When a newborn baby bursts forth from its mother's womb, it instantly experiences an array of sensations. The trauma of being sandwiched through the birth canal, the sudden inflation of its tiny lungs with foreign air or the abrupt change in temperature to the chilled hospital room—all bring the infant to a shriek.
In no time, the baby will partake of many basic human functions; he or she will eat, sleep, breathe—and crave.
Yes, it might sound strange, but scientists tell us that shortly after a baby is born, it begins to experience a profound longing for the milk of its mother and the presence of the mother herself. A newborn "[seems] to know, beyond any doubt, that he or she [needs] something outside itself, in order to be complete," they say.
Designed to Desire
Throughout life, the child will grow to crave many more things. We all know the power of this. From needing love and acceptance to wanting chocolate or cola, a sense of desire is a fundamental part of the human experience. And according to experts, this is all a natural result of a deeply rooted understanding from birth that there's a hole in each of us that needs to be filled.
Though I don't believe science will ever fully understand the intricacies of God's design, it is slowly realizing what His Word has said all along. Our need for fulfillment isn't the product of some evolutionary process, but as the Bible reveals, it's instilled into humankind from our conception—from the moment God breathed His breath in us.
Here's where it originated: "Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being" (Gen. 2:7).
The Breath of Life
The "breath of life," the Bible notes, was the final and most essential element in bringing the first man into existence. And as I further unpack in my book, Silence Satan, the Hebrew word for "living being" adds much more depth than what meets the eye. It's nephesh, which throughout Scripture, is translated as "soul"—the very totality of a person.
Tracing the word through the Old Testament adds even more richness to its meaning. David's declaration, "My soul [nephesh] clings hard to You [Yahweh]" (Ps. 63:8a), gives a nuance of dependency to its definition. And later, his exclamation, "My soul [nephesh] thirsts for God" (Ps. 42:2a), enhances it with qualities of desire and fulfillment.
In essence, when God breathed life into Adam, He put far more than wind into his lungs. God infused into him an innate dependency, desire and craving for relationship with Him.
Of course, Adam wasn't the only human to contain God's breath. No, we all contain the breath of life, and with it, that same design and desire to be close God. And so, what scientists describe as the sense that we're incomplete isn't something psychological, but it's something deeply seated within us from conception. That is, God breathed into us souls that long for Him.
The Search for Friendship with God
Accordingly, I believe the search for significance and fulfillment so many are on today is really the search for friendship with God, even if most don't know it. Like a newborn crying for the milk of its mother, the dissatisfaction many experience in life may be merely the hunger pains of a soul created to be close to its Creator.
Oh, but for those who have found friendship with God—who experience His presence on a daily basis—it's no wonder they claim to be happy and whole. They've found the purpose of life, and with it, as David declared, they've found "fullness of joy ... [and] pleasures forevermore" (Ps. 16:11b).
Kyle Winkler equips people to live in victory. His mobile app, Shut Up, Devil!, is the #1 spiritual warfare app; and his recent book, Silence Satan, has helped thousands shut down the enemy's attacks, threats, lies and accusations. Kyle holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from Regent University. Get daily encouragement from Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.
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