The first few posts on the subject of calling have been designed to lay the groundwork of certain things we can know as we consider “calling” in our lives.
Today, I’m reflecting on the God who satisfies our souls. You may be familiar with this quote from Augustine:
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”
In our broken world, part of the human condition is to look for things that satisfy us, that fill us. People look in all kinds of places for fulfillment and satisfaction: money, power, prestige, materialism, self, etc. And yet that void and emptiness can only be filled by God.
Blaise Pascal said:
“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”
In his book A Quest for More, Paul Tripp writes, “There is woven inside each of us a desire for something more – a craving to be part of something bigger, greater, and more profound than our relatively meaningless day-by-day existence.”
Tripp says that this desire is called “transcendence.” “This desire for transcendence is in all of us because God placed it there. He constructed us to live for more than ourselves. He designed us to want meaning, purpose, and consequence…. We were made for the one glory that is transcendent – the glory of God” (pages 14, 16-18).
If God alone can satisfy us, give us purpose and meaning, then He should be the desire of our hearts.
So consider the language of “calling” that you sometimes hear: “follow your dreams,” “find your true self,” “live your gifts and passions,” “journey toward meaning,” “become fully alive,” “go after the desires of your heart.”
Perhaps these distinctions are subtle, but I think they are important:
We want to desire God and seek Him who gives us the desires of our heart, not seek after the desires of our heart themselves.
We want to seek the Gift-giver, not the gifts He gives, though He of course can use those for His glory.
Our purpose and meaning are found in God, not something apart from Him that we elusively work to find.
We want lives centered around God and living for His glory, not lives centered around ourselves and our own glory and fulfillment.
God does give us dreams and desires, meaning and purpose, but it is all found in Him. When you want to know what you are made for, you are made for God. Yes, then for more, but in Him, and everything starts with Him.
In Psalm 27:4, the psalmist desires to be near to God and His presence:
“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” (NIV)
So seek the Lord and behold his beauty. Let everything else about our lives and calling flow from this: surrendering our lives to Him, then seeking Him in His Word and prayer. These are the means by which He gives direction and further calling to do His work in the world.
John Piper says that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” Have you found God to be your soul’s satisfaction?
Psalm 107:9 “For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.”