Nirvana – a state of perfect happiness in which there is no suffering.
Every soul is born with this desire. People long for peace, prosperity, and unity for all mankind. This is how creation began. In the beginning, there was no disease or famine or death. There was no war or pain because there was no sin. Adam and Eve enjoyed perfect happiness and satisfaction and fellowship with God.
But man (and woman) tried to make himself equal with God, and in doing so, sin entered the world and nirvana was destroyed. From that time forward, both God and man have worked to restore creation. But God and man pursue very different methods to accomplish this same plan.
In the movie, The Giver, the leaders justify their laws by saying, “People are weak. People are selfish. When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong every single time.” Society has adopted this mindset. Whether a dictatorship, monarchy, or democracy, governments, to varying degrees, apply this principle to the people it rules. People are weak and need armies and police to protect them. People are selfish and need a penal system to force them to consider how their actions affect others. People need fewer choices (freedoms) because they choose wrongly.
At the end of the movie, the protagonist says, “This was wrong. They hadn’t eliminated murder. They brought it home. They just called it by a different name.” This quote resounds like a clanging gong in my mind as I read the latest news headlines.
The laws and strength of government, don’t create nirvana, and they never will.
But there is One who can create the Nirvana-- our heart's desire. In John 14, Jesus promises to go and prepare a place for those who believe in the Father and in Him. Revelation 21 describes the new heaven and the new earth where there will once again be a state of nirvana as people from all the nations of the earth worship God together.
But this nirvana can only be created by God and will only be experienced by God’s people. The pursuit of nirvana on earth is a chasing after the wind. The earth is populated by sinful people (including you and me)! Sinful, selfish people can never create a society where there is peace and prosperity for all inhabitants.
Too much time is wasted by well-intentioned Christians trying to pass laws to force all people to live according to God’s standards. God’s standards are for God’s people! There are only two things we need to do to change our society and neither involve our government.
First, tell people about Jesus- all types of people. As more people place their faith in Jesus and make Him their Lord, more people will want to live in a way that pleases Him. That leads to the second step. Teach Christians what the bible says. We begin with reading and studying the Bible for ourselves and applying it to our own lives and then help others do the same.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
After years of Bible study, I could study the Bible without a small group to help me. But years of small group have taught me the benefits of studying God’s Word with a group. As He teaches me, He gives me the opportunity to both teach and learn from the others in the group. Together we are able to learn and apply more than if each of us were studying in isolation.
I’ve experienced the life-transforming power of the Bible and love to see others experience it too. As God continually transforms my life to increasingly honor and obey Him, my life impacts others’ lives with a power greater than any government (that of the Holy Spirit). Our government can do many wonderful things for its people. But our God can do wonderful things for all people as we pursue Him with our whole hearts and lives.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33-34)