leaving your job. Although you know you shouldn't. Or maybe it's tempting you even to abandon your church or [abandon] even your walk and relationship with God. Or maybe this desire for more has just left you spiritually empty. And maybe you've been asking the question, “Where is God in my life?”
Sin separates man from his ultimate satisfaction - God
Friends, the answer to that satisfaction and that dissatisfaction is God. And it begins this way. It begins by every single person knowing that [he has] a living relationship with a living God. It begins with what we call salvation. It begins by you realizing that there's a God who made you. And a God who desperately loves you. And yet there is something that stands between you and God. In the Bible [ calls that] a wall or a barrier of sin. You see, because the Bible makes it clear that every one of us [that] were born in this world [are] sinners. ‘Sin’ - for those who do not know - is simply breaking God's law. We've all heard the 10 commandments, have we not? The 10 commandments are [what] we call God's law. When we break a commandment, we sin. In fact, the Bible says we're not to worship any other God. When we bow down and we worship idols, we break God's law, we sin. We are not to lie. We are not to steal. We're not to commit adultery. We're not to covet what our neighbor has; that includes his possessions, his car, his home, [and] his wife, or even his children for that matter! That's breaking the commandments. That's what the Bible calls ‘sin’. The fact is, we all do that because we're all born sinners. But here's what sin has done. Sin separated man from God. The Bible says that your sin has made a separation between you and your God. Because of your sin, God hides His face from you. That's a serious thought. Do you realize that we're born in this world as sinners separated from God? That's why there's an emptiness in the heart. That's why we're seeking to fill this God-shaped hole. And that's why we fill it with stuff and fill it with things, but we still come up empty. Because you are not made to be satisfied by things of this life. You're made to be satisfied by God. But you can't come to know God because there's wall of sin, and that sin needs to be removed. You see, because [of] that wall of sin, the Bible says, God cannot hear you. In other words, God cannot fellowship with you. You cannot fellowship with God. And God hasn’t answered your prayers and God is not leading your life. So what do you have to do? That [the] wall of sin [may] be removed? That's why Jesus Christ came. You see, Jesus came to do for you, what you can't do for yourself. You cannot remove your own sin. So, God in His love, sent his Son, Jesus Christ into this world, to do what you and I cannot do. Jesus Christ came and He lived a sinless life. And having lived a sinless life, He went to Calvary, His cross. And there upon that cross, He died for your sin. That's why the Bible says it's the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, that can cleanse us of all of our sin. And if we're going to have our sin removed, and that wall that separates man from God removed, then we need to come into a living relationship with Jesus Christ who came and died for your sin.
That's why the Bible says that God so loved the world, that's us, that He gave His only begotten Son, that's Jesus, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have ever lasting life.
You see, in order to have that wall of sin removed, to come into a relationship with God, you have to do two things. You have to repent of your sin. Repenting is simply turning [away] from your sin. You say, “Why do I need to turn from my sin?” Because sin separates you from God. You can't have your sin and get to heaven too. You can't have your sin and have a relationship with God. You have to repent. You have to turn from your sin. And yet in turning from your sin, you have to place your trust in Jesus. You say, “Why Jesus?” Because only Jesus died for your sin. And only Jesus rose again on the third day. And rising upon the third day, Jesus Christ gave evidence [that] He can do for you, what you cannot do for yourself; that He can, and He has defeated sin, death and hell on your behalf.
Friends, once we place our trust in Jesus Christ, what do you do? He gives us that promise that you shall not perish, but have ever-lasting life. When we make that simple choice, to repent of our sin and turn in faith, we trust Jesus; that very moment that wall of sin has crumbled. God becomes our God. And He begins to place into your heart joy and peace and contentment. Then He says, “Now, I want you to begin to draw near to Me.” To draw near. You are not to stay static - not to treat your Christian life like a routine, not to treat church simply like punching a spiritual time clock. But it's a proactive drawing near. [This is what] Jesus meant. I think when He said to us in Matthew, chapter six and verse 33, says, Matthew six, verse 33, says, “Seek first the kingdom of God.” Seek first God's kingdom. Here's the problem, we seek first things. Because we think things are going to satisfy the deep longings of our heart, but it's not. He says, “Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness.” 38:33
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you – Matthew 6:33
In other words, seek to have a relationship with God. And all of these things, [the] things of life, He says, the things that you need will be added unto you. So, it's coming to know Him. It's trusting Him as our Savior. Then it's proactively drawing near. You say, “Well, how can I draw nearer to God?” Well, let's just get practical. Maybe for you, it begins by cutting up those credit cards. Right? Because you think that the things of life are going to satisfy. And yet, all it's doing is mounting debt for you. So, I say get rid of those things. Or maybe for you, it's severing that relationship. Because you know, that relationship is unhealthy. And it's leading you in the wrong direction. Or maybe it's rebuilding that broken relationship. But you see, for all of us, it begins this way. Drawing near begins by you and I, listening to God's speaking as we daily read and feed upon His word. 39:26 It means talking to God in prayer. It means obeying God in every area of our life. Because you see the things of this life, they can't fully satisfy our hearts. You are not made to be satisfied by the things of this life. You are made to be satisfied by God.
And if God is going to satisfy the longing of your heart, then you need to come to know Him. Number one: [As] your Savior. Then you need to begin drawing near and allow this Savior to be your Lord, to be your Master. And God says as you take that step, and as you take those steps of faith to draw near, God promises, “I will draw near to you.” And when man and God meet - there's contentment. There is contentment available to you. I want to close with this story.
