20 September, 2010

The God Shaped Hole

There's a song I like that says:

There's a God-shaped hole in all of us
And the restless soul is searching
There's a God-shaped hole in all of us
And it's a void only he can fill

It amazes me how many people simple refuse to recognize that the peice that is missing from their life is God. I read today in our newspaper where a man wrote, "Perhaps in this 21st century we will all realize that there is no invisible man up in the sky that's going to help you, and we can all just meet at the bar and fill our emptiness with a beer."
Absolutely amazing.
He admits freely that there is something missing, that there is an empty spot in all man-kind, yet (according to his own writing) he is "too educated" to believe in any God and feels sorry for those who do. Seems like I read somewhere "professing themselves to be wise, they became fools."

This man does have it partially right. There is an emptiness, or something missing in all of mankind. Throughout history, in every tribe, nation, remote island... anywhere and everywhere man has been found; in every culture, they were seeking God. Within man, there is an awareness that "something" is missing. That something is there because we were created to have fellowship with God. That is our purpose and our calling... so man has sought for God, because, there is a "God shaped hole" in us.
That "hole" can only be filled by God. 

The “God-shaped hole” is the innate longing of the human heart for something outside itself, something transcendent, something “other.” Ecclesiastes 3:11 refers to God's placing of "eternity in man’s heart." God made humanity for His eternal purpose, and only God can fulfill our desire for eternity. It is a simple fact, all religion is based on the innate desire to “connect” with God. This desire can only be fulfilled by God, and therefore can be likened to a “God-shaped hole.” 

The problem is that man tries to ignore this hole, but actually attempts to fill it with things other than God. This is exactly what the man I quoted said when he wrote; "we can all just meet at the bar and fill our emptiness with a beer." He believes his education excludes him from the possibility or the need to believe in God. He is self deluded. Jeremiah 17:9 describes this condition that is found in the heart of men this way: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Solomon reiterates the same concept: “The hearts of men, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live…” (Ecclesiastes 9:3). 
Paul wrote about this as well in Romans 8:7 when he said: “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so”  Further, Paul described man as ignoring what can be known about God, and instead worshipping anything and everything other than God. (Romans 1:18-22) Sounds like the times we live in; doesn't it?

Sadly, too many spend their lives looking for something other than God to fill their longing for meaning. For some, they try to fill that hole with their business, family, sports, drugs, alcohol, you name it. But in pursuing these things that are not eternal, they remain unfulfilled and wonder why their lives never seem fullfilled. They find fleeting moments or periods of happiness, but they simply cannot find satisfaction and inner peace. There is no doubt that many people pursuing things other than God do at times achieve a measure of “happiness” for a time. But when we consider Solomon, who had all the riches, success, esteem, and all the power in the world... in short, all that men seek after in this life,... we see that none of it fulfilled the longing for eternity. He declared it all “vanity,” meaning that he sought after these things in vain because they did not satisfy his longing. 
In the end he said, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Just as a square peg cannot fill a round hole, neither can the “God-shaped hole” inside each of us be filled by anyone or anything other than God. Even "religion" will not suffice.
Only in establishing and building a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ can the “God-shaped hole” be filled and the inate desire for eternity fulfilled.

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