I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
- 2 Corinthians 11:1-4
“’Are you not thirsty?’ said the Lion.
“’I’m dying of thirst,’ said Jill.
“’Then drink,’ said the Lion.
“’May I – could I – would you mind going away while I do?’ said Jill.
“The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. …
“’I daren’t come and drink,’ said Jill.
“’Then you will die of thirst,’ said the Lion.
“’Oh, dear!’ said Jill, coming another step nearer. ‘I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.’
“’There is no other stream,’ said the Lion.”
- C. S, Lewis, The Silver Chair
“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”
- Blaise Pascal
I had an intense discussion with my younger son a few months back and I said of someone that they had a God-hole that needed to be filled. In the middle of this serious discussion, my son started laughing and finally said, “I have heard of God-shaped holes, but never a God hole. Dad, you have invented something new.” I muttered that he knew what I meant.
But from these three quotes, there is a distinct connection. The Lion, Aslan, offers life-giving water, but Jill is afraid to get near the Lion. She would rather risk dying of thirst than to get any closer. Spoiler Alert: She eventually drinks water from the stream. After all, she never thought that the Lion could be lying, not with his strong, stern face.
But what was going through her mind while thinking about whether she should drink? She even asked the Lion if he would eat her. She was afraid, and she was all alone with the Lion.
What about us? What prevents us from taking a sip of the living water that Jesus provides? As the Apostle Paul says, we put up with false gospels easily enough. We seem willing to chase anything and worship everything, as long as it is not Jesus, or if it is Jesus, it is a Jesus of our own creation. We either invent the easy-going Jesus who lets us be us or we believe the Jesus with a loving Grandpa that gives us our hearts desires here on earth. We are always interested in what is in it for us.
But why are we continuing to look for something? Why do we keep trying to find some sort of satisfaction? Mick Jagger can answer the drive for satisfaction, but not the answer to the question. “I can’t get no … Satisfaction.”
But what is the answer? We have a God-shaped hole and only God can fit in that space, and the secular world has brainwashed as many as possible into thinking Christianity is toxic. We live in an ABC world, Anything But Christianity. I first read the ABC concept in a book by Os Guinness, and I have seen it used elsewhere. I cannot find its origin.
But in an ABC world, where God appears as a huge Lion who looks like He has not eaten for a while, how do we swallow our fear, consider that the Lion is not lying to us after all, and get close enough to drink living water?
In most cases, it gets down to how thirsty are we in the first place.
Have we tried every other avenue and found all of them leaving us empty? I do not know if that is even possible. That is a road to ultimate destruction. The Lion is absolutely correct. This stream is indeed the only one.
But in just about every case that I know of, when I hear someone’s testimony, it comes down to the fact that everything else that they tried left them empty. It was good for a while, but then they could never get that feeling back, and the emptiness was overwhelming.
Then the person asked God to come into their lives as what they thought was their last resort.
Whether Jesus is the popular thing, as He was when I accepted Jesus, or the least likely thing, as many today consider Him, we all get to that point where Jesus is the only answer. There is no other stream. There are plenty of mirages, but no other stream.
Are you thirsty? Do you have an emptiness inside that has never been adequately filled? Jesus is waiting by a stream of the sweetest water that you could ever imagine.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.