Updated: Feb 6, 2020
We are a visual people living in a deeply visual generation. According to an August 2017 study published on forbes.com the average American sees between 4,000 and 10,000 ads per day. All of these messages are trying to answer your questions and dictate your thinking. The real question, however, is where are you going for your answers?
Scriptures gives us fantastic insight into this question and reminds us that much of the world, including Christians, are finding their answers in unique and secular areas. Isaiah 45:18-22 shows us there are different avenues to which people travel down to gain the answers they are searching for. The first of these failed avenues is wrong places. In a article pertaining to Google searches done in September 2018, research shows that Google receives over 63,000 searches per second on any given day. This translates to at least 2 trillion searches per year, 3.8 million searches per minute, 228 million searches per hour, and 5.6 billion searches per day. A mind boggling number of questions being pursued through just one of many search engines.
RescueTime, one of several apps for iOS and Android devices created to monitor phone use found that people generally spend an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phones every day. The top 20% of smartphone users actually spent upwards of 4.5 hours on their device daily. Here's the point, people are searching, people are asking, and people are curious. However, I'm afraid we're going to the wrong places to find these important answers to life's most pressing questions. When was the last time you searched out God's Holy word? More importantly, when was the last time you allowed God's word to search you? Dr. Adrian Rogers once said, "Some people cannot find Jesus for the same reason a thief cannot find a cop." An all too true statement, but a sad reality for many.
Going further, Isaiah 45:19 shows us that people are also going to wrong philosophies for answers as well. It's amazing how some individuals arrive at their worldview. God is not hiding Himself. The Bible has satisfied some of the greatest minds the world has ever known. Proverbs 14:12 states, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." I certainly don't want to base my eternity on simple assumptions and half hearted reasoning. Life is too precious and God's grace is too magnificent for any of us to reject the overwhelming truth found in the person of Jesus Christ and the inerrant, sufficient word of The Lord. As noted author and apologist Ravi Zacharias has said, "We have a right to believe whatever we want, but not everything we believe is right." It takes a humble person to admit that and an even more humble person to admit Jesus is absolute Truth personified.
Our third pursuit in finding answers is in Isaiah 45:20 and we find individuals seeking enlightenment in the wrong people. Our culture is plagued with the sickness of people pleasing. We buy things we don't need with money we don't rightly possess, all so we can gain the affirmation of people we hardly know or care about. The social media craze over the last decade has taught us a great deal about this. Who we follow says much about who we're trying to become. In a 2019 study on social media usage, research tells us that there are 2.4 billion active Facebook users per month, over 1 billion active Instagram users per month, and over 321 million active monthly users on Twitter. In a study done in 2019 by brandwatch.com we find that Kim Kardashian, Selena Gomez, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Ariana Grande, and Christiano Ronaldo were the most followed accounts on Instagram. The very same study also showed Barack Obama, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and Taylor Swift as the most followed accounts on Twitter.
The perspective to keep in mind is that the goal of Jesus was never to get everyone to "like" Him. He was not and is not insecure about His identity. Jesus most certainly does not have a personality complex. God has warned us repeatedly against linking ourselves with the wrong people and desiring their affirmation. Proverbs 23:17 says, "Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long." What a tremendous reminder of the necessity to be in constant adoration and worship of the only One who has the answers we so desperately desire.
So, where do we go to find the real answers to life's most difficult and important questions which weigh on the hearts and minds of us all? Isaiah 45:21-22 takes us directly to the answer as it says, "Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me. Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." This beautiful passage shows us the right place, the right philosophy, and the right person is God. You see, all of life and eternity boils down to who you believe and who you follow. For all of us, this demands we turn in repentance and find salvation in the "just God and Savior" we read of in Isaiah 45 and throughout the scriptures. Therefore, let us seek out the Lord for answers and be reminded by the words of Peter in John 6:68, "Lord to whom shall we go? Thou has the words of eternal life."