Austin Willard – Guest Speaker
As it turns out, the most essential ingredient in the recipe for happiness and personal fulfillment is the same for a single person as it is for all of us.
Ultimately, our personal fulfillment and happiness only flows out of a relationship with our Creator, who has and does pursue us relentlessly. Of all his creation, we are the only ones who bear his image. “We are his offspring,” as some of our own poets have said.
When he appeared as a man, one of his favored descriptions of himself was the “bridegroom,” and we are his “bride.” As a husband and wife become no longer two, but one flesh, so does Christ desire the most intimate closeness with his followers. This is not a sexual thing; it’s a soul connection on the deepest level possible. God desires us to respond to his desire for us. When we attempt to fulfill ourselves with anything or anyone other than connecting ourselves—heart, soul, mind and strength to our Creator, we end up still unfulfilled. No one, nothing can fill the place in our hearts which was carved out for God himself. Unless he fills that place, it remains empty, no matter who or what we try to fill it with.
Do we really believe that the most intimate and satisfying love we’ll ever know is with Jesus? Until we experience his love, no other love will do. When we have experienced his love, we don’t expect others to fill the spot only Jesus can fill. Then our human love relationships are healthier and fulfilling in the way they were meant to be.