I. Slackers (Previous Post)
II. Strivers (Previous Post)
III. Supreme Satisfaction
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
A couple of months ago, I wrote about Satisfaction and I talked about Slackers and Strivers. Seven years after the Children of Israel had crossed over the Jordan River and had seen the walls of Jericho come down, there were still seven tribes who had not taken possession of the land that God had promised to give them.
Joshua challenged their complacency by basically calling them slackers.
And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?
He was telling them that God had already given the land to them and challenging them to do something about it. How long are you going to wait before you take what God has already given you? How long are you going to be satisfied to dwell in someone else’s possession?
Joshua commissioned three spies from each of those seven tribes to go out through the land and survey it. They were tasked with dividing the land into seven parcels; one for each of the tribes. They were assigned the responsibility of establishing the boundaries of the possessions, but that was all they did; establish boundaries.
I wrote in the first post (Satisfaction – Part 1) that Dan was one of the seven tribes who hadn’t possessed their inheritance. I pointed out that even after the boundaries of the possessions were established, it was over twenty years before Dan inhabited their possession. The verses about the spies that went out to spy the land were twenty years after Joshua had sent three spies from every tribe to establish the borders. And this time, Dan sent out five spies.
They observed the inhabitants that seemed to be without government. They were a people who appeared to be living under a false sense of security. They were living as if they were invincible and timeless. Does that sound familiar to anybody? So this was their challenge to the tribe of Dan:
9 And they said, Arise, that we may go up against them: for we have seen the land, and, behold, it is very good: and are ye still? be not slothful to go, and to enter to possess the land.
10 When ye go, ye shall come unto a people secure, and to a large land: for God hath given it into your hands; a place where there is no want of any thing that is in the earth.
That’s about as straightforward as it gets. What are you waiting for? God has already given this land into your hands. There’s no want of anything in this land of God’s Promises. All you have to do is to get up and go and possess the land.
Something happened within the tribe of Dan that revived them. Something caused them to lose that sense of Satisfaction. That’s what we read in Joshua 19:47:
And the coast of the children of Dan went out too little for them: therefore the children of Dan went up to fight against Leshem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and dwelt therein, and called Leshem, Dan, after the name of Dan their father.
They were finally taking possession of what God had for them but they weren’t satisfied. They wanted more. They were saying, in essence, this isn’t enough. Let’s run to the battle. Let’s find out what God has in store for us. They became Strivers.
I told you in the first post that I believe the difference between Slackers and Strivers is simple. It seems to be their level of Satisfaction with their current situation and circumstances. Slackers are satisfied with where they are and Strivers are not.
I don’t mean that Strivers are malcontents. Their lack of Satisfaction isn’t due to greed or covetousness. It doesn’t have anything to do with impatience or intolerance. Their lack of satisfaction has everything to do with their longing for the good things of God and their hungering and thirsting after righteousness.
As God satisfies their mouth with good things, that draws them to hunger and thirst for more of those good things. And they are ever reaching and being drawn toward what I really want to talk about in this post – Supreme Satisfaction.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul was letting us know about his level of Satisfaction. I’m not satisfied yet. I don’t count myself to have reached that point yet. But, here’s what I’m doing; I’m forgetting those things that I have left behind. We need to be mindful of this very important fact. Those things that we left behind when we decided to follow Christ were things that distracted us from our hunger for God. They filled our life with a false sense of Satisfaction.
Paul wanted us to know that he was trying to reach for Supreme Satisfaction so he pressed; he pursued that goal. he was trying to reach that prize; that award; the high calling (literally, an invitation to a higher place; a place of Supreme Satisfaction). The source of that satisfaction is found in God alone and it can only be accessed through Christ alone. That was a concept even the Psalmist understood.
As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.
The more that I press and pursue that prize, the more I am becoming like Christ. And it’s only when I am like Him that I will truly know Supreme Satisfaction. “…I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” The English word, likeness, is found five times in the New Testament. Two of those times talk about Jesus becoming like us.
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
He came “…in the likeness of sinful flesh…:” and His righteousness “…condemned sin in the flesh:”
The other instance of the word, likeness, in that same thought is in Philippians.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Jesus took on the form of a common man. He took on our likeness and died in our place. That’s what made it possible for us to take on His likeness. That’s what the verse that contains the two other instances of that word speaks about.
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
If we’re willing to crucify the flesh; if we’re willing to forget those things that are behind; if we’re willing to die out to the things of this world, we can know the joy of being in the likeness of His resurrection.
There’s such a danger in becoming slack in our pursuit of God’s promises because that’s when we’ll end up faltering in our quest to be like Him. We must press; we must pursue; we must Strive and then, that day will finally appear.
1 John 3:1-3
1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
The fact that there is even a possibility of our being like Him is such proof of the love that God has bestowed upon us. Many people have written about what they think Heaven will be. Some believe that they have seen it and they have described an amazing place. I believe that they may have witnessed a portion of what Heaven holds but I don’t believe we have the ability to comprehend what Heaven will be.
We don’t even know what we shall be. We just have this hunger and desire to be like Jesus. And we know that one day we’re going to see Him as He really is. And when we see Him, we will be like Him. So just like the Psalmist, we know that when we awake in His likeness, that’ s when we will experience Supreme Satisfaction.
The hope of that place and time of Supreme Satisfaction is so important to our lives because that hope is what keeps us pressing. That hope is what keeps us hungering and thirsting. That hope is what motivates us to separate ourselves from the world and the things of the world. That hope is what drives us to purify ourselves and become more like Jesus. That hope is what makes us want to be a Striver and not a Slacker. I love the way Paul described the process of our quest to become more like Jesus.
2 Corinthians 3:18
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
We are changed into His image experience by experience (“…from glory to glory…”). From one move of God to another, He is making us more like Him. Paul also said this in 1 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
No matter where we are in our walk with the Lord, we all need to be heading in the same direction. We all need to be pursuing the same goal. We all need to be inhabiting and possessing the promises of God.
I don’t want the Lord to have to speak to me through a Joshua and ask me how long will I be slack to go and possess His promises. I want to be found with a hunger for more and more and more of what God has in store for me. I want to be found Striving for the promises of God. And when that day comes that I see Him face to face, then it will be alright for me to rest in Supreme Satisfaction. I will be living in the fullness of God’s promises for all of eternity.