artificial sweetener

We all have an appetite for something sweet; something that reaches down deep and truly quenches our cravings. We try to find sweetness in all areas of life. We sprinkle popularity, partying, relationships, athletics, ANYTHING onto our boring lives just to make it a little bit sweeter. We are always looking for more. More friends, more experiences, more money, more power, more followers, more knowledge, more attention… more more more. If only we could have more, then we would be truly happy. For the first eighteen years of my life, I lived by that equation: more things would fill me, and eventually I would be full. A logical equation, but somehow I never permanently felt full. There are times when we think we have finally found what we are looking for… only to be disappointed later. The sweetness never lasts.

I’m a bit of a word nerd, so let’s get the dictionary out. Artificial is something produced by humans, as opposed to the natural. It is an imitation, simulation, or mock. It is a forced and fake substitute.

Splenda, for example, is a manmade artificial sweetener. A substitute for pure sugar. It may have hints of sweetness at first, but it never gives the satisfaction we desire from pure sweetness. The artificial leaves us with an undesired aftertaste; it leaves us wanting more. And more. The world sells it and claims it is healthy, but in reality, it contains chemicals that are harmful to the human body. This sounds a lot like the artificial sweeteners we sprinkle onto our lives. They might be sweet and fun and satisfying for a little while, but they never bring fullness. They are forced and fake substitutes designed to imitate the real thing. The sweetness never lasts because it is not pure enough to infiltrate our entire beings and sustain us.

So what is the real thing? Back to the dictionary. Pure is defined as something free from anything inferior or contaminating. It is unmodified, and simple. Clear; Authentic; Natural; Genuine; PERFECT. This pure sweetener I am referring to is God. After much trial and error in my life, I finally discovered the one true equation for complete fullness. God = fullness. God alone brings the completion and satisfaction we are desperately searching for. He is completely perfect and whole, and He wants to give every last one of us His fullness. That must say something about how big God is. It must say something about how much He loves you.

Psalm 63:1 “O god, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

We all have a desire to taste God, whether we are aware of it or not. It is coded in our souls.

See, God is pursuing us. You may be running a million different directions, all in the opposite direction from God, but He still pursues you. Relentlessly pursues you. No matter how far away you are, He chases after you. And He is waiting for you to pursue Him. He is jealous for you. Think about that for a second… the God who created the entire world and everything in it, the God who controls everything, IS JEALOUS FOR YOU. He knows all of your faults and downfalls and still wants every part of you. Wow. 

Ephesians 1:4 says, "For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight." He chose YOU to be holy and blameless in His sight. Righteous. Innocent. Faultless. Perfect. WHOLE. God does not care what you have done; He sees you as perfect. He wants to be a part of your life so He can make it whole. 

But, you have to let Him.

When identity is found in being a child of God with complete access to His fullness, artificial sweeteners never compare. God is the ultimate sweetness, the only One we will ever need.  God is not going to expire; He stands eternal. This means GOD is the only one that will sustain the sweetness we crave until the end of time. 

Without God, we are all hungry for something more, something sweeter. Even artificial sweeteners taste good when we are hungry. Proverbs 27:7 says, "A Person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry." 

God is the only one who can make us full. When we are full, we can refuse the unsatisfying and unfulfilling artificial sweeteners the world sells.

Ephesians 1:23 "And the church and His body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with Himself."