God has made everything beautiful for its own time.
He has planted eternity in the human heart,
but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)
In what is now becoming an endangered means of communications, the newspaper offers a service known as classified ads. The “classified’ allows individuals to list requests for particular services or products they want. If you were to purchase a classified ad, with regard to “desperately seeking”, what would you request? What is the motivation behind your request?
Motivation is the force that initiates, guides, and maintains behaviors. It is what causes us to take action. The forces that lie beneath our motivation can be biological, social, emotional, or intellectual in nature. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, one of the best-known theories of motivation, states that our actions are motivated in order to achieve certain needs ranging from basic needs for survival to the highest level of motivation dealing with self-esteem and the need to be “all one can be.”
How does this theory of motivation square with the biblical explanations for our “seeking” behavior? The Words of the Preacher in Ecclesiastes (Solomon) gives us the answer. In Ecclesiastes, Solomon is desperately seeking what is the true source of meaning and happiness in life. Much like those in last week’s WordBytes, he is seeking those things he “can’t seem to get”.
Solomon investigates those things which his “lusts” have directed him to pursue: pleasure-seeking (2:1-11), wisdom (2:12-17), and labor for reward (2:18-6:9). In the process of his search, God slowly reveals the explanation for Solomon’s restlessness. God’s revelation begins in Ecclesiastes 3:11: “He (God) has planted eternity in the human heart.” God made men for His eternal purpose, and nothing in this fallen world can bring men complete satisfaction. I visualize this fact in the picture of the heart with a missing piece exposed to the world.
Many times we pursue counterfeits instead of God—the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16)—thinking they will satisfy our deepest needs. This pursuit, unfortunately, can prove to be a dangerous path to follow. We witness the lives of celebrities and social icons whose needs have been met through fame, fortune, and influence yet still voice dissatisfaction with their life. Many have fallen victim to addictive activities, broken relationships, and suicidal behavior.
Can you image driving your car without an engine? You put new wheels on it but it won’t go. You park it in the best garage money can buy yet it still won’t move. It can’t go! It cannot accomplish its purpose without an engine. God created us for His specific purpose that includes a personal relationship (not religion) with Him (Is. 43:21; Eph. 2:10). It is in daily discovering God’s unique purpose for our life that we find meaning, satisfaction, and contentment.
God is the missing piece in the life of those who are desperately seeking. God is the critical, life-giving piece. In Him, we live and move and have our meaning (Acts 17:28). The restless heart can only find satisfaction in God.
Augustine of Hippo (354-430), like Solomon, offered a “faith nugget” for the desperately seeking heart.
Thou hast made us for thyself, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.
Now that we have THE ANSWER for those who are desperately seeking, we will focus the remainder of our series on the specifics of how God satisfies the desperately seeking heart. Please share this devotional with friends and family. Also let us know what you think of the series by writing your comments below—we’d love to hear from you.
One thought on “Satisfying Restless Hearts”
This is a very interesting series! I hesitate to participate in this portion of the study account I feel to close to the teacher. There are some things you don’t want to reveal to anyone other than God. But after reading this lesson today twice, I wonder what I am desperately seeking in this life at this age. God is not the missing piece in my life for I know Him, love Him and depend on Him daily. He is who has brought me through these 76 years. It is He that I am depending on for the peace and stability that I need to go forward.