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Friday, August 20, 2010

The Saddest State of Being I Know

Ecclesiastes 1:14 (ESV)
I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.

Solomon was an amazing king. He was the son of David. He had a firm foundation in his faith. He was wealthy beyond imagination. He built the greatest temple that Israel has ever known. He experienced the presence of God when this temple was opened. No one would have guessed that he would write the preceding words.( "all is vanity.")

He was an unfulfilled man. He had the means to explore the world and did not found his filling in the world. He is the example of what happens to a person when he falls off the foundation of his faith. He is empty but cannot remember when he was full.

I wonder about those who once served the Lord with unreserved passion but find no place for Him in their lives today. Do they know something I don't? Or, are they afraid to give up their emptiness for being filled? What is the addiction which keeps them from realizing their spiritual poverty and asking the Lord to fill them again?
Surely, Solomon heard the story about his father's sin with his mother. He must have known his father's writing which begs God to renew him to a previous state of spiritual fullness.

Psalms 51:10-12 (ESV)

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

I, myself, knew that something was missing in my life before I came to know the Lord. I was sure there was something that would fill my life but I didn't know what it was. I discovered the fullness of the Lord when I came to know Him. The memory of that fullness makes any distance between me and the Lord more painful. I have a greater longing to come back to Him. I ask for forgiveness. I am welcomed back into your presence. I enjoy fullness once again. Why would I stay away?

I have known people who will stay in their emptiness when they freely admit that they could come home to the Lord. They generally believe that they can't do without something which has drawn them away from the Lord. It may be a substance of addiction or a relationship which is also addictive. I wonder if Solomon thought he couldn't do without his wives. The Bible says he loved them. I fail to understand this since he had so many. How could he love all of them when he wouldn't give his undivided devotion to one of them? How could he have gotten so addicted to these women that he would give up the fullness of the Lord for the emptiness of a belief that says this world is all that anyone needs?

Yet, there are plenty of people who know the Lord but have not had His fullness in a very long time. They know He will receive them but they stay away. Eventually, they too will say, "Vanity, vanity all is vanity." I can't think of a sadder state.

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