Sometimes, there is just no substitute

component stereoI wanted a component stereo system in college so bad I could taste it. In the mens dormitory it was “the” status symbol. A combo system would not be good enough. No, something from Pioneer, or better yet, Yamaha; was needed. Smooth quality sound from a turntable, cassette, and receiver would make college, the dorm, life in general so much better! A reel to reel would be icing on the cake, but not realistic even in my dreams. I discovered that as I perused the local electronic stores.

An unusual set of circumstances allowed the impossible to become possible. I did not need the lights on as I connected the components. The glow of satisfaction I surely emitted must have been enough. I placed beautiful speakers borrowed from my brother currently stationed in the Philippines in a prominent place and the new purchased Realistic speakers behind the curtains.

Two weeks later I stood before the soft glow of the receiver. I listened to the pined for smooth sound of the cassette desk flow through my brothers expensive Pioneer speakers. Trouble was detected. The hole was back. Something was missing in life. Contentment melted away. A lesson was learned. Possessions do not bring satisfaction; for long. It was a lesson since repeated far too many times.

What others things do people commonly use to fill their ‘hole’ in life? What is used to find satisfaction, even if only for a season? The list is long, but the major players few; money, sex, and power.

Larry Burkett, a Christian financial consultant, once stated that most people who came to him nearing bankruptcy confided in him that if they only had twenty percent more money they could be happy. It did not matter if they made twenty thousand dollars a year or two hundred thousand dollars. They could pay their bills and have a little room to live it up if they only had twenty percent more. Money cannot buy happiness, although it can make discontent more comfortable.

Sex without a loving relationship is like any other addiction. Over time it takes more to get the same high the first experience brings. Love frequently is confused with lust. Perhaps this is part of the explanation to the explosion of pornography, sex trafficking, and the decline in marriage.

Power, the desire to be in charge, is the oldest desire of the false sinful self. Adam and Eve’s desire for it is recorded in Genesis where it says they wanted to be like God.

The apostle Paul wrote to those living in Rome that “those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.” Satisfaction, ironically, is found not in trying to please ourselves, but living to please God.

The primary psychological fact of life—deeper than any genetic, physiological, behavioral, environmental or educational conditioning; or of birth traumas, complexes, sexual experiences, interpersonal communication, family background or games people play—is that the sinful nature is utterly irredeemable. This is why no self-help measures, psychotherapeutic methods, educational programs, environmental changes or resolutions to improve can enable us to please God—and find satisfaction. All of them are based on having the mind controlled by the old sin nature, which is death, rather than by the Spirit, which is life.

This is why Jesus said, “You must be born again from above” and Paul wrote, “If anyone is united with the Messiah, he is a new creation—the old has passed; look, what has come is fresh and new!” Jesus fills every follower with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit transforms the passions in life that destroy life, happiness, and satisfaction into passions that bring abundant life. Be passionate for Christ and find a new passion in life that endures rather lasts only for a short season. Be filled and refilled with the Holy Spirit today!



Romans 8:5 NLT, Jn 3:7, 2C 5:17 JNTC, Romans 8:13ESV

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