The other day I was sitting in the car at the local superstore. As I sat there, people watching waiting for our groceries to be brought out I noticed a couple women heading into the store. In their hand each carried a mask. As you know we are currently in the middle of some crazy times. But this wasn't what stuck out to me. What really stood out to me was what one lady was gripping in her other hand. You see, in one hand a mask. She was tightly gripping the assurance of the cloth in her right hand but in her left was a cigarette. In one hand she held what she believed would save her from things unseen, more specifically, a virus. Tightly gripped in her other hand was death. It was that which both can be seen and causes over 4 million deaths a year. The cigarette. Then it hit me!
When God told us through the apostle Paul in 2 Timothy that God "did not give us a spirit of fear but of power and love and discipline" He meant it. We are living in a time of spiritual fear and we are all looking for 100% assurance that if we do certain things life will go the way we think it ought to. Yet many of us walk around with false assurance. It's wrong! Nothing in this world can give us the assurance our inner most being so desires. We are made in the image of God and nothing can satisfy that desperate longing but God. C. S. Lewis said it this way. “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
And because this is the truth for everyone, we want assurance that this is not all there is, we want assurance that we won't die, our relationships will be fixed, our marriages won't fail, and our kids will grow up to lead wonderful lives. But we look for assurance in all the wrong places. Hebrews 11:1 says
Now faith is the assurance of things hope for, the conviction of things not seen.
Did you today hit your knees today and put your assurance in Jesus as much as you did the mask? Did you hit your knees today and plead with God to give you the assurance that when this life is over you will spend eternity with Him in His glory? Did you seek the assurance, the 100% assurance that can only come from Jesus. That lady that was grasping in one hand her false assurance yet in the other the very thing that causes death reminded me of how most of us live our lives. In one hand we hold onto Jesus Christ the author and finisher of our faith and we love Him oh God do we love Him.
He died a brutal death on the Cross to save us from our sins. Yes we Love Him! But in the other hand we hold so tightly to the false assurance of this world. That if we just do certain things the virus wont get us. If we push our kids hard enough they will succeed in life, if we try harder we can fix the things that are broken. But… we can't! There is no assurance without the Son of God. There is no assurance without Jesus the Messiah. You cannot have any assurance in this life other than what Jesus can give but the only way to receive that assurance is to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9, if you confess Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you, yes you will be saved. Jesus must be the ruler of you life and you must believe or you will have 0 assurance for this life and the life to come. My brother, my sister, trust in Jesus He is 100% assurance of everything you need in this life and the next. God bless you!
The definition of Savior is:
"a person who saves someone or something (especially a country or cause) from danger, and who is regarded with the veneration of a religious figure."
Why say Everyone is Looking for a Savior? Well, the short and simple answer is because they are. It’s our nature as human beings. Consider why every story containing a heroic protagonist always involves good triumphing over evil. From video games to movies everyone is looking for a savior. Most have a distorted and self-absorbed understanding of this “savior” but the concept holds true all the same.
We will consider one video game from years ago and one recent movie. I used to be into the Final Fantasy video game franchise. From FFI to whatever number they are at now, the premise is the same. Some terrible tragedy is happening or about to and it is up to some unsuspecting slightly arrogant and pride filled person to stop it. Along the way the protagonist learns very important things about life and self. There is personal reflection, introspection and a host of other life lessons that turn our once arrogant pride filled goober into a wise, “others focused” hero who would do anything to see the greater good realized.
Final Fantasy 10 carried the same premise but in this case our protagonist was a self-diluted insecure boy whose father he thought abandon him early in life to chase a ridiculous dream of becoming a famous blitzball player. Tidus, the protagonist is also a blitzball player like his “dead beet” dad and during a major game in his home town a creature massive in size destroys the city. Auron a longtime friend of Tidus’ father (we realize later in the game) tells Tidus the creature is called Sin. It goes from city / world to city / world and destroys almost everything in its path.
Now as the story goes, Tidus meets many other friends and a young woman named Yuna through Auron. He soon realizes that the many friends are Yuna’s “guardians” and she is on a quest to defeat Sin. Tidus therefore becomes the 11th or 12th guardian (I can’t remember) and travels with the team. Yuna goes to various temples and worships to gain strength for her plight. When she comes to a town that Sin has already destroyed, she performs some sort of healing or miracle that helps the townspeople. Starting to sound familiar yet?
After Tidus and Yuna develop a close emotionally and conversationally intimate relationship he finds out that the only way for her to defeat Sin is to give her life in the final battle at which time she both defeats and becomes Sin. Does this sound like the game developers picked this story up somewhere… anywhere… or I don’t know perhaps the Bible. Most every other video game that involves good and evil follows this same concept.
Next we discuss a recent movie. The Death Cure was the last in the Maze Runner franchise. Many are familiar with either the movies or the books so I will not go into much detail. However, the same premise holds. The protagonist does all he can to help everyone. There is a contagion spreading in the Maze Runner series that turns people into “crazies” who attack everyone and everything and suffer from violent outbursts. Those in power are trying to find a cure but every promised development comes up short. After a lot of running, fighting and rescuing we find out toward the end of the movie that they found a cure. At this point the Maze Runner world is in complete upheaval.
