Christian Living

The Empty Chase of Sin

Brian Crawford

I was outside not too long ago with my boys enjoying that one tried and true memory that every childhood must possess – blowing bubbles!

I had the honor of blowing the bubbles and my boys had the happy yet empty privilege of catching the bubbles. I use “empty” because the task is one in which you can never succeed. No matter how well intended and coordinated their efforts were, they never were able to actually catch and hold one of those elusive bubbles. Of course, these failed attempts didn’t stop them from trying over and over again, and even believing that they could and would at some magical moment hold one of the delicate circles of vapor in their hands. It was truly fun and truly empty at the same time.

A Similar Useless Chase

We all laugh at our kids and their displayed naiveté in this futile effort, but I’ve realized that we sometimes see sin in the same light as those bubbles that my boys chase. We think we can catch one and hold it in our hand. We whisper to ourselves, “If I can just get to it or try a different technique, I’ll be able to hold it in my hand as long as I want. I can preserve its beauty and its pleasure. It won’t burst in my face.”

[Tweet “Chasing sin is just as naive and futile as a child chasing bubbles. It only bursts in our face.”]

The boyfriend or girlfriend that we know doesn’t treasure Christ, but we keep telling ourselves one day they will or that they are the best we can do. Chasing bubbles.

The relationship that continues to drive us deeper and deeper into sexual sin (any sex outside of a marriage between a man and a woman), and yet we wake up every day resolving not to chase after it again only to find ourselves by the end of the week right back on the pursuit! Chasing bubbles.

The mindless lies we allow ourselves to be told about the images on our computer screen, that the horrible image of a person created in God’s image debasing themselves will bring us satisfaction…only to find ourselves even more empty when we step away from the computer screen than ever before. Chasing bubbles.

We’re chasing bubbles…bubbles popping before our very eyes. There’s a sense of pleasure to it, a sense of excitement, but in the end it ALWAYS and will ONLY lead to an inexpressible emptiness.

[Tweet “Chasing sin seems exciting and gives temporary pleasure but leads to inexpressible emptiness.”]

Living Water and Leaky Buckets

Looking to the scriptures, we find Israel displaying a similar behavior in the book of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 2:11-13 ESV

Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit. Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the Lord , for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

Did you see Israel’s offense? Not just that they forsook their God, but that they forsook their God for gods that are not gods…gods who don’t bring you ANY gain. They traded in the pure living waters of their God for leaky buckets that can’t hold water. It was already offensive that they left God, but it was doubly offensive that they left His all-satisfying face to pursue such cheap and useless replacements. Israel chased bubbles.

Being Satisfied and Filled in Christ

The situation seems pretty hopeless until you realize that we DO have an opportunity to be actually and fully satisfied. There is a pursuit that brings a lasting reward, one that will satisfy you not only in this life, but in the life to come. The pursuit I’m referring to is none other than the blessed pursuit of Christ.

[Tweet “Our plight seems hopeless until we realize that we can be fully satisfied in Jesus.”]

In the fourth chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus refers to his ability to give those who come to Him living water:

John 4:10 ESV

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

What a profound statement when you consider who it was spoken to. The woman being addressed had man after man come into her life; even, the one she was staying with at that instant wasn’t her husband (vv16 – 18). She was trying to quench an eternal thirst with the temporary waters of bad relationships and sin. She was chasing bubbles.

It is with this background in mind that Jesus says to the woman, “If you only knew who I was, you would be asking for the living waters I possess…the life-giving water, life-satisfying water, life-transforming water.

In Christ, we gain the ability to be free from the emptiness of chasing sin because more and more, we’re given eyes to see what is lasting and what is perishing, what is real and what is fake, what pleasures fade and what pleasures endure forever. In Christ, we’re given a taste for the pursuits that satisfy the soul and not the ones that merely satisfy the flesh. In Christ, we trade our leaky buckets back in for living water. We turn from the false idols to the one true and Living God! We trade in the Bubble Chase for a pursuit that is sure to bring us an eternal award: the pursuit of knowing Him which is born out of the grace of being known by Him!

[Tweet “In Christ we trade in the ‘bubble chase’ for a pursuit that brings a eternal award.”]

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Well said, brother. Spoke to me profoundly at a pivotal moment. Thank you, for your words, and thank God, for His truth! God bless you and your family and your church.

Leave A Comment