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I want it all!

October 11, 2017

Fame. Fortune. Power.

Good food. Good friends. Good times.

Love. Sex. Money.

Health. Wealth. Happiness.

Best athlete. Best student. Best citizen.

Great looks. Newest fashion. Latest technology.

Happy wife. Happy life.

It doesn’t take much observation to realize that these are things that we think are important. We’re looking for them. We’re preparing for them. We’re hoping for them.

And they aren’t inherently wrong. Nor is it necessarily wrong to work toward those things. But why is it that so often when we’ve made it, we are met with an emptiness? All of a sudden that goal was not all that important. We thought we’d be happy, but it really didn’t satisfy for very long.

Part of it may be that God has wired us to keep on learning and improving. He created us in His image and He is perfect and knows everything. So part of that image-bearing is the desire to know more and to always improve.

But a bigger reason for the dissatisfaction is the anticipation of that goal satisfying a need, filling a void, an emptiness in our lives.

Solomon, the richest and wisest king to rule over Israel, had it all, tried it all, and lived the dream. If you look at Ecclesiastes you’ll see that he had the resources to fulfill all his desires. He studied philosophy, engineering, biology, and psychology. He built a great temple and palace and had extensive gardens. Music and the arts were part of his daily life. Servants and soldiers were under his command, giving him power and leisure. A thousand women (700 wives and 300 mistresses) made up his harem to satisfy his relational and sexual cravings.

He had it all. Everything that the human heart craves. All the dreams and goals that anyone might have ever had. He pushed the limits. He had the resources and the power.

And what was his assessment?

“…all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” – repeated often throughout Ecclesiastes.

It’s a pretty depressing read. It hits pretty hard when you realize that he had everything and did everything that you thought was important, and then says, “It’s like chasing the wind.”

His conclusion is the encouragement:

13 “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

Remember who God is. Remember that He is the ultimate judge, so it’s best to obey His demands, rather than those of society.

That sounds harsh, but when you also remember that God loves you, knows you better than anyone else, and has done everything necessary for you to have a relationship with the creator of the universe, it becomes easier.

No longer are you trying to keep up with the Joneses.

No longer are you looking for happiness in events and stuff.

The hole that needs to be filled is not going to be filled with the things, people, events, and adventures of this life. They are okay and God has given them to us to enjoy.

But He alone is the one who gives satisfaction.

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