Finding your soul satisfaction. Have you? Because there’s a restless yearning in today’s world. Undefined, yet undeniable. An internal craving. Nagging dissatisfaction. A cry from the depths of the human soul that’s visible in human behavior. And the Bible speaks to it. Here are some thoughts on what it says.
Finding Your Soul Satisfaction. The disillusion of worldly pursuits.
In 1965, Mick Jagger sang about the angst we see today: I Can’t Get No Satisfaction. Even though he tried and tried and tried. And we’re still trying today. Doesn’t appear to be working out so well. Why is that?
Of course, the desire for soul satisfaction is not new. Neither is where or how people search for it. Here’s how Solomon described his efforts.
I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. (ESV, Ecclesiastes 1:14)
The Hebrew word for vanity means breath, vapor or fleeting. In other words, Solomon expressed the futility of seeking ultimate meaning from worldly pursuits. And he should know because he pursued and acquired more than anyone else on earth. EVER.
So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure. (ESV, Ecclesiastes 2: 9-10)
Wealth, women, wisdom, success and power. Everything that tops most lists for human satisfaction. AND HE HAD IT ALL! He amassed possessions, pursued multiple interests and hobbies, and achieved every endeavor he set his mind to. But he still cried, “All is vanity!”
And we’re surprised when we pursue the same things without success? So what does that say about the source of soul satisfaction?
Finding Your Soul Satisfaction. Jesus cried out for it on the cross.
No other person walked with God as intimately as Jesus Christ because he was God in human flesh. He makes that claim in John 10:28-30 where he says, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
But Jesus lost that connection for a brief moment when he carried the full weight of our sin on the cross and it separated him from God. The anguish of that separation was worse than the physical pain of the crucifixion as he called out, “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?”
However, it was a sacrifice Jesus willingly made for our redemption. It broke the power of sin and opened a path of forgiveness through Jesus Christ. And it also reminds us that a soul satisfying relationship with Jesus Christ involves regular self-examination, confession, and repentance of sin. Because sin is always a barrier between you and God.
Finding your soul satisfaction. It’s in a personal relationship with God.
David also searched for soul satisfaction. But unlike Solomon, he pursued it through a satisfying relationship with God. And it wasn’t just a casual past-time. A once a week Sunday routine. But a desire for intimacy that he describes in Psalm 42:1-2:
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. And David goes on to explain why: For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things. (ESV, Psalm 107:9)
Perhaps that’s why God called David a man after his own heart.
Despite all his sin. His victories and defeats. David knew God was the source of soul satisfaction. And he pursued that relationship with passion.
Jesus recognized the same spiritual thirst in the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:5-15 and offered to satisfy it when he said, “Everyone who drinks of this water 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.”
At the end of Ecclesiastes, Solomon reached a similar conclusion.
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. (ESV, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)
And it all leads to the final question: As you seek soul satisfaction in your own life, are you following the example of Solomon or David? And how is it working out for you?