God’s Autonomous Zone

In the late 17th century, Catholic theologian and scientist Blaise Pascal authored a book titled Pensées. In it, 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 immutable object; in other words by God himself.

This concept evolved over the years to become the commonly used quote, “We all have a God-shaped hole in our hearts only God can fill.”

While not specifically from Scripture, the sentiment is generally true. God originally made us to be in perfect communion with Him, and anything short of that is a void. Sin destroyed the original order.

There are a lot of bad things going on in the world today. But there have been other times when the world convulsed and wrenched in violence, discord, and anger. Too many times.

But this time seems to be a little different. There’s a spiritual component of all that is going on which is hard to ignore.

Really?

If you listen to the underlying sentiments of all the different voices, there’s a desire for a better world altogether. All political parties, social-justice groups, identity groups, religions, everyone want a world without the problems we have now.

In the last book of the Bible, John wrote a description of this world:

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children” (Revelation 21:1-7 NIV).

Unfortunately, the next verse says not everyone will be able to live in the new earth. But that doesn’t mean all of mankind doesn’t desire the idea of it. They seem to have a “new earth” shaped hole in their hearts.

In the new earth, there won’t be any police, since they wouldn’t have anything to do.

No racial conflict.
No relationship conflicts.
No food insecurity.
No need for any sort of healthcare.
No slavery or human trafficking.
No trade or any other kind of wars.
No climate issues.
No need to worry about anything.
No viruses, anger, crime, hate, death, crying, or even pain.
No sin.

The entire world is convulsing, and I am saddened so many people don’t know they are looking for something that has always been there. Unlike Dorothy in the land of Oz, we don’t click our heels together.

Instead, we confess our inability to solve our problems, ask forgiveness for our own sin, and acknowledge the very God who created this world as our Savior and Lord. He will make us new from the inside now and eventually make an entirely new earth.

Jesus died with holes in his hands, side, and feet so the holes in our hearts would be filled forever.

Hey, world, Christian writers have what you want.

The new earth … God’s autonomous zone.

25 Responses to God’s Autonomous Zone

  1. Avatar
    Bk Jackson February 10, 2021 at 5:19 am #

    Well said. Looking forward to His return.

  2. Avatar
    Shannon February 10, 2021 at 6:10 am #

    Yes! Lord Jesus, come quickly!

    Beautiful.

  3. Avatar
    Rachel Suffern February 10, 2021 at 6:32 am #

    So good and so true. Praise God.

  4. Avatar
    Hannarich Asiedu February 10, 2021 at 6:49 am #

    So beautifully written and so true too.

  5. Avatar
    Kristi Woods February 10, 2021 at 6:50 am #

    Amen.

  6. Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser February 10, 2021 at 6:52 am #

    They say they want a better world,
    full bellies and stocked shelves,
    but it seems, from all the hate that’s hurled,
    they want it for themselves,
    and devil take the rest of us
    who don’t fully agree,
    and we’ll be tossed beneath the bus
    as martyrs to their glee
    Perhaps there is a Golden Mean,
    a meeting-place for hearts
    where we can learn to share the dream,
    where God’s compassion starts
    to repair that which we cannot mend,
    and stills the mad resolve to rend.

  7. Avatar
    Chops February 10, 2021 at 6:59 am #

    The new city is not on Earth.

  8. Avatar
    Darlene N. Böcek February 10, 2021 at 7:08 am #

    What a wonderful reminder. Thank you, Dan, for these strong, faith-FULL words about what we are living for…and what we are WRITING for. Amen and amen. This world is not our home, but while we are here, let us point up and encourage and build up people to know that our hope for a perfect world is built into us as surely as conscience is a part of us. Eternity in our hearts, as Solomon said.

  9. Avatar
    Liz Collard February 10, 2021 at 8:42 am #

    Welcome back, Dan! I loved this post. This is the truth the world needs now more than ever. Christian writing at its finest 🙂

  10. Avatar
    mstgsl@aol.com February 10, 2021 at 8:58 am #

    I find myself more and more longing for Jesus to return.

  11. Avatar
    william wallace February 10, 2021 at 9:00 am #

    Just like it says – all that happened and is present today, provided you trust in him.

  12. Avatar
    Norma Brumbaugh February 10, 2021 at 9:06 am #

    I enjoyed reading this. It gets at the bigger picture while speaking of the present reality. And Jesus meets the human spiritual need to fill the “holes in our hearts.” How true and precious and life-giving. This post is a beautiful encouragement in contrast to the strangeness of these days. Very nice. Hopeful.

  13. Avatar
    Kristen Joy Wilks February 10, 2021 at 9:14 am #

    A hope to remember!!!

  14. Avatar
    Ronda Wells MD February 10, 2021 at 10:34 am #

    Great article! I had never seen that Pascal quote before. Quite the chemist/scientist and quite the Christian theologian, too.

  15. Avatar
    Ann L Coker February 10, 2021 at 1:03 pm #

    When I taught children the Wordless Book, we started with what was NOT in heaven and some of that surprised the kids. For example, there will be no night stars or daylight for God is our light.

  16. Avatar
    Roberta Sarver February 10, 2021 at 6:38 pm #

    What an astounding thought, Dan, that Jesus died with holes in his hands, feet and side so He could fill the holes in our hearts. Thank you; I never thought of it that way before now.

  17. Avatar
    Jane Duquette February 11, 2021 at 6:51 am #

    Thank you for the reminder. My heart is sad for those that are lost, that do not know the peace they can have in Christ.

    I used to be an atheist. So I totally understand atheists’ need for a substitute salvation. The guilt they bear is horrible.

    Save the whales, but kill the babies. They are in the death throes of trying to save themselves.

  18. Avatar
    Ash February 11, 2021 at 9:14 am #

    Well said 👏🏼
    And the last bit, “Jesus died with holes in His hands, side and feet so the holes in our hearts could be filled forever” what a beautiful and true statement!
    It’s a good reminder that we have the truth, what the world is longing for, and the opportunity to share it.

  19. Avatar
    Debby Zigenis-Lowery February 11, 2021 at 11:48 am #

    Thank you, Dan, so much for writing this. It is a blessing to me.
    And thank you that you wrote it instead of podcasting it. I don’t listen to podcasts. I learn more if I can read the content material.
    This was a well-timed and beautiful reminder of what we have to look forward to!

  20. Avatar
    OLUSOLA SOPHIA ANYANWU February 11, 2021 at 2:58 pm #

    May God’s Kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven! AMEN. Thanks for the post, Dan. God bless you.

  21. Avatar
    Kathy February 12, 2021 at 2:59 pm #

    Pascal was such a fascinating man –mathematician and Christian who sewed into his coat a note telling about his conversion! I appreciated your post about each person’s need for that conversion, and I especially loved your ending where you said Jesus died with holes in his side and hands and feet so the holes in our hearts would be filled forever. Beautiful!

  22. Avatar
    Gina February 18, 2021 at 4:49 pm #

    Beautiful and inviting. What the world needs now is love sweet love – the love of Jesus.

  23. Avatar
    Carol R Nicolet Loewen February 20, 2021 at 5:05 pm #

    Love this. Thank you! Your statement “The entire world is convulsing, and I am saddened so many people don’t know they are looking for something that has always been there” resonates with me, as does your statement that “Jesus died with holes in his hands, side, and feet so the holes in our hearts would be filled forever.”

    What a great God! Thanks for reminding us of these truths.

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