In our world today it is hard to find a moment when something is not being sold to us. When you are on the internet there are ads either on the side or popping up trying to sell you a blender, a vacation, or some new diet fad. When you ride the subway, bus or even driving in a car you see giant billboards advertising all matter of things such as where to eat or which car to purchase.
Or while you are listening to the radio or watching TV we are exposed to advertisements promising us a better banking experience, where to shop or how our life would be different if we just owned a certain brand of cell phone or used a different carrier. And now with 'product placements' we are subliminally being sold on the idea of which computer to purchase, which clothes to buy or what we should drink.
Make no mistake, we are being sold something all the time. But best advertising takes place in the background, when you don't always recognise it as advertising. And the master at this is Satan.
His 'modus operandi' has not really changed a whole lot since the garden with Adam and Eve. There, he tempted Eve by first selling her on the idea that she was lacking something. That she wasn't full. That there was something missing and God was holding out. That God didn't really want her to have everything and if she wanted it, then she was going to have to go get it herself.
This is phase one of his plan - create a sense of lack or need. Once that has been accomplished then he can move onto phase two, which is offer a way to satisfy that need that does not include God as the source. And this can take many different forms based on the person. For the best form of marketing is to make it unique to the person you are trying to attract.
So for some, Satan whispers how they are unloved, underappreciated, unwanted and of no value - thus creating a desire to be loved. At this point he might offer to this person that they can find what they are looking for through relationships (maybe illicit, maybe not) or maybe they can find appreciation by working really hard and getting people to notice them.
Regardless of the morality of what takes place, the moment we are looking to satisfy a need through our performance (be it good looking or not good looking) we are sunk. For we begin to walk after our flesh, our own abilities and strengths, and we find that the flesh simply does not satisfy (see John 6:63). It's like eating at a fast food restaurant, only to be feeling hungry again 15 minutes later.
So what are we to do instead, especially since we cannot turn off the 'ads' that constantly come from Satan? Rather than taking him up on his suggestion to find life in what we do or in others, we can come to Jesus and experience His perfect provision. For in Him we have everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) and we have been made complete (Colossians 2:10).
To use a poor illustration, imagine Jesus as your pantry. And in Him we have peace, joy, love, strength, acceptance, worth, respect, significance, wisdom, kindness, faithfulness and much more. And when you begin to feel hungry, lacking in something, you could go out onto the street and try and beg for someone to feed you, or you can just go into your pantry, Jesus, and partake from Him what is available. This is the invitation that Jesus is making to us countless times throughout the scriptures. "If you are thirsty, tired, hungry, beat up, abused, unloved, rejected, weak, scared...come to me that I may satisfy your soul."
When we do go to Him, we find true contentment and satisfaction. It's like you just ate at a wonderful five-star restaurant with dessert. And just so you know, life in Jesus is what I am trying to 'sell' to you.
In Christ who is our Life,