A Little Understanding – Blurred Needs, Wants and Extras
The floor plan of the Christ follower’s life and the life of the collective of Christ followers can be a blur of needs, wants and extras like the floor plan of a house. When designing a floor plan, the layout we choose is reflective of what we deem necessary. What really is necessary? The answer to this question will vary slightly from person to person but for the most part it will be the same…
Before “cookie cutter” houses…
…the floor plan/layout was designed to address the needs of the occupants. Before “cookie cutter” Christianity, the layout/floor plan of the life of a Christ follower and by extension the collective of Christ followers, served the needs of those who lived in faith. The designer of the building knows the needs of those who rely on his/her skills to create the space. The designer of the universe knows the needs of those He created to rely on Him.
If you look back to the beginnings of what we now call Christianity you see a different floor plan or layout for living life as a Christ follower. There was no blur of needs, wants and extras in the New Testament teachings.
Somewhere along the line a snake oil salesman convinced Christ followers and the collective of Christ followers that their lives were incomplete without all this added stuff.
Actually it wasn’t and isn’t a snake oil salesman but “The Snake” himself who sold people on changing the floor plan/layout, for following Christ. He sold Adam and Eve on the idea that they needed more than God, and he is still trying to sell it to us today…
God created us with a natural ability, instinct maybe a better term, to crave more of what we need. Hunger tells us we need more food. Confinement tells us we need more space. Shivering tells us we need more warmth. Drowsiness tells us we need more sleep. Loneliness tells us we need more and/or deeper relationships. The list of physical and emotional needs can go on and on but there is only one truly spiritual need, a need to deal with our inadequacy.
Our sense of inadequacy tells us we need more of God.
The problem is, sin entered the world. Satan, “The Snake”, perverts the God given need for more with his own solutions. He blurs the lines between needs, wants and extras, so that we blindly search for an antidote whenever we have the desire for more.
Hunger becomes more than a need for food, it is a signal for overindulgence.
Confinement is no longer about taking time to get out for a walk, it is now the driving force behind a big mortgage for a large house.
Shivering now tells us we need to put on a bathing suit not a coat, buy a plane ticket and holiday package on credit and go somewhere warm.
Drowsiness can’t be caused by staying up for the late night can’t miss TV shows, it must be that we are underpaid and overworked.
Loneliness isn’t a call to deepen relationships but instead a sign that we need to increase our bar, club, and bed hopping. The more people met, the more drinks consumed, the more people slept with, will someday fill the empty spot in our lives.
The feeling that we lack fulfillment in our lives, perverted by our sinful nature, shouts at us to eat more, buy more, travel more, sleep more and watch more entertainment, drink more, party more and sleep around more.
The snake oil salesman takes our instincts for physical, emotional and spiritual survival and sells us a cure-all with highly addictive properties but no lasting effect. He targets our need for more of God with inferior substitutes.
Satan uses our natural God given desires/instincts and inflates them into a desperate craving that must be satisfied any way possible.
His sin based medicine treats the symptoms while feeding the disease. We need more of God but we want more of what Satan offers because in the blur all we can see clearly is we need more of something, anything.
Obviously I have no idea what you are thinking… My guess is that some of you are having trouble identifying with the solutions to the “search for more” [above]… “But I follow Christ” would be my best guess as to what you are thinking, “I would never feed my drive for more with such sinful acts.”
I don’t know you so I have no way of knowing what your life is like, how you respond to the God given need for more and how well you have rejected the sinful solutions that can tempt you. What I do know is the choice to follow Christ begins with the recognition that we are called to behave differently, no longer participating in worldly behaviours to fill the empty spot, the need for more.
For many, this change in lifestyle is the mark of a true Christian, giving them a sense of being complete. But are they complete? Is this all there is? Is it possible that this is the biggest load of snake oil that we can be sold? “The Snake” is devious, convincing many of us that we are doing the right thing. Paul said that Satan “masquerades as an angel of light” 2 Corinthians 11:14 (NIV).
Christ followers that grew up in the church and those who made their commitment after experimenting with worldly answers, know to steer clear of the temptations of the world. Is this all there is or is this a well-crafted impersonation of God by a snake in disguise?
Stay tuned, part 2 of “A Little Understanding – The Floor Plan” will be posted on Thursday
From time to time my blog will include abridged excerpts from my book “Blueprint.” Like any author/blogger, I find it difficult to leave the words I have written in my computer until a publisher can be found. Maybe it’s because someone somewhere needs to read these words now.
For more posts from my book Blueprint find the heading “Categories” on the right side of this page and click on “Blueprint (my book)”