Tag Archives: fulfillment

Jan 26 – I Bow Down

Genesis 41-42

It was a famine that brought Joseph’s brothers to him. They were desperate for food, and went to Egypt to buy grain from Pharaoh’s right-hand man. And, just like in Joseph’s dreams, he was that man to whom his brothers bowed.

Sometimes it takes a famine to force us to our knees, too. Sometimes God uses heartache, disease, loneliness, guilt, helplessness, to give us a chance to realize our need, and recognize He is the only One who can fill us.

Jesus said He is the Bread of Life, the Living Water. When we bow down to Him, when we empty ourselves of pride, and dreams, and relationships, and popularity, and self – He gives us exactly what we need.

In fact, He gives us more than we can ask or think. He gives Himself.

I bow down.

Living Water for a Thirsty Soul

I know that Jeremiah’s prophecy was given to the flesh and blood nation of Israel during the reign of King Josiah. But, believing all Scripture is given by God for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction, I asked him to speak to me, today, in 2014, as I read the first couple of chapters of the book of Jeremiah. There is so much there!!

When I read these words as though I was the intended audience, I hear God say: I knew you, Connie, before I formed you in your mother’s womb; Get up and prepare for action; I will make you strong; I am with you, I will take care of you; you used to love me like a young bride and followed me gladly, but there have been times you strayed.

Jeremiah 1:13 has me examining myself today. “For my people (I) have done two evil things: They have abandoned me – the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!”

Is my soul restless, thirsting, unfulfilled? Is it because I have turned from the Living Water? Didn’t Jesus describe himself in those terms? What is my relationship with him?

Then, have I dug my own worthless well in hopes of finding what I need on my own terms? How is that going? My attempts can’t hold water compared to what Jesus offers.

Father God, Thank you for your Word that speaks to us when we go there. Thank you for the blessing, and the conviction, that comes from spending time in these precious pages. May I allow you to drench me with the Living Water, and may your Spirit refresh me today so that I can serve you with energy! You are all I need. Thank you.

June 8

Ecclesiastes 3-6

J. Vernon McGee wrote a “Thru the Bible” commentary a while back and I dug my copy out this morning. I had remembered using it as a reference when I taught an adult Sunday School Class several years ago. Here’s how Dr. McGee sees Solomon’s experiment in finding fulfillment.

Chapter 3:1-15. The king adopts a fatalistic point of view. Whatever will be will be so what’s the use. Many religions and modern-day philosophies see life in this way. Solomon found there is no joy in believing that life is mapped out by some deity and there’s nothing you can do about it. 

Chapter 3:16-4:16 Solomon embraces the philosophy that it’s “all about me”. He says that since this life is all we get, why not live it up? He even toyed with the idea that man is no better than animals, that the end is the same for both. Again, Solomon was disappointed.

Chapter 5:1-10 Solomon takes a look at religion. It’s like he’s saying, go through the motions but don’t get too close. Going to the temple is one thing but don’t make a vow to God. We who are Christians understand that. Christianity is not a religion. It’s a person. It’s a relationship. It’s so true that religion falls short and cannot bring true joy or fulfillment.

Chapter 5:10-6:12 chronicles Solomon’s search for meaning through wealth. He’s not going to find fulfillment there, either.

Like I said yesterday Solomon was on a mission to find happiness because he hated life at this point. And Solomon had the means to conduct an elaborate experiment. What we’re seeing in Solomon’s experience is that fatalism, self-centeredness, religion, and wealth are incapable of bringing real happiness to anyone.

The void that God created in each of us is designed to be filled with only him. We might try to substitute something or someone else. But in the end, true happiness, joy in the midst of difficulties, hope, acceptance, love are the benefits we receive when God alone fills that void. 

Solomon’s going to keep experimenting and we are going to go along for the ride in the next couple of days. But my prayer is that we all will take inventory. Have we tried to fill a void in our lives with anything other than God himself? 

Lord, reveal any similarities we have to Solomon’s quest. May your people be filled with Jesus only.

June 7

I Kings 11; Ecclesiastes 1-2

The wisest, richest, most productive, and most popular king that ever lived hated life. But before we talk about how Solomon was feeling, let’s look at some of the choices he had made.

I Kings 11 tells us Solomon had a weakness. He loved women. He married 700 of them and had sex with 300 more. And instead of insisting that these women worship Solomon’s God, he allowed them to continue to worship their idols. 

I can almost hear a Moabite wife, whispering to Solomon in a private moment saying: If you really loved me you’d join me as I pray to Chemosh.

And gradually Solomon began to take part in the worship of these false Gods. Verse six says Solomon did evil in God’s sight.

So Solomon did what mankind has been doing since the Garden. He tried to replace God. Ecclesiastes says he went on a mission to find happiness and spared no expense. 

The king started with what he already had… wisdom. And he tried to learn everything he could about everything he could think of. He hired the best science teachers, philosophers, historians. He studied hard. But in the end he had to admit that intellect, all the knowledge in the world is like chasing after the wind.

So he went on to something else. Fun. Solomon had the means to throw the best parties. And he did. He hired the best entertainment. He served the best food. He invited the rich and famous. He owned more gold, silver, livestock, land than anyone. He built gardens and parks and reservoirs. He denied himself nothing. If material gain and living to please yourself could bring happiness, Solomon would have been the happiest man ever.

But he wasn’t happy. He found out that “things” can’t satisfy  no matter how lavish. What does he say about his experiment with pleasures?

This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

We’re not done looking at Solomon’s quest for happiness and fulfillment. But I think God would ask us all to check our own pursuits. What is it I am working toward? What is it I am using to replace God in my life? Is it education or science? Is it living for the weekend, having things, being caught up in material possessions? If we are honest we will agree with Solomon. None of that is eternal. None of that can last. 

If we are pursuing education or pleasure as means of fulfillment we might as well try to case the wind.

Dear God, as we look at the book of Ecclesiastes I pray that we will do so with open hearts and minds. Some who read this may hate life like Solomon did. May each of us be ready to take inventory, to recognize those things we think are so important in our lives, and to measure them according to your standards. I pray you will use Solomon’s words to help us know where true happiness lies.