We all want the feeling of satisfaction, the feeling of a job well done, and the deserved recognition for that job we have completed. Most people strive their whole life to achieve that feeling, sometimes it comes easily and other times we have to work at it. This journey of seeking this kind of satisfaction puts us on a roller coaster of emotions, there are ups and there are downs, there are good times and there are bad times. But the kind of satisfaction comes from seeking fulfillment in the wrong place, the world. Worldly satisfaction is instant gratification for a job well done but is only temporary. The satisfaction we should be striving to achieve is eternal and spiritual, it is the satisfaction that comes only from the Lord. Worldly and spiritual satisfaction are vastly different and even contradict each other. Worldly satisfaction pushed us to do anything and everything we have to do in order to feel successful. Where spiritual satisfaction is all about the success of the Kingdom of God and not about us.
Before we get too far into this discussion, let me say this, the feeling of satisfaction is not sinful in its self but making it the main goal leads us to become very self-centered and self seeking. When we make it all about our satisfaction and we forget about the purpose God has given us. We began to focus on the here and now and forget that this is not our home. We began to store up riches here and not in eternity. As believers, we are not designed to be satisfied by this world. The pleasure we get for the world is temporary and harmful if they are not for the glory of God. It may give us a good feeling for a while but in the long run, that feeling will fade and we will be right back where we began seeking the next high.
Even with the best intentions sometimes worldly satisfaction gets a hold of us and we end up heading down the rabbit hole. Even churches and ministries set up to proclaim the word of the Lord can fall into this trap. Have you ever seen a secular church? A church that is doing anything and everything to fill the seats and bring people in but once the seats are filled they forget to teach the truth of God. What about Christian organizations that provide for the homeless and help in the community but they are taking an extra cut of the donations for profit? In both of these scenarios they have good intentions but the goal of worldly gain seems to have more importance than the gain of receiving heavenly approval. It is very easy to slip into this trap, I have even found myself doing this with My Christian Walk. I found myself putting more importance on the number of readers or views on a post and less concerned about making content that is loving and challenging to the faith. I would check the website numbers weekly and think of ways to boost my number to make myself feel successful. If I had been trying to boost the number because I wanted to further the Kingdom of God it would have been spiritual satisfaction but because I wanted the have success to make myself feel good it became a worldly satisfaction.
As believers and loves of God, we should be striving to find our satisfaction in God and not the world. The success we find in God is hard to see and most times appears as if we are getting nowhere or might even be going in the wrong direction. It looks that way tot he world because we are in opposition to the world and what it says is successful. There is no measuring stick to tell us we have spiritual success because all of the measurements we could look at are worldly.
When we look to get our satisfaction from the world we began to seek its approval and choose its way over God’s way. We are instructed against that in John 15:19, which says, “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” If we are choosing to find our satisfaction in the Lord the world will turn its back on us because it cannot understand the ways of the Lord. We are to separate ourselves from the world in every way and as such we should not be looking for its stamp of approval. Instead, we should be seeking the Kingdom of God first and foremost and looking to find our satisfaction in the Lord. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” When the Lord is first we receive His blessings and receive the ultimate gift which is forgiveness for our sins and a chance at eternity. The pleasured of this world cannot add up to the ultimate pleasure of spending eternity with our Holy Father. Seeking the Lord and not worldly satisfaction still leads to happiness on earth but it looks different than the worldly view of happiness. Many times it looks more like contentment than happiness. We can look at Paul as an example as he writes in Philippians 4:12-13, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” In these verses, He speaks of having contentment in all things no matter the situation because he knew that God was in control and that God would give him the strength to move on if that was the plan for Him. Worldly satitfacion look a lot like having it all together all the time, but it is just a lie that leads to emptiness.
In closing, I ask that you think about where are you looking to find your satisfaction. Are you letting the world or God determine your success and satisfaction? Pray about it and work on it. Please understand this is a constant struggle for all of us because of the sinful nature that is in us. We must constantly seek God’s way over the world’s way and remain focused on eternity instead of the here and now.