Friday, 20 November 2009

We need more than information!

If we think about it, the deep longings of our hearts ultimately boil down to:
  • a need to know that there is some meaning and significance to our lives
  • a need to be in control of our lives and circumstances
  • a desire both to love and be loved and accepted by others
  • a desire not to die and to have hope for the future
  • a desire for comfort (peace, happiness, satisfaction, etc, which, for many, implies having money but money itself is merely a means to an end not a 'deep longing' in and of itself).
Most people can recognise this and, when prompted to think about it, will be able to trace all their actions, longings, and disappointments back to one or more of these needs. Furthermore, I think most people will recognise that we never seem to be able to truly satisfy all these needs.

The fact that we all share these common, deep longings ought to be enough to make us question whether we are merely the product of some amazing 'big bang' and millions of random, evolutionary events and to wonder whether in fact the Bible can help us make sense of our deep longings and show us how they can be satisfied. However, when it comes to reading the Bible, many seem to think that it merely contains information telling us what to do. It would be better to think of it as telling us what we CAN'T do for none of us can find God by trying to obey Him. We will all fail. But it is far more than mere information.

The Bible itself is 'living and active' (Hebrews 4:12). It reaches to the depths of our hearts and exposes our idolatry and rebellion against God, that is, all the ways in which we try to satisfy those longings apart from Him. And, most importantly of all, if we have entrusted our lives to God, it transforms us. As we read it the Holy Spirit convicts us and points us to our need for Jesus. The Word itself is powerful (Romans 1:16). It is the power of God for our initial salvation and for all our growth (Acts 20:32, Titus 2:11). In other Words, it is all we need to re-align our deep longings to Jesus, the only One in whom they will ever be truly satisfied.

We must never read the Bible thinking that it is simply an exercise in acquiring or re-acquainting ourselves with information. Information alone does not change us. Neither can we even take the information and change ourselves. We must read it prayerfully asking that God would expose our sin and make His truth ‘real’ in our hearts so that we would be a transformed rather than merely an informed people.


  1. "Imagine a world without war in every newspaper, crime on every t.v, adultary in magazines. It is impossible for this to happen, this would mean the non-existance of humanity" I dont think that this is a direct quote but its something i heard on a film called 'the invasion'. Good film by the way.

    The point im making is that as humans we are on a path of certain distruction, wheather your Christian, Athiest, Black, White, German or Australian it doesnt matter, this world is full of evil things and doomed for destuction by humanity. And its not going to get better. There will not be a time when we are not at war with eachother, them and us, him or her, we need salvation. We can use the Bible to connect with Jesus, and by being satisfied in Him we can find peace.

    This must be a wonderful thing in this world, we can find peace amongst the evil and war and hatered which will make significant impact on our lives. I have come to realise that it is not this 'word of God' that i needed, it was God asking me who i was and in rebelion is was asking the same question back.


  2. It is interesting that you say this as the basic premise of Government and western world leaders since the enlightenment is that mankind is basically good and things are going to get better. Blind optimism in the face of much evidence to the contrary!

    I like the way you put it in your last sentence. As you say to 'connect' with Jesus is the key. This, as the post implies, is more than information, although it is true that we need the right information first. It is a spiritual connection. Something that is experienced yet in ways that are difficult to describe except to say that it brings a joy and peace even when our world around us is crumbling. He satisfies our deepest longings because we are made for Him.

    Yet how do we connect with Him? God is holy and cannot allow sinful creatures in His presence. Because He is Holy He MUST punish sin. Yet, because He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love to all who call on Him, He sent His Son Jesus to live the perfect life we cannot and therefore become a worthy substitute on our behalf. Though he was innocent, it pleased the Lord to punish Him instead of us. He carried our sins and suffered for our sakes. Infinite God bore infinite wrath yet He merged victorious from the grave having conquered death! And now He bids us come to Him and freely receive forgiveness of sins and everlasting life. If we have come all guilt has gone! We have been set free from slavery to others and to ourselves. How can this not lead us to worship Him? But if our guilt remains then we have not trusted in the sufficiency of Jesus' sacrifice to cleanse us. We must turn to Jesus, confess our sin, and receive the forgiveness that He freely offers. This we continue to do just as often as we forget and revert to our old ways of finding happiness and significance in the world.