The hesnot


“Are you satisfied?” is the great American question. I’m going to respond with something that doesn’t seem like an answer.

You and I were created to worship God.

This is quite a statement. First, it says that we are created, not evolved. Second, it identifies our primary activity as worship (not business or engineering or coaching or teaching or fashion design or creative writing or parenting…). Third, it marks the only object of our worship as God.

If we are to continue along this path, we need to define worship and describe God.

wor·ship [wərSHəp]

  • (noun) the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity
  • (verb) show reverence and adoration for (a deity); honor with religious rites

Defining God is more difficult. First, he is three (Father, Son, Spirit), not one. Second, he is infinite (unlimited), while we are finite (limited). Let’s use the description God provided to Moses when he asked:  “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” (Exodus 3:13)

Here’s how God answered Moses (verse 14).

I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’ ”

Okay, so God is. We cannot put parameters on him or define him by our own limited perspective. He is.

Now let’s see how this plays out in our lives. [Recall our thesis: You and I were created to worship God.]

If we were made to adore the infinite “He is”, but instead we worship another, then it makes sense that our expectations for this “other” will be extensive. The other, let’s call it a hesnot (he’s not), may be a person, position, power…

We were programmed to pursue an infinite God who will never fail us, who is capable of fulfilling our expectations. Rather, we choose an alternative hesnot that was never intended to play the role of God. The inevitable outcome, then, is that our needs overpower this hesnot and it fails us.

The result is total destruction.

Because our DNA-based expectation is that our God is worthy of praise, when our hesnot does not satisfy our deepest desires for acceptance, fulfillment, peace, joy, and satisfaction, we are left completely without hope. We call this depression.

This begs the question. “How can I know if _____ is a hesnot in my life?” I’m suggesting an answer which is based on the original statement: You and I were created to worship God. If you cannot get enough of _____, then it is probably a hesnot. This cannot-get-enough indicates that we are assigning infinite resources to something besides God. Only God is unlimited.

Because something is a hesnot for you does not necessarily mean that it is bad, it simply means that you’ve elevated it above its proper role in your life. Demote it to its correct position below God and you will be putting your life in proper order.

So, back to “Are you satisfied?” If you are placing your ultimate hope, faith, and trust in the God you were created to worship, then the inevitable answer to this question is “yes.” This yes will grow from a peace deep within you that only God can provide from his proper position in your heart and life.

If your days are characterized more by anxiety than peace, if you are not satisfied, here’s a prayer to get you started.

God, I desire to worship you and only you. I’m asking your forgiveness for my previous hesnot worship. I’m asking your spirit to help me identify the hesnots in my life and then remove them. I thank you for your love and forgiveness through the death and resurrection of your son, Jesus, and I look forward to days filled with your peace. Amen.


About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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