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Dissatisfied with God's Answers

There is a tendency among people to desire things they do not have while overlooking things they do have. This is seen in a child who is happy with a certain toy until he sees another child with a different toy. Suddenly, he is no longer satisfied with his own, and he becomes infatuated with the other. Adults often behave in this same way. "Keeping up with the Joneses" is a commonly recognized idiom that describes the ongoing competition between neighbors to accumulate the most material possessions or obtain the highest social status. This attitude often extends even beyond envy of others, for regardless of what others have, many become dissatisfied with their own possessions and obsessed with what they do not have.

Christians know to guard themselves against this tendency with regards to material things, but let us also recognize it in terms of spiritual things. It is not uncommon for Christians to become dissatisfied with the completeness of God's spiritual provisions. Indeed, our spiritual needs are fully supplied by God, for we who are in Christ are blessed "with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 1:3). Through Christ, God "has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence" (2Pet. 1:3). The written word of God provides all that we need to know of spiritual things, for "all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (2Tim. 3:16-17). In Christ and through His word in the Bible, we know everything that is necessary for our salvation, our relationship with God, and our service to Him. Even so, many Christians want something more.

Not being satisfied with the all-sufficiency of the gospel of Christ, some Christians look outside of God's spiritual provisions. They turn to the wisdom of man and heed worldly counselors for guidance. They listen to philosophers, psychologists, and theologians, who often speak in contradiction to God's word. They fall into baseless speculation and accept as truth that which no man knows or can know. They neglect the warning and instruction of Colossians 2:8-10:

8See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.9For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority...

The philosophies, empty deceptions, and traditions of men are often captivating to dissatisfied Christians because they have lost touch with the truth of verse 10, which is their completeness in Christ Jesus.

Such Christians will remain dissatisfied unless and until they turn back to God and accept and trust His answers for them. They will not find satisfaction from the wisdom of man, for "a man's way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps" (Jer. 10:23). However, they will be satisfied if they will increase their faith in the answers that God gives. This includes accepting the fact that there are some things man cannot know. Consider Job's final resolution to God after struggling with his own lack of understanding in Job 42:2-6:

2"I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. 3'Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. 4'Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.' 5I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You; 6therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes."

So much trouble is caused by men who declare that which they do not know. That trouble is multiplied because they often overlook that which can be known in the word of God.

Therefore, let us be satisfied, contented, and delighted with God's answers for all things both temporal and spiritual. "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law" (Deut. 29:29). We cannot possess the secret things that belong to God, but we have a treasure of revealed knowledge that is more than adequate to supply all that we need to know to serve God successfully in this life. Let us reap that treasure and take full advantage of the value it offers. If any of us has become spiritually stale and stagnant, then be refreshed in the word of God and in Christ Jesus. Read the Scriptures anew. Take a fresh look at the Bible, and give God's answers a new chance to be effective. Pray the words of Psalm 119:18 -- "Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law." Be assured, God has all the answers we need.

Stacey E. Durham




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