The Zombie Fair vs. the Good Life

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, June 21, 2017 0 comments

by David Odegard

Those who do not know God cannot know the good life (Romans 8:8). In the Garden, Adam and Eve turned their backs on paradise. They rejected God as the source of all life; they turned away from the water of life and instead “dug wells for themselves, broken wells that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13). God gave a beating heart and two breathing lungs to experience life – life in paradise no less – but, “Although we know God, we do not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but have become futile in our thinking, and our foolish hearts are darkened” (Romans 1:21).

Death gripped the hearts of every one of us. It squeezed out the life of God, and our hearts, once alive, are now shriveled to nothing. They withered to death leaving only a hollow shape, an empty void where once God abided. “Claiming to be wise, we have become fools, and have exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man” (Romans 1:22-23).

Human beings have been reproducing this shadow of God’s image for several millennia. A carnival of hollow forms, a cadre of emaciated, starving beings desperate to fill an unfillable void, a zombie fair. Like a dog with an unsatisfiable itch who scratches himself to the bone, so these ones tease the same itch until they are raw.

As a pastor, I have seen the same shiftless forms go through life bent on the lie that they can decide what the good life is for themselves – but they never can! They stay up late, they drink and eat, they taste everything, desire everything, and touch everything, until their eyes are bloodshot, their bodies bruised, and their souls desperate, forlorn, and discarded.

One of my teachers once said it this way, “I have had the ability and the freedom since I was about 5 years old, to go out into the yard and find a hot, steaming pile of dog doodoo and get down on my hands and knees and just smear my face back and forth in that hot pile. I have never yet used that freedom.” But those who throw off the restraint of God’s will and ways commit this very act of folly. They smear disgust all over them and dare God to strike them down. They think that having nothing to restrain them is a state of freedom, but it is a state of revilement. “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). Our foolish hearts shrivel like a leaf and blow away leaving only hollow desperation. Friends, this is not the good life. This is the life of the damned.

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each has turned to our own way” (Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:23). Each of us is huddling in the scant light of our own blind senses. Crouching in darkness and fear of the future, we remain hidden from God, not daring to “come into the light as he is in the light for fear our deeds will be exposed” (1 John 1:7). “No one understands; no one seeks after God. Together we have become worthless” (Psalm 53:2; Romans 3:10-12). We are “living in this world without hope and without God” (Ephesians 2:12 NLT).

This is not life. “Man shall not LIVE by bread alone” (Matthew 4:4). Although mere food can animate his body, it cannot satisfy the soul. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

Jesus came to give us true life and to restore the broken relationship of man to his Creator. We were created for paradise with God. We all know that something is wrong in the world. A cursory glance at creation cries out that all is not well. Evil exists, and the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, like a strutting peacock. Evil men and women gain and gain, while God’s righteous few are hunted down (Psalm 73).

Because human beings choose to throw off God’s ways, because they choose to worship the creature rather than the Creator, because they deny God his rightful place as the center of the heart, because they prefer a life of shiftless and wandering slavery than the robust life of faith, God gave them over. He gave them over to shameful lusts, to the abuse of themselves in homosexual dishonor, and ultimately He gave them over to a debased mind (see Romans 1:18-32). Like a dog that scratches himself to the bone, those apart from God pierce themselves through with many sorrows.

God did not force this delusion on them. He merely allowed them to choose what they truly wanted in their hearts. God wanted something different for them, namely life, but they would not have it. Such was the case for all of us. This must end! “Who shall deliver me from this body of death!?” (Romans 7:24).

The good life comes only from God. Augustine recognized that he walked around like a zombie, empty inside, until he found Christ. “My soul was restless until I found rest in Christ.” C.S. Lewis also referred to aimless, purposelessness in his article “Men Without Chests,” indicating the incapacity of those who have rejected God to perceive His transcendent reality.

Do you want the good life? Get to know God. That is the most practical thing you can do. Jesus Christ was crucified, buried, and raised again on the third day to reclaim the possibility of life with God. He offers to come and fill the void in our hearts, to deliver us from “the bondage to decay” (Romans 8:21), which is the besetting problem of every zombie.

Constant reader, I earnestly plead with you to believe the promise of Jesus: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

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