I am always grateful for any time my family is blessed with the opportunity to head to the beach. However, no matter how much I enjoy our time there, it’s interesting to consider how my motivation for going has changed over the years. For example, before my walk with Christ deepened, I sought the beach as a sort of refuge – a place to find peace and renewal. Yet, these days, I simply appreciate the opportunity to invest uninterrupted time with my wife and kids, and the tranquil backdrop of the ocean now serves as another reason for praise rather than a fleeting source of peace. This is because once we know where our lasting source of peace comes from, all other attractions, no matter how beautiful they may be, gain their proper position in our life:
Creation: God’s creation is truly magnificent. At times, I have even found it difficult to articulate and visually absorb the indescribable beauty some sceneries provide. However, no matter how inspiring a setting may be, our Creator is even more so. Therefore, nature is not there to replace our worship for God, but rather to reflect His glory and promote our praise (Psalm 19:1).
Carnality: In addition to nature, we may also be tempted to seek peace through sensual gratifications, such as possessions, power, popularity, parties and/or physical intimacy. However, once again, whatever temporary highs these things may provide, they are followed by even deeper lows and eventually result in spiritual poverty (1 John 2:16-17). Only the things of Christ can last forever.
Ceremony: No system, or acts of ritual can serve as a substitute for the peace only Christ can provide to those surrendered to His Lorship. Although, some may seek it through meditations, or mechanics, we know, only Jesus can serve as our lasting source of peace (John 14:27). People have been described as having a hole in their soul, and often times we may attempt to fill this hole with various pleasures, but Jesus is the only solution to attaining the lasting fulfillment and peace we seek.
Application: “Thirst Quencher” – John 4:14
When we are extremely thirsty, only one drink can satisfy – water. Nothing else can quench deep thirst, for our bodies are built to need it. It craves it, and if we go long enough without water, our bodies eventually shut down and die. Our spirits are no different. We are made for God and our internal unrest is a build-in reflex like our thirst. It’s a craving that nothing can fully satisfy, nothing but Jesus.