There are fires, buildings collapsing, people are dying and the medical staff, down to just one person still desperately trying to find the cure, realizes that the blood is the cure. In a very dramatic way they call back the protagonist by telling him how many lives he can save and how he can make the world a better place. He need only come back, possibly sacrificing himself to save everyone because his blood contains the cure. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Ever heard a story like this before?
My point in simply this, everyone is looking for a savior. However, because we live in a sinful world we are prone to make up our savior in our own image so that s/he acts, thinks, speaks, and saves how we want. We commit the egregious sin of idolatry to comfort ourselves. Why are we willing to do that? It is because we are all looking for a savior. We desperately hold onto anything in this life that is good and brings us joy because in this world we will have pain, suffering, heartache, trials, temptations and death. None of which was part of the original design by God. All of this is merely the effects of sin.
"And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”
"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned."
The problem is our desire to make up a savior in our image. If the savior we are so desperately trying to find is made in our image than that savior is wicked to the core (Jeremiah 17:91; Romans 8:62; Revelation 21:83; Ezekiel 18:204), insecure, tired, heartbroken, and is unable to save self let alone anyone else. We desperately search out a savior because deep down we know that we are hopeless and even on our good days we feel a longing that cannot be filled with the worlds fleeting carnal pleasures.
God tells us that He is the only savior (Isaiah 43:115). God is the only God there is no other (Isaiah 45:56). God promises a savior to deliver His people all throughout the Old Testament and delivers in Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:217; Acts 5:318). Jesus says He is the only way, the only truth and the only life, no one can get to the Father except through Him (John 14:69).
Genesis 2:18"Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
It is not good that the man should be alone! Before we get into that we need to make mention of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7. To sum, Paul says, in his opinion, that it is better if one is single to remain that way so that their concern will be of serving the LORD. However, if one is without self-control and burns with passion, Paul says to get married. Although, to the one that is married Paul says that his interests are divided between the world and the LORD. One who is married seeks to please their spouse (in the LORD) and has children (Gen. 1:28). Paul makes this very clear that it is not to be taken as God’s word and commandment, rather his opinion.
But as we look at Genesis 2:18, God makes it clear that “it is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” This is paramount to our existence; because,God commands the man and woman to multiply and fill the earth. Without this act there would be no one to write this post nor anyone to read it. Before the rabbits take our attention from the task at hand, let us again focus on Genesis 2:18. It is not good that the man should be alone. This speaks to God’s characteristics and we will address a few.
First God is relational.
In the God head trinity God has deep meaningful relationship within Himself. Confusing? Sure, but know that God did not need us to have relationship, He created us to enjoy the value of relationship both with Him and other humans. The man could not have a relationship with animals. Yes, I understand the warm fuzzies dogs and other pets bring, but it is in no way comparable to the relational feelings another human can return.
While animals can play with you, show unconditional love, and help benefit mental faculties, they are unable to console with words, wisdom, and hugs. You cannot carry on a deep meaningful conversation with your pet. Rather you can but you may trade that conversation for a loss of freedom for fear that you have gone wacky.
Joking aside the point is this, God created man to have a deep meaningful relationship with Him and with other humans. In the case of Genesis 2:18 it was “a helper suitable for him.” The woman! I hear the screams now from both genders “I don’t need a man to be happy” and “I don’t need no woman.” I would agree here as we have pointed out in Paul’s words found in 1 Corinthians 7; however, what we are addressing here is God’s perspective.
Secondly, God is intimate.
Again, within the God head trinity, God has intimacy. However, He created mankind to experience and enjoy that deep intimacy that we feel when we grow close to someone (i.e., our spouse). Better than that, God wanted us to experience the sheer joy that comes from having a deep intimacy with Him. Not because He needed it, rather He knew we would. Intimacy grows when two people experience a level of “togetherness” that is no possible with animals. That intimacy grows to joyous depths when those two people spend an exuberant amount of time with God.
Third God is loving.
If you wish to examine “true love” in action look no further than the cross of Christ. God came down to be born in human flesh so that He could relate to us, identify with us, live like us, experience all the pain, loss, and temptation like us. Then God went to the cross to die for us as the sinless sacrifice, because your sins and my sins require payment. “The wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23) and “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God“(Romans 3:23). Before He went to the cross He was beaten, whipped, mocked, and treated horribly. Why don’t we let Isaiah tell us in his own words in chapter 53 of his book.
Isaiah 53 1 Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
3 He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
6 All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
9 His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
10 But the LORD was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.
11 As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.
When we love our spouse, we love sacrificially. It is difficult and it will bear scars but it is only because God loved us that we are capable of such an act toward another human. We are finally at the purpose of this post, and that is to address Genesis 2:18 in a 1 Corinthians 13:11 world. This world is full of men who act like little boys, sitting around all day playing games and seeking their own interest. My friends, this ought not to be so. It is not good for the man to be alone. What did God create to rectify this foreseeable problem?
Again, you 1 Corinthians 7 men are to devote your time to the LORD. Married or not know that, “when you were a child, you used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when you became a man, you did away with childish things.” Do away with childish things to the Glory of God.