What Does Satisfaction in God Mean?

“If you love your father or mother more than you love Me, you are not worthy of being Mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than Me, you are not worthy of being Mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow Me, you are not worthy of being Mine. If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for Me, you will find it.” (Matthew 10:37-39 NLT)

Love is a multi-dimensional decision. While love certainly has emotional implications, at its heart, love is an informed decision we make and by which we live.

At a Billy Graham seminar I attended many years ago, Dr. Graham shared about a girl he was dating when he first got saved. She was not a believer and the Lord made it clear to Billy that he needed to stop the relationship. He said: “I knew it was only puppy love, but she was a really cute puppy.”  

It reminds me of a quote I read recently by John Piper when he said: “We don’t honor God by assuming we know what’s best in any given situation.” Loving Jesus demands submission to His authority and His directives in every area of our lives. To say we will love God “if” or “when” is to set boundaries that must not exist in the heart of a believer.

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On some levels it shouts dissatisfaction in our relationship with God, implying that God is inadequate or unable to satisfy our hearts desires completely. It declares a divided allegiance that cannot exist in the heart of a Jesus follower. Nothing or no one can take a higher level of commitment and devotion than Jesus. But what does that mean? What does it look like on a practical level?

John Piper wrote: “Loving God is being satisfied in Him more than spouse, more than children, more than health, more than life.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “satisfy” as “to make happy; gratify.” Years ago, I read of a man who was imprisoned for his faith and his only sustenance was sweet potatoes God delivered to him in the mouth of a rat. Would it be fair to say that man was “satisfied” with those potatoes?

In my mind satisfaction can be a slippery slope, but for our purposes in this post, let’s say that satisfaction in God is that which brings the greatest delight to our soul. If you think about it, the people we love bring unique contributions to our lives. I love my wife differently than I love my children, my siblings, my co-workers, or my friends at church.

My satisfaction with my children may translate more into pride for their accomplishments or appreciation for their thoughtfulness, while my satisfaction with my wife touches a deep need for companionship and fulfillment like no other human can. But God’s love for me and my love for Him touches a place in my whole being that reverberates with joy, gladness, and contentment that can be satisfied in no other way.

There are gifts that God gives and rewards He offers us as His children that we can attain or have in no other relationship. To know my sins are forgiven and my soul is clean and pure in His sight; to realize that my life has worth on levels and for reasons that are unexplainable in human terms; that God sees in me more than I or anyone else can see in me, and that He gives me value I could never have apart from Him.

The joy of faithfully serving and seeking His honor and fame gives a dimension of satisfaction that can’t be measured by human standards and can’t be compared with any human relationship.

Blessings, Ed 😊

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