You know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints–that you also submit to such, and to everyone who works and labors with us. 1 Corinthians 16:15-16
“They have ‘addicted’ themselves to the ministry,” is the Kings James rendering of this verse.
I like that.
Addiction is something I can relate to. I excel at addiction. When I was a cop, I was addicted to the job — I soaked it up like a Twinkie in milk. Simultaneously I was addicted to golf, playing an average of two to three times a week. And I’m sad to report there were other times in my life where my addictions were less respectable, involving drugs and alcohol and the like.
What about you? What are you addicted to?
The truth be told, we’re all addicted to something.
Swapping-out the word addiction, Bob Dylan, in prophetic manner, reminds us that we’re all going to serve somebody or something.
You may be an ambassador to England or France,
You may like to gamble, you might like to dance,
You may be the heavyweight champion of the world,
You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls.
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.
What an astute analysis. Chilling actually.
Whether he realized it or not, Dylan stumbled upon the notion that we have been programmed, in advance, to behave this way. Is this truly the case? If so, who is responsible?
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11
God has put eternity in our hearts.
But what is this thing eternity?
From the get-go we’re clueless, but instinctively we know that it’s something satisfying and like pigs after truffles, we’ve been wired to track it down.
Eternity is in effect the wellspring of our addiction. However, outside of God we wonder and wander aimlessly, only occasionally stumbling upon things that bring temporary satisfaction and relief.
Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” John 7:37
Seriously Jesus? If anyone thirsts? Dude (will all due respect), we ALL thirst.
Yes. That’s the Point
Jesus would answer,
“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst…the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13-14
Eternity is satisfaction perfected.
Call it a God-sized hole, call it a thirst, call it an addiction; it matters not. It is what it is. All that remains is what are you going to do about it — with what or with whom will you fill the void?
The Problem With Philosophy
There is no problem with philosophy, unless of course you remove one of its components before you begin. That’s what secular philosophy has done — before commencing it proclaims, “We will accept all possible conclusions as long as one of them isn’t God.”
That’s not philosophy, that’s stupidity.
Imagine a mathematician announcing,
I am about to undertake this incredibly difficult equation and I will accept any answer I come with, except of course the number seven. I hate seven and I’m quite positive seven does not exist.”
Once you’ve taken God out of the equation, you’ve lost all hope of arriving at the right answer. A valid philosophy demands that all possible answers remain on the table, otherwise you spend your entire life trying to justify an error.
Case in point: evolution. Identifying a deficiency (and while ignoring the obvious), theorists have conjured up a series of missing links, effectively replacing one void with several others. That’s akin to filling a hole with another hole.
Excuse me, your emperor is naked.
Our natural reaction might be to reject rational thinking altogether.
Don’t fear philosophy, God doesn’t. He knows that if someone is truly seeking the truth, to fill that void, to quench that thirst, they will ultimately arrive at the cross.
Check out this excerpt from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary on the word:
The objects of philosophy are to ascertain facts or truth, and the causes of things or their phenomena; to enlarge our views of God and his works, and to render our knowledge of both practically useful and subservient to human happiness. True religion and true philosophy must ultimately arrive at the same principle.
I love it.
True religion and true philosophy must ultimately arrive at the same standard. God!
Experience is the Best Teacher
Practically every testimony I have ever heard shares this common theme: “My (bad) experiences led me to Jesus.”
In other words, every attempt to fill a void or satisfy a craving ultimately failed. Why? Because their addictive search for the truth omitted God. However it was the pain associated with their failures that compelled them to put all possible answers back on the table.
I submit to you that this is a work of the Holy Spirit. This is conviction in its finest hour!
My friends, experience is the best teacher, but it doesn’t have to be your experience. Learn from the mistakes of others and go directly to the Fountainhead–go directly to the Source eternal. If you haven’t experienced a peace that surpasses all understanding, you haven’t considered all the answers.
The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things. Philippians 6:5b-8
- I’m a Masterpiece! (helpfortheheart.wordpress.com)
- Leadership Lessons from Ephesians: Masterpiece Moments (richardburkey.wordpress.com)
- Louie on the topic of being “Addicted” (briancoatney.com)