As I was reading Populist Saints: B.T. and Ellen Roberts and the First Free Methodists by Howard Snyder I ran across a quote by Roberts. While he was attending seminary (which in the mid-1800’s was more like college-prep studies rather than graduate school), he wrote a letter to his mother and said
“O, mother, I long to know more of God–to enjoy more of His love shed abroad in my heart. Tell me how to crucify myself to the world and live wholly to God. Religion grows more lovely to me the more I know of it; and I hope and expect to live religion while I live, that when I die I may meet all the saints of God around the throne.”
With all deference to Snickers, B. T. Roberts had found what really satisfies in life: a life completely consecrated to God. Over the course of his life, Roberts would go on to help found the Free Methodist Church, and as a result of his commitment to Jesus Christ, there are over one million Free Methodists in the world today. When people give themselves to God on a daily basis, they do become wholly His.
About one hundred years earlier, John Wesley said, “Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth.”
When Christians find what really satisfies they shake the gates of hell. And it is not programming at church. It is not worship style. It is not facilities or location. All of those are merely tools (but they can become idols) to help us have the kind of encounter with God that Roberts had.
May we all find what really satisfies–a real and living relationship with God that grows every single day as we give ourselves wholly to Him.