The Argument From Desire

There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man.  Man tries unsuccessfully to fill this void with everything that surrounds him, seeking in absent things the help he cannot find in those that are present, but all are incapable of it.  This infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite…object…God himself.” – Blaise Pascal

We do not fit into this world. It’s not our home, which is a good thing. Sure, there are many wonderful people, places, and things on earth, but, as Christians, we have a vigorous desire for more. And what that “more” is cannot be found here. To quote Psalm 42:1, “as the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.”

The argument looks like this:

  1. Every natural, innate desire in us corresponds to some real object that can satisfy that desire.
  2. But there exists in us a desire which nothing in time, nothing on earth, no creature can satisfy.
  3. Therefore, there must exist something more than time, earth and creatures, which can satisfy this desire.
  4. This something is what people call “God” and “life with God forever.”

God exists. The fact that we are constantly praying for something just beyond our reach proves His existence. We experience this mysterious desire (or longing) when the Spirit guides us through our daily Bible reading. Or when we are away from our loved ones for a few days. Or when we miss the opportunity to fellowship with our brothers and sisters at church.

Your neighborhood agnostic may counter this argument by saying something like, “Your premise is true only because it has not yet been proven false (known as the ‘appeal to ignorance’).” My response would be: “Isn’t that the point?” As Christians, we don’t need signs and wonders to believe. Our faith stems not from what Christ does as much as from who he is.

Without this innate desire for something more (God), we run the risk of turning into a modern-day Sisyphus. Who was Sisyphus? According to legend, he was a king who was eternally punished to roll a rock up a mountain only to have it roll back down to the bottom when he reaches the top. King Sisyphus struggles perpetually and without hope of success. Tragically, the only way for him to be happy is to accept that life is an absurd struggle.

We know better, don’t we? Next time you watch the news, remind yourself that this is not our permanent home. Indeed, our desire for more will be satisfied in the form of eternal fellowship with Lord Jesus.

In His Name,

-Matt

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