Alone in Athens, no longer with his missionary team, Paul walks the impressive city streets. An ancient proverb says that you could find more gods than men in Athens. Paul can attest to this. He examines the countless structures to all manner of gods. It is estimated there are tens of thousands of alters of worship for nearly as many gods.
Athens prides itself on its intellectual prowess. The city is full of brilliant men and scholars. “All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.” (Acts 17:21). And yet they keep constructing more temples, looking to more gods than they can count, and even establishing a place of worship for “the unknown god.” With thousands of gods, they still need another yet unknown. They know there is something there, but they just don’t know what it is. All their knowledge still leaves them unsatisfied…a hole still unfilled.
And today we have even more access to information. Knowledge abounds. But wisdom is scarce.
Like the Athenians, we too seek to fill that hole. We gain knowledge. We acquire more stuff. We try the next new thing. We follow the latest formula. But we remain unsatisfied. These aren’t the things that will fill that place within us.
Paul addresses the men of Athens, “I perceive that in every way you are very religious.” They are seekers for sure. He goes on to basically say, “Hey, you know that unknown god over there…you worship him, but you don’t know him. I KNOW HIM. Let me tell you about Him.”
God created us to know Him and to give Him glory. This desire is planted within each of us. It cries out within us regardless of our current beliefs. It pursues us. There is contentment, peace, and joy -- even in the hard -- that is found in knowing Him. But instead, we search everywhere else to fill that God-sized place within us.
John MacArthur says, “No matter how many gods a man has, no matter how much religion he has, if it never gets to the true God then he never knows satisfaction.”
Do we know the one true God? Or is that place planted within us full of so many things, but yet still empty? Have we tried so. many. other. gods….even the “just in case” ones, only to have that nagging feeling remain that we are still missing something?
Sin separates us from the one who Created us and the only fit for that place within us. And in this separated state we groan with the void in that place. We search and search for ways to fill it. Some temporarily do an average job at it, but the gaps of not being a perfect fit grow wider and wider with time, leaving us just as unfulfilled and often in a worse state. BUT JESUS…the one who was with the Creator at the beginning of it all; the one who is the Creator…He came to remove that separation. Through Jesus, we can KNOW God…the once unknown that we sense is out there can become known. And this is what we were created to do. This is the thing…the thing that fills that elusive hole within us. To know and glorify God. The perfect and only fit for that anxiety-ridden hole within us.
God, help us to seek You alone to fill that place you created within us. Quickly cause our spirit to recognize when we are attempting to fill it with anything else. May we KNOW YOU and glorify You alone.
📷 Background pic @loveyourmelon …
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