Vanity could leave a person empty

Jason Harshbarger

Jason Harshbarger

A couple weeks ago, I was in the midst of a fascinating Bible study about who Satan is, what he can and can’t do, and what we should do in lieu of the truths. As we were studying passages like Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14, something hit me: Satan fell from heaven because he was full of himself. What caused his great pride? His beauty.

As I was pondering this, a new understanding came to me, just like Satan fell because he so valued appearances, likewise today he is hoping you and I will make the same mistake. Our enemy is hoping that you and I will place such a great value on how things appear and how we are perceived that we will entirely miss the point of life: to love and be loved by our gracious God.

Why are you in college? Maybe you came to get a better job, a higher salary, a nicer home, a faster car. Now that you are here, however, maybe your outlook has changed. Yeah, it would be great to get a nice paying future and that VW Jetta, but even more so, I imagine you want to have a future that makes a difference. Is this true? Then read on.

If you desire a life worth living, do this: forget appearances and seek truth. King Solomon, a man who was a multi-millionaire, had this to say about having it all: “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity” (i.e. futility, or a “waste of time”) (Ecclesiastes 5:10).

As fun as it might be zipping all over town in your Jetta, in the end you will feel hollow and incomplete. However, I have some good news. Psalm 139 says that God handwove us together in our mother’s wombs (139:13) and placed within each of us a calling. God has given each of us unique gifts and talents to touch others’ lives. How do we find these? How can we begin using them?

By being broken. We must be broken of our past values and ways of doing things. Why? Because God is near to those who are broken (Ps. 34:18). If we will allow Jesus to break us, then our faithful God can take the pieces and craft us into something beautiful. A vessel defined by Him. Trust Him.

Jason Harshbarger College Pastor of ZAO College Ministries [email protected]