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Janet's Corner

Home | 2006-2007 | 2005-2006 | 2004-2005
God's Faithfulness Satisfies Our Deepest Needs

Isaiah 55

 

When have you felt satisfied? Let’s define “satisfy.” It means to fulfill the desires, expectations, needs or demands of a person. There is a sense of contentment and often peace - settling in, no more striving for what you don’t have. What brings you satisfaction?  The Rollin Stones in the 60’s wrote a song – “I can’t get no satisfaction.” One of the verses refers to a man on the radio that is giving him useless information that can’t fire his imagination. Knowledge didn’t satisfy him. And “ridin’ around the world doing this and signing that, pleasing a girl,” brings no satisfaction, no satisfaction, no satisfaction. Fame and prestige and relationships didn’t satisfy him. Maybe you’ve been there or are there in your life…or tend to drift to looking for something to satisfy you.  If you’re honest with yourself, you will admit that people and things don’t always give you that sense of satisfaction. People and things give us a temporary fix, but eventually leave us feeling empty. Each one of us senses that emptiness within and is driven to fill it…Let’s see what God says in His Word and offers to each of us that will satisfy our deepest need.

Isaiah 55:1-3

He gives to all who are thirsty a simple invitation to “come to the waters.” In the East, water was a precious commodity and an abundance of water was often a promise of God’s special provision and blessing for his people. But the people were living on substitutes that did not nourish them. Their staples were wine, milk and bread, but they needed the real thing. The living water! Isaiah wasn’t speaking to them of their physical needs, but of their spiritual needs. They didn’t need to have any money to find that which would satisfy, in fact they could stop spending money on things that were their attempts to satisfy their thirst for God. They could also stop working to find something meaningful or purposeful in life. Things vanish and self-efforts fail, people change or disappoint you, and what’s left – an empty feeling.

I believe that God has created us each with a big hole in our heart, that only God can fill. Blaise Pascall has coined the name for this hole - “a God- shaped vacuum.” It’s a place that only a personal relationship with God can fill. We are all driven to fill this hole. But rather than turning to God to fill it, we are drawn to a vast variety of things all revolving around a few basic categories - accomplishments and things and relationships. Donna Partow calls this attempt to find satisfaction as “Da Bucket Lady Syndrome.” She says we go out into the world with a little bucket and hand it to the people around us as say “fill me, fix me, love me, make me feel Okay.” We turn to our parents, our spouses, our children, our friends, our churches, our careers, expecting them to do what only God can do. We fill our lives with stuff and more stuff, often spending money on what we can’t afford to spend. Da Bucket lady always thinks her bucket will be filled around the next corner. She keeps looking, working, seeking. Even Christian rituals or church work can be sources of trying to get our buckets filled. And when we find something that gives us some temporary satisfaction, it’s like we have a hole in our bucket. In Jeremiah 2:13, God addresses that problem.

 “For my people 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!

Our buckets are cracked and everything that we try to find fulfillment through just leaks out – the buckets can never be filled. Except by God. It is through him that we find true satisfaction.

 

Jesus gives us a great example in John 4:4-42. The Samaritan woman met Jesus at the well. She had a bucket in her hand because she came to draw water from the well. This Bucket Lady had five husbands, plus she was living with another man. None of those men filled her bucket. The problem was that it wasn’t possible. You would think that one out of five could have done something for her. When she met Jesus, He told her the truth about herself and Jesus.

New living Translation says it this way: He spoke bucket language so she could understand…

“Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

Jesus told her that he was what she needed. He was the source of eternal life which would quench her thirst.” (vs. 13-14) Jesus would be the one to fill her vacuum.

In verse 28 the story includes with an important fact – she left her water jar and ran back to the village telling everyone…

Once she allowed Jesus to fill that hole in her heart, she didn’t have to live like a bucket lady anymore! Oh, how we need to put our buckets down and stop looking for a fix, a fill or a love.

Isaiah urges people to do two things back in Isaiah:

1.     Listen to Him (give ear, and hear me)  vs 2 and 3 what is the result? It is life because of his life giving and life nourishing word.

2.     Seek God (vs 6) Take the opportunity now, not tomorrow – you’ll find Jesus today!! Verse 7 says part of this thinking involves repentance - turning from your ways and your thoughts and turning to God. God will have mercy on you and lavish you with forgiveness – free pardon for your sin. The punishment that took Jesus to the cross, bought us peace. This gift of life is free! One commentator says that many believe that heaven is the Hall of Fame for the achievers, not the Father’s House for believers. When seeking God we must turn toward God and believe that in his mercy he will forgive. Faith and repentance go together. Acts 20:21 says there is repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Isaiah tells us why God would want to satisfy us:

1.     God’s Faithfulness: verse 3 because of his solid enduring love promised to David through a covenant which promised a Messiah through the line of Judah. He has proven faithful to His promise!

2.     God’s Greater thoughts and Greater ways: Vs 8-9 God doesn’t think like we do or act like we do!! His thoughts and his actions surpass ours! We don’t need to second guess God, just believe his Word to us. His word will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8)

And how does he accomplish his life giving promise?

Through His Word – vs 10-11

Just as the seed is watered and bears fruit in the earth God’s Word is sent and accomplishes the work it was sent for and completes the assignment He gave it. We never know how something we say could plant a seed.

 

Where have you been trying to find your satisfaction? We need to put our buckets down and find salvation in Jesus Christ alone. We need to acknowledge that He is the Christ, the Messiah promised in the Old Testament, promising eternal life – receive God’s free pardon of your sin and find true satisfaction in Jesus.

I also believe we can struggle with finding satisfaction through something in our daily walk with Jesus. Let me give you an example. Over the Christmas break, I had it in my head that I needed break from Bible study. Remember according to my gifts and calling studying God’s word in depth is part of my regular diet. I began doing lots of other things and forgot about really studying the word. And I started getting cranky – to put it mildly. One day I realized I needed to get going on my study for January…and what satisfaction I found when I got in the Word of God again!  How easy it is to look for comfort, strength, or pleasure in other things. Now your diet may not be the same as mine – but what ever you are used to eating to satisfy you for your spiritual health – keep on eating it! The living water and the living bread through Jesus and his Word are the only thing that will bring us satisfaction. He alone is faithful to satisfy our deepest needs.

 

There’s a quote by Dwight D. Moody “God will send no one away empty, except those full of themselves.” This invitation is open to all. The pathway to satisfaction is free and fulfilling. We need to come and seek the Lord and tell others to do the same.