Have you heard of the lemming? The lemming is a small mouse-like creature that lives in the Arctic feeding on grass, moss, and other small plants. If you’ve heard of him, it’s probably because of the deadly trip he takes every few years. When their population grows too large, lemmings migrate in huge numbers swarming over highways, farms, and ditches searching for food. The problem is they multiply so quickly that there isn’t enough to feed them all. So they travel all the way to the sea where they rush headlong into the water and drown.
People used to think this was intentional—a kind of mass suicide ritual. Now we know better. Lemmings drown themselves not because they want to die. They do so because they are confused. Lemmings are terrific swimmers who cross many lakes and rivers in search of food. So when they come to the edge of the sea, they just assume it’s another river to cross and dive into the water attempting to swim to the other side. But unable to see what is ahead of them, they soon grow weary, lose the strength to keep paddling, and drown in the sea.
Why talk about lemmings? Because they picture our condition apart from Jesus. The Bible says we are spiritually hungry and in a constant search for something to satisfy us. But with no one to lead us, we look in all the wrong places becoming tired, discouraged and doubtful that we will ever find what we need. Said to have become deeply depressed at the end of his life, Mark Twain wrote: “A myriad of men are born. They labor and sweat and struggle. They squabble and scold and fight. They scramble for mean little advantages over each other. Age creeps in. Infirmities follow. Those they love are taken from them, and the joy of life turns to aching grief. Death comes at last—the only unpoisoned gift earth ever had for them—and they vanish from a world where they were of no consequence, a world which will lament them a day and forget them forever.”
If you weren’t discouraged a moment ago, you may be now. But that is the human condition apart from Christ. And yet, there is great hope because it’s a condition that can be transformed—not through a better paying job, a more secure investment plan, a better political philosophy, or a more disciplined self-help program. The solution is found in a person—knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly…(For) this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 10:10; 17:3 NKJV) To know Him, of course, requires that we believe the right things about Him.
This led A.W. Tozer to make the following statement: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us…Worship is pure or base as the worshipper entertains high or low thoughts of God. For this reason, the gravest question about the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at any given time may say or do, but what he in his deepest heart thinks about God.”
Because I believe that is true, the next several posts will be about God Himself—who He is, what He’s like, and what He thinks about you and me. And the way I plan to begin is by offering an overview of the benefits of knowing God better as well as the dangers we could encounter along the way. I will post them each day in part for those who like to read a small amount at a time. Or you can wait until each post is complete and read it or listen to it in its entirety. I hope you enjoy them. If you do, please forward them to a friend who may also find them helpful.