The material world provides a powerful and seductive replacement for true identity. A big house isn’t just nice to look at and live in; if it’s yours, it makes you feel good about yourself. A luxurious car isn’t simply a reliable source of transportation; it functions also as an identity marker. Beautiful clothes have the power to make you feel differently about yourself. Physical fitness and beauty make you feel self-confident and alive. A gourmet meal not only fills your stomach, but for that temporary moment, it also makes you feel good about yourself.
Now, let me just say that God is the Creator of all physical things. That means that food, comfort, money, pleasure, and beauty were all created to be good things. They’re not evil in and of themselves. But, the Bible also says that “man shall not live by bread alone.” That means that we were never constructed to subsist ONLY on the physical. We’re spiritual beings who need spiritual sustenance in order to be truly healthy and happy.
In fact, we’re wired to “feed” on the Lord himself! He is to be our meat and drink; He is the one who gives us identity and meaning. He alone is able to satisfy our deepest hungers and our most pervasive thirsts. Many people are experiencing an atrophy of the heart from seeking satisfaction where it simply cannot be found.