September 10, 2014
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
In 1669, Blaise Pascal’s defense of the Christian religion, Pensées, was published in France posthumously. In that book, he wrote:
What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was
once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print
and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in
things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none
can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immut-
able object; in other words by God himself.
This quote has been altered over the years, and it is popularly stated that Pascal wrote, “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.” But the concept of A God-Shaped Hole, or vacuum in the soul of every mother’s child is valid. And it has scriptural backing. Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:14 through 19:
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from
whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant
you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might
through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts
through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to
comprehend with all saints what is the width and length and depth and
height — to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may
be filled with all the fulness of God.
Two facts mentioned in the Apostle’s prayer for the Ephesian Christians speak to Pascal’s quote:
• Verse 17 – “…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith….”
• Verse 19 – “…that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.”
We are designed by God to be filled with Himself. After all, He told us in Genesis 1:26 and 27:
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.”
…So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created
him; male and female He created them.
But we lost that image, and God’s presence within when sin entered into the human race. And now, as Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 7:20, “…there is not a just man on earth who does good, and does not sin.” And Paul adds in Romans 3:23, “…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” So all of us are left empty, restless and searching!
Saint Augustine (354-430 AD) – concerned with the same ideas above, wrote in his Confessions – “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.”
Restless, empty and searching – human beings try in many ways to fill that God-Shaped Hole! The problem is that they try to fill it with all the wrong things! For only God can fill A God-Shaped Hole!
Now, think about it…. You might be able to put a square peg in a round hole – its four corners touching and supporting it to keep it in place – but there would be a lot of space left around that square peg, and not filled in! That’s a lot of room for whatever is stuffed in there to leak through! No, it has to be a round peg of the proper size! Only then is it a snug fit – one made for the other!
God is unique! And we – created in His image, have that same unique pattern within. If it is not God through Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit snugly filling that God-Shaped Hole, we will constantly be losing whatever we try to pour in – continually trying to refill that empty void! And however temporarily full we might get with whatever we try to stuff in, it is not really satisfying in the long run!
What about you? With what are you trying to fill that God-Shaped Hole? Have you asked the Lord Jesus Christ to enter your life? Have you asked Him to fill the void within you? And, Christian, are you doing what God directs you to do to keep that fulness – dwelling richly in His Word, communing with Him in prayer, worshiping and fellowshiping with others of like faith? Are you daily obeying Him as your Lord?
May God give you understanding concerning the God-Shaped Hole within all of us!