RESTLESS HEARTS by Aaron Welch

As I look around at this crazy world we live in, a world where addictions are rampant, random violence is increasing, relationships are ending at alarming rates, and children are suffering, I cannot help but ask why. Why are men running into the arms of women other than their wives? Why are drugs like marijuana and LSD becoming more and more common amongst adolescents? Why is alcoholism still the escape of choice for many people? Why are so many young girls offering their bodies to any man that shows them positive attention? Why is there such restlessness in the hearts of people?

It seems that this longing or void in the hearts of the human race is not exclusive to anyone in particular. Christians and non-Christians alike suffer from this same malady of the heart. It is not exclusive to either gender; men and women may respond in different ways but the motive is usually the same, “I must fill the pain and emptiness within”.

The more I seek the Lord for answers to these questions, the more I believe that much of our emptiness is due to the fact that Satan has done a magnificent job of getting mankind to question God’s goodness and, in convincing us of that, to distance us from the one being that can fill all voids; God, the Father. I mean, if we look at the very beginning of mankind, in the Garden of Eden, isn’t that the strategy that Satan took? He persuaded Eve, and Adam indirectly, that God could not be trusted; that God did not really want what was best for them. After they believed him and ate of the fruit, what was the result in their relationship with God? Distance. Shame. A damaged relationship. Adam was so ashamed that God had to seek him out to speak to him the next time. Ever since this fundamental foundation of the story of mankind, Satan has been working to distance us from God. And, when that happens, there is a void left in our hearts. A void that we try to fill with the opposite sex (if only I had a partner), to self-medication (a few drinks help me cope), to pornography (after all, porn never rejects me), to whatever....you name the filler. The problem is, none of these counterfeits satisfy. That’s why addictions develop; because you have to keep coming back for a momentary “fix” for the void. The feeling never stays.

It never satisfies. It never fills up the void. I love what Saint Augustine writes in his “Confessions”, “...thou hast made us for thyself and restless is our heart until it comes to rest in thee.”

Wouldn’t it be great if it were easy to be that intimate with the Lord? I mean, it would be awesome if we all accepted this truth, submitted our hearts to God, and reaped the benefits of being so close to the author of the universe.

The wonderful thing about this is that it can happen. God wants it to happen. He is available to us! One thing I am really learning in my own walk is that God wants to be daily involved in our lives, decisions, and hearts. He really does; not in some abstract “churchy” way....where we discuss this as being true but it never becomes part of our lives. I mean, he wants it in a very real, literal way.

The problem is that the enemy resists us in achieving this type of relationship with God. He offers us quick fixes, pleasurable fools gold, and other distractions which lead us away from the intimacy that God offers to us. Let’s wake up people! Let’s open our eyes to the deception that Satan puts before us. Think about all of the things you have tried over the years to fill the loneliness and voids in your hearts. Have they worked long-term? I dare so no. I know mine haven’t, and I’ve tried lots of things. All those things have done nothing but lead me further away from God and kept me from the sonship that God has for me; they have effectively hindered me in being a useful warrior in God’s service. They have essentially rendered me far less useful in the Kingdom. These placebos have robbed me of the deep relationship that God wants to have with me.

So people, listen to me. No matter how you’ve lived or what you’ve done, God desires for you to draw near to him. Don’t let Satan shame you into staying away. Remember, when the prodigal finally came home (after some serious sinning), the father RAN to him. If the prodigal came home and left over and over, I still believe the father would run every time the son came home. Only Satan wants you to believe you are not welcome and he tries to send that message through lots of sources; our own self-hatred, relatives, false friends, and yes, even the church. But no matter who delivers this lie, it is straight from hell itself.
So, feeling empty? Does your heart long for something more? Do you feel that nothing can fill the void you have had for so long? Open your eyes to the promise of the Lord; All of scripture points to God’s desire to reconnect with the hearts of His people. He even died in order to offer that gift.

As a counselor, I see lots of people who feel empty and hopeless. I’m blessed that, as a Christian, I can offer them hope in filling those voids......if only we are willing.

About the Author: Aaron Welch is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who has devoted his life to reaching out and helping people to grow and mature through difficult life situations. Whether it has been through clinical counseling, pastoral ministry, youth camps and conventions, public speaking, leadership training, educational instruction, athletic coaching or small group ministry, Aaron has over eighteen years of experience in assisting people through life struggles and personal growth. His genuine love for people and his outgoing personality combine to create a safe and caring environment for putting the pieces of life back together

The LifeWorks Group, Inc.
1850 Lee Rd. Suite 250, Winter Park, FL 32789
407-647-7005, www.LifeWorksGroup.org

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