One way God works through the Super Bowl

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If you asked a team’s fans who has never won the super bowl what would be the most fulfilling thing, what would they likely say? “For my team to win the super bowl!”

Well, we believers in Jesus, and we whose team has won a super bowl know that it does not bring a sense of fulfillment upon us after the initial high of winning and seeing them with the trophy. Life goes on, the same as it was before. You aren’t a better person because your team won, you’re the same, maybe worse because you realize you put your heart and soul into screaming your lungs out for a team who didn’t do a single thing for you.

I’m sure most of my audience is Broncos fans, so it would probably hurt to hear this, but I really believe God works through games to glorify Himself. I think of the same experience King Solomon went through in Ecclesiastes 2 when he realized nothing would fulfill him from this earth:

“Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.” (Ecc 2:11 ESV)

For many of us, only when we get to the end of our pursuit of fulfillment will we realize that it is striving after wind and that we won’t be fulfilled by it because fulfillment only comes in the pursuit of things.

God knew that we would only be fulfilled in the pursuit of something so He sent His Son to be that fulfillment. We have the blessing of not having to search anymore for things to fulfill us other than God alone: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

He’s the one we were wired to pursue, and now there are more distractions to pursue than there ever was before; endless supplies of Fiction books, TV shows, and video games to give us something to pursue instead of the One who is fulfillment Himself.

It’s so sad. I long for the day when our pursuits of pointlessness will end and people will see Jesus Christ descend upon the earth and realize: no other pursuit matters other than knowing God and making Him known among this broken world.

Therefore, be exceedingly glad that Seahawk fans came to that realization yesterday-one more unfulfilling thing to check off the ‘bucket list’.

Pray with me that these fans would turn to Christ, realizing and experiencing that only He can bring the fulfillment we need.

Shifting Technology from a Burden to a Tool

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When Jesus said drop everything and follow Me, He said it for good reason (Matthew 19:20-26). Most of us get distracted from seeking the kingdom (Matthew 6:33) because of technology and the fact that we aren’t using it the right way.

Think about a friend who is texting you “How was you’re day?” or “What are you doing?” instead of calling you and figuring out the same answers and more in 2 minutes. Or playing words with friends or video games. If I do it, it’s filling in Jesus time.

I feel much more fulfilled after reading the Bible and talking with God than playing words with friends, surfing fb, or checking email fervently. Think about the amount of time that could be spent getting closer to God if we dropped our reliance of fulfillment from even one of those things: Video games, Words with Friends, Angry Birds, Facebook, etc.

Besides, those things are only fun in the moment. It’s like bacon, it’s good when you eat it, but it makes you feel bad afterwards. Don’t let the devil convince you otherwise (Matthew 16:23). Think about how Jesus diminished Peter’s pride to admonish him and to bring Peter closer to Him. (Mark 14:66-72) Then his mindset completely changed into one that was clothed with humility (1 Peter 5:5-8), now that’s a salad. An eternal one 😉

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It’s not that we can’t have fun, but certain things (ie video games, books, and TV) are meaningless without some kind of community and are just making us more worldly (John 17:14) as we try to relate to those characters and the perception of how they find fulfillment-which is entirely inaccurate (Ecclesiastes 5:10-11). But during a board game or card game, you get to know a lot about real people. Social skills. We need those.

Playing online is all about the game and you are constantly engaged in the game, talking about it, and not talking about life. Besides, most people you will never meet in person.

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Now don’t get me wrong, many things tech-wise should be used for God’s glory, like blogging, Facebook posting, texting, and commenting to encourage and admonish each other to get closer to God (Colossians 1:28). But if we aren’t doing what we do tech-wise for the purpose of glorifying God, there’s really no point. If it’s not bringing us or our friends closer to God, it’s bringing them and us farther away and has therefore become a branch in which we step out on and don’t see God as well. (See https://connordefehr.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/climbing-the-tree-of-life/ )

We must start ‘eating salads’ and start doing the things that seem boring in the moment but fulfill and satisfy us for the rest of the day, in the long run. (see https://connordefehr.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/the-misconception-of-love-salad-bacon/ )

We often find that God blesses those moments and decisions of repentance into joy, though we may be blinded from that joy now or our mind so easily forgets about the joy He has given us before when we trust in Him alone. He wants us to be patient and trust in Him for that joy. (Psalm 40:1-4)

If I had a million dollars, I wouldn’t be satisfied.

