Mick Jagger, the lead singer for the secular rock band the Rolling Stones, recorded a hit song bemoaning the pursuit of and failure to discover what he refers to as “satisfaction” over 50 years ago. “I can’t get no satisfaction, ‘cause I try and I try and I try and I try,” is repeated over and over all to no avail according to the writer. Apparently, this driving passion and its elusiveness strikes a chord with millions of listeners as the song has become a cultural icon since its release in 1965.
On the other hand, Lanny Wolfe, renowned Christian and songwriter from years past, gives a different perspective on seeking and fulfilling this vaguely defined need. He writes, “The world will try to satisfy that longing in your soul, you may search the wide world over, but you’ll be just as before. You’ll never find true satisfaction until you’ve found the Lord, for only Jesus can satisfy your soul.”
With your permission, I would like to touch briefly upon this matter today with more than a suggestion that the answer, as Wolfe suggests, is to be found in God’s Word.
In Philippians 4:18-19, the Apostle Paul states, “But I have received everything in full, and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. 19 And my God shall supply (fully or completely satisfy) all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Here we discover that there are two prerequisites for discovering and experiencing what the Bible defines as satisfaction.
First, we must be willing to sacrifice for God’s pleasure. In verse 18 we see the link between Paul’s abundant (and satisfying) supply. We can conclude that this supply is a fragrant aroma and an acceptable sacrifice which is well-pleasing to God. Sacrifice always involves two decisions—surrender and obedience. According to Rom 12:1 “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Surrender is saying yes to Him before we even know what He desires. On the other hand, obedience is saying yes to Him, even after you know what He desires. It is difficult to say yes to God when we do not know what He desires (surrender), but sometimes it is more difficult to say yes when we do know what He desires (obedience). If we would know satisfaction, we must say yes to God no matter what the cost.
Second, we must trust exclusively in God’s sufficiency in Christ alone. Verse 19 states, “…my God shall…”. We will never trust fully and exclusively in Him until we accept that He Himself is our supply as well as our supplier. When we received Him as our Lord and Savior, we were given unlimited access. When we have Him, we have all that we need. Our satisfaction is in Him and Him alone. If we don’t understand this, we will never be satisfied. But verse 19 goes on to provide additional insight to this question of satisfaction, “And my God shall supply (fully or completely satisfy) all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Paul acknowledges that while He is both our greatest need and the supply for that need, there are perceived needs that go with living in this physical world. He reminds us that He is both the supply and supplier of ALL OUR NEEDS according to His riches in glory. In being the supply for all our needs He is our satisfaction.