There’s a hymn whose chorus proclaims:
I am satisfied! I am satisfied! I am satisfied with Jesus. But the question comes to me as I think of Calvary, is my Master satisfied with me? (“Satisfied with Jesus” by B.B. McKinney)
To be honest, many times the phrase "I am satisfied with Jesus" has somewhat grated on my nerves. It seems weak. I’m satisfied? That’s it? No! I’m filled to overflowing!
But recently I’ve realized that it truly is a strong statement to say we are satisfied with Jesus. Why? Because we will always seek satisfaction, but far too often we work overtime to find it somewhere other than in Jesus.
There is much that can be said for our material satisfaction. Are we happy with what God has given us, or do we continually want more? If I am honest, this is a point where I struggle regularly. But, I don’t think it’s material satisfaction, or lack thereof, that is bothering me right now. There is something much more serious than that. It’s a lack of satisfaction in the relationships God has placed before us.
First, and most critical, we lack satisfaction in our relationship with Christ. We act like the rich young ruler Jesus encounters (Matthew 19:16-26 is one record of this encounter). He wanted a task he could check off to be acceptable to God. When he discovered it would take his everything – his very life – he walked away. We want to check off that box, too. We want to be able to have our Bible reading and prayer times and then go through the rest of our day our way. We want to be able to lift up prayers to Him throughout the day without truly surrendering our will. But Jesus demands more. He demands all. We crave that relationship with Him, but we aren’t willing to put into it what is required. So, we seek satisfaction elsewhere.
This leads to the other relationships where we lack satisfaction.
Friendships. When we cease to find satisfaction in Christ alone, our friendships struggle. We suddenly feel pressured to please our friends to find the satisfaction we crave. The harder we try, the more we are willing to sacrifice to be acceptable to them and satisfied with them. We will begin to compromise to accomplish this. We’ll compromise our commitment standards, letting go of service for Christ’s sake in favor of making sure we put full effort into our friendships. We’ll compromise our entertainment standards, wanting to do things that will allow us to spend time with our friends. We’ll compromise our dress standards, wanting to make sure our appearance is pleasing to them. Sounds like teenagers trying to fit in with the popular crowd, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, adults are just as bad.
Church family. When we cease to seek satisfaction in Christ Himself, we often turn our hearts toward finding the perfect church family. In doing so, we set a standard that cannot be maintained. Our church family cannot satisfy us – there is not enough perfection. We crave perfect fulfillment, and only Christ can handle that. But, we look instead to the religious entities of this world, and they will always fall short. When we seek our fulfillment in Christ, we can work with an imperfect body, striving together for perfection in service. When we seek our fulfillment in the body, the imperfections will only be accentuated at every turn.
Marriages. This is the one that burdens me the most. When we cease to seek satisfaction in Christ, our marriages lose their luster. We may not even notice it because we truly consider ourselves committed to solid marriage relationships. But, marriage is not exciting. It’s a beautiful daily commitment. So, to rev up the excitement just a bit, we lose ourselves in the most current romance series or follow everything the popular good looking actors do. We get caught up in a fantasy world of feet-sweeping romance and suddenly see our spouses in a lesser light. We wish they could be _________________. When we end a book or a movie not wanting to return to real life and our beautiful real marriages, then we are planting dissatisfaction in our relationships with our spouses. It’s one thing to enjoy a good book (and I use the term "good" to refer to books that have pure content) or appreciate the abilities of a fine actor. It’s another to wish our spouses were more like those fictional characters. That’s lust. That plants dissatisfaction in our marriages. And it starts with lack of satisfaction in Christ.
Am I satisfied with Jesus? Are you satisfied with Jesus? Or are we seeking our satisfaction elsewhere and paying the horrible price? The more satisfied we are with Jesus, the less alluring the things of this world will become. And that, my friends, is not just where we need to be. It’s where we must be.