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Is it good for people to fulfill their desires of hope?

When I make a backing track on Youtube for someone to record vocals over ‘You and I’ or make a video promoting the purchase of the top Electric Upright Bass on the market, it is making the chance slightly better that someone will pursue God. Why? Let’s consider a story first:

1. Story

“A little boy has decided to go out and get some baseball cards. Once he figures out that there is one that is the best, he makes the decision that he won’t stop until he gets Babe Ruth. So he keeps buying cards every weekend, spending all his allowance on it.” Now let’s stop and think, what if the little boy never got the card? He would think that when he got that card, he would be fulfilled. So his hope would still be in that card. If he got it, however, then he would quickly realize that he was putting his energy and getting his life/hope from something useless and unfulfilling. (Ecclesiastes 5:10-11)

2. Biblical relations

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Think about the story of Solomon in the Bible. He got everything he could from this world, riches, knowledge, wisdom, food, a big house, tons of wives, and lots of other stuff. He states, “all was vanity and grasping for the wind.”  (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11)

Matthew 6:21 says “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Think about where you have treasure. Nearly everyone has treasure on earth; but we must, rather, shift to the mindset that we are merely passing through this world.

In John 18:36, Jesus reminds us He is not of this world; otherwise, his servants would defend Him. Often, we defend something other than ourselves: our stuff, which is of way less value than ourselves.

Hebrews 2:7 reminds us of this saying God has made us “a little lower than the angels”, crowned us with glory and honor, and set us over the works of His hands.

3. The sooner, the better.

Many people think that once they get a lot of likes or thumbs ups on youtube for a singing video, then they will be filled up; not so. The sooner they can find that out, the better; it’s something they can cross off of their ‘fulfillment list’(maybe ‘bucket’ list). Some people also think that once they buy the next thing, an Electric Upright Bass(the best one), then they will be satisfied; not so. The sooner they can find that out, the better. In this sense, it would be better for people (specifically non-believers) to experience all the possibilities of things that could fill them up so that they could see it wasn’t fulfilling.

Regrettably, people go through their whole lives in hope thinking they never were fulfilled because they didn’t get that one house, when they don’t realize they wouldn’t have gotten filled up in the first place, when only Jesus can quench that thirst in being satisfied in the constant pursuing of us to know Him more. (John 4) Jesus even did this in John 3:30. I may be treading on rough theological grounds to argue He was going through a process His whole life even though He was perfect.

The Smiths

A song that comes to mind: Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now by The Smiths. I love this song because it is so true of everybody’s worldly state without a hope in Jesus Christ.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoxTVonejwg

Wouldn’t it be better for someone to get everything they wanted; just so they weren’t driven by something like the hope of getting a big house at the end of their life, or a fancy car? It can even be dangerous in the aspect of children. I hear this all the time: “Once I have some grandchildren, then I will be satisfied.”

As Solomon says in Ecclesiastes, “he who increases knowledge increases sorrow”; because the more someone gets of anything, besides Jesus Christ, the more of a reason that person has to realize it’s unfulfilling.

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I know someone who has a package in the mail about 3 times a week. He is always getting something that will make life easier for him. It’s gotten so bad and out of hand that he even bought another skateboard just so he could leave one at school and one at home-so he could save 15 seconds unlocking his bike; when will it end? I’ll tell you when: once he gets the most convenient lifestyle and realizes it isn’t fulfilling. In reality, I sincerely hope 20 packages a week come so that it hits him sooner rather than later.

4. Conclusion

This isn’t meant to be a downer post at all, rather, it is intended for us to make less of everything else we put hope in so that Jesus Christ stands higher above material things, knowledge, wisdom, and anything else we ‘get’ in this world; to realize that these things will never fulfill.