The greatest calling God has given man
In Eden Adam lived the abundant life. He had personal fellowship with his Creator. To know God – what more could anyone ask? Adam and Eve had all they needed in their relationship with the Living Lord.
Yet they looked for fulfillment outside their Creator. They looked for it in a piece of fruit, and what they thought would satisfy them severed their relationship with the only One who could meet their every longing. Sin broke the perfect fellowship the Father had established with man in the Garden.
Now picture this: God’s Son in flesh, weeping with us, laughing with us, teaching us, walking with us in a lost and damaged world. He didn’t have to come among us. But He did.
Of course we’ve all known since preschool Bible class that “Jesus came to die for our sins.” But take a moment to really think about it: God met us on planet Earth. The Healer came to us in our brokenness. The Light sought us in our darkness. The Truth found us in our lies. The Creator became Emmanuel, God With Us.
This shows us something astounding about God’s character. He desires relationships. With us.
Why would God want a relationship with us? He’s not some cosmic bleeding heart floating above the universe, just waiting for man to notice Him. He’s not lonely. He doesn’t need us. He in Himself is more than enough. So why bother pursuing a bunch of people made out of mud, who continually spit in His face?
The truth is not that God needs us but that we need Him. He created us to discover Him. Just like Adam in Eden, God created us to walk with Him. We were born to live in relationship with Him. Our deepest needs can only be satisfied in Him.
Still, the world tries to satisfy our needs. Just sit through the next commercial break to see how quickly culture responds to our needs with the latest, greatest in everything from fast cars to provocative entertainment. But these counterfeit joys will prove hollow in the end. “The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17).
We need God. He is the only thing that satisfies our every hunger. David wrote, “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water… I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you” (Psalm 63:1-5).
He is our ultimate satisfaction. We won’t find the fulfillment of our needs in a flashy TV ad. We find it stripped, bloodied, and nailed to a cross. We could never be rich enough or good enough to buy or earn what we need. So Christ humbled Himself and paid the price. He freely offers the satisfaction for our deepest yearning – namely Himself.
What is our response to this radical display of Love? We try to be decent, religious people. We attend the right church the right number of times a week. We sing the right songs in the right way, say the right prayers, and associate with the right people. We go home feeling like good Christians. We exchange God’s passionate love for ten easy steps to Heaven.
This is the same snare the early church in Ephesus fell into. By all appearances they had everything right. They knew their doctrine, they tested false prophets, and they persevered in their work. So what were they lacking? What was the one thing Christ held against them? They had “forsaken their first Love” (Revelation 2:4). Being Christ’s bride is about more than knowing the right doctrine and doing the right works. It’s also about loving the Lord our God with all our hearts and with all our souls and with all our strength (Deuteronomy 6:5). In case you still don’t get it, that’s every part of us.
Yet we offer Him average church attendance and a good deed or two thrown in on the weekends. But Love that did not falter at sight of a rough-hewn cross deserves in return more than an hour-long “worship service” on Sunday mornings. It is worthy of every aspect of our lives submitted to Him. We love Him not only with words and good deeds but also with broken and contrite hearts sacrificed unreservedly on a daily alter. God has offered us Himself. How can we even think of offering Him any less than every part of us?
Christ didn’t call us merely to lead upstanding, religious lives but to wholeheartedly love the Lord of our lives. Christianity isn’t about us being good Christians. It’s about Christ. It’s about living in intimate fellowship with Him. It’s about having a relationship. You’d think the fact that He lived among us and then died our death so that we could be together in eternity would convince us that God is serious about relationship.
Perhaps we should take it seriously as well. Perhaps a relationship with Him is the greatest calling God has given man. Perhaps nothing else in our lives could ever be as important as fellowship with Christ. “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8).
- Grace D Williamson