Some years ago, there was a couple who just finished some 30 years of serving God, somewhere on the foreign mission field. This couple were Americans and so they went back to their home in the United States. On their way back, they stopped in the city of Las Vegas. They had a layover there. They arrived in their hotel right on the Las Vegas strip about 12 o'clock midnight. Now, they've never been to Las Vegas in their life and they open the curtains they saw the bright lights to the Las Vegas Strip. The husband said to the wife, “Hey, let's take a walk and let's see what this city is all about.” So, they began to walk on the street. They were amazed about how bright it was there in the middle of the night. As they're walking on the street, they heard all they heard: Noise and laughter from people coming out of the hotels and casinos. They heard the slot machines and money jingling in the in the machines. They saw billboard advertising great restaurants, great shows [and] the hottest stars. They even went into a car show and saw some of the most powerful and expensive cars upon the planet. After about two hours of touring and seeing all the sights and sounds of the Las Vegas Strip, they went back to their hotel. They walked up into their room. Didn't turn the light on but they drew the curtains back and they looked down over that Las Vegas Strip. [The] husband fell upon his knees and he said this to God, “God, I thank You tonight that I have not seen anything that I want more than I want You.”
Friends that's contentment. Can you say that today? “God, there's nothing in life that I want more than I want You.” Friends, don't let the desires of this life drive you away from God. Do not let the desires of this life drive you into hurt and heartache. Transfer those desires from things to God and let the God of heaven be the source of your contentment. Maybe you're here this morning. And you say, “This desire for more has gripped my heart. It has gripped my life.” Maybe today you've been wondering, “How can I find contentment?” Friends, the answer for you today is God. I don't know where you are in your walk and relationship with God. I do not know where you are generally in your relationship with the God who made you and a God who loves you. But I do know this. I do know that God desires you. For Jesus Christ came to save you. God came to remove your sins. Jesus Christ came that you might have life and that you might have life more abundantly. But you need to recognize that yourself, a sinner. It's your sin that has separated you from God. But God in His love for you sent Jesus to do for you, what you cannot do for yourself: Jesus came to die for your sins. If your sins are going to be removed, so [that] you can come into relationship with God, then you have to repent of your sin and you have to turn in faith and trust Jesus. And maybe that is exactly what you need to do today. Friends, if that's what you need to do today, then you need to call upon the Lord and ask Him to do what He alone can do.
For the Bible says that: Whosoever shall call upon the name of Lord shall be saved. You can call upon Him today. You can ask Him today to be your Savior. If the Spirit of God has convicted your heart, if you're sitting there today, and in your mind, you're thinking, “Yes, I understand it! Yes, that makes sense! Yes, that is my deepest need! Yes! There is this growing, this nagging emptiness in my heart. There is a God-shaped hole and I've been trying to stuff it full of things. And it's not satisfying.” And if that's where you find yourself today, it is God – listen - coming to you and saying, “Will you allow Me to be your Point and your Source of satisfaction? When you come to Me, will you lay aside your sin and will you embrace me as Savior and Lord today?”
Friends, you can make that choice. Hey, God is always and only a step of faith away [from] you. So, if God is knocking upon the door of your heart today, God is convicting you of your need of Him. Then I invite you to come to Him today. You say, “How do I do that?” Listen, it can happen right now. Right where you are. Right in your seat. Right now, you can come to Him and say, “God, I know that I'm a sinner, I get that. And I also understand that You died for me. So right now, recognizing that You died from my sin, and that I need You as my Savior. God, forgive me of my sin.” Thereafter, asking God to forgive you, you willingly return from that sin and you ask Him and you trust Him to be your Savior - for Jesus Christ came to do, what you cannot do. He came to save you from your sin. The Bible reminds us that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, save for once, saved from their sin, that you might have an abundant life now. When I say an abundant life, I'm not talking about a life of things, I'm talking about a life of contentment. I'm talking about a life of peace. I'm talking about a life of satisfaction. God has come to give you that life of contentment that you might have a contented life now and an eternal life in the future. That life is available to those who believe. You can do that right now, right where you are.
Yet, maybe you've already made that decision. Maybe you're struggling with this desire for more. Then, friends, may I encourage you today: Maybe what you need to do is you need to come back to center. You need to re-focus your life and realize that God has to be my Focus. God has to be my Center. And God, I need You to be my Source of satisfaction. Maybe [you] need to cry out to Him and ask Him to help you to be your Source of strength and to be your Source of satisfaction. Because. May all of us get to the point in our life when we say to God, “God, I don't need anything else in this life, but You. And I want You to be the Source of my contentment. And be the Source of my satisfaction.” Friends, our greatest need is a need of an intimate walk and relationship with a God that made us and a God that loves us.
Let's bow for prayer, shall we? With our heads bowed, and our eyes closed just for a moment.
Lord, I just want to say thank You today for Your great love for us. Thank You that Your Son Jesus died for our sin. And He extends that hand of salvation to all who by faith will receive it. And Lord, I pray this morning, [if] there are some here that need to make that simple choice that right now that they would cry out to You and ask You to save them of their sin that they would place their faith and their trust in You. And yet, Lord, those who have trusted you, I pray that we might refocus our focus. The things of life have gripped our heart. This desire for more is beginning to poison our soul. We stand. We feel, we are on the edge of making a poor decision, a poor choice in life. Lord, draw us back [that] we might refocus our focus, that You might be our all in all. Lord, would You take Your word this morning? And would You speak it up our hearts for Your glory and we ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.
More Episodes from Pastor Mike Redick:
13 Nov 2016
06 Nov 2016
19 Jun 2016
25 Dec 2015
21 Jun 2015
20 Jun 2015
20 Jun 2015
07 Jun 2015
Episodes from other sermons:
12 Mar 2023
25 Dec 2022
20 Dec 2022
11 Dec 2022
04 Dec 2022
27 Nov 2022
20 Nov 2022
15 Apr 2022