Many times, I watch our youth grow up with great sadness. I have observed young people filling their lives with the opposite sex, alcohol and the endless pursuit of pleasure. Each one of them is searching for something they cannot seem to find.
This is not just true for young adults; it is true for everyone. I believe each one of us is created with a God-shaped hole in our soul that can only be filled by him.
1. Only God can give you the unconditional love you want. The greatest need we have as humans is to love and to be loved. People who grow up in homes with absentee parents are driven to find the love they did not receive in their youth. They search for it in romance and sex. When they still feel unfulfilled, they start a family hoping this child will give them the love they so desperately want. This is why the Bible reminds us over and over how much God loves us. It underlines that he not only loves us, but his love is unconditional. He continues to care for us no matter what we have done. We are his child, created in his image, redeemed by his son and a part of his family eternally.
2. Only God can forgive you and make you new. Many times, people are driven by regret, remorse, and shame. We have done things we are not proud of and want them to be removed from our past. Insecurities and doubt become our default emotions as we try to hide from the public view. God offers us forgiveness in Jesus Christ. In him, the Bible reminds us, we are a new creation. The old has gone the new has come.
3. Only God can give you purpose and direction. If we cannot dull the pain through relationships and artificial stimulants, then we will seek to fill the hole a different way. We throw ourselves at trying to make an impact in the world. If we could do more good in the world than harm, maybe we will be able to sleep better at night. Frequently it helps for a while. Then one day we wake up and find our efforts were wasted or that the world didn’t really seem to care about the good things I was attempting to do. Cynicism is often the final product. God offers us something different. His word pushes us to use our gifts for his kingdom. We can partner with God and see results that will last into eternity. Even when it feels like we have failed God does something unbelievable with our efforts that producing good in his name.
4. Only God can fill your soul with joy. The primary motive most people reveal to me is that they want to feel good. There is a desire to feel good about themselves, their work and their life. Many times, this leads people to the pursuit of pleasure. We think that if we would work less and do things we enjoy more, then life will be complete. Instead, we find ourselves overcome by a sense of emptiness. Joy is not found in the pursuit of pleasure; joy comes from satisfying the soul. God offers us joy, but he does it in ways we would not expect. Joy comes from serving God and others. Joy comes through the discipline and hard work. Joy comes with loving others more than ourselves. God gives us a path to happiness that seems so counter-intuitive.
I am sure this is not an exhaustive list of ways that God fills our soul, but these are some of the most significant. Humanity is on a quest to fill their soul with this single life we live each day. We can spend our time filling it with junk that has repeatedly proven to let people down. We could also choose to insert God into our lives to fill the hole entirely with his presence.