Everyone has a “God-shaped hole”The “God-shaped hole” concept states that every person has a void in his soul/spirit/life that can only be filled by God. The “God-shaped hole” is the innate longing of the human heart for something outside itself, something transcendent, something “other.”
Ecclesiastes 3:11“He has also set eternity in the hearts of men…”. refers to God’s placing of “eternity in man’s heart.” God made humanity for His eternal purpose, and only God can fulfill our desire for eternity. Just as God has put in men’s hearts the knowledge that He exists (Romans 1:19-20), so are we “programmed” to desire heaven.
All religion is based on the innate desire to “connect” with God. This desire can only be fulfilled by God, and therefore can be likened to a “God-shaped hole.”
We are programmed with the knowledge (Though we don’t realize it) that nothing on this earth can ever be enough to make us truly happy, satisfied, fulfillment , more beautiful, bigger, better, richer etc.
No matter how much happiness you have right now, your life would be more fulfilling with God in it. Knowing God makes a HUGE difference. Think of it like this. Riding a tricycle seems fun to a child, but later if that child grows up and drives a Porsche, the tricycle seems pretty boring. You might think you’ve got all you’d ever want in life, but know that you might be saying that from the perspective of someone riding a tricycle.
Jesus said that He could fulfill desires in us that nothing else can fulfill John 4:13-14Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again.14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”John 6:35Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.That’s because we’re not just physical beings, we’re spiritual beings also. Only God can fulfill our spiritual hunger and thirst completely. And while we may be happy without God, it is only by knowing God that we can have true joy, fulfillment and peace.
The problem, though, is that humanity ignores this hole or attempts to fill it with things other than God.
Jeremiah 17:9 describes the condition of our hearts: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
Solomon reiterates the same concept:
“It seems so tragic that everyone under the sun suffers the same fate. That is why people are not more careful to be good. Instead, they choose their own mad course, for they have no hope. There is nothing ahead but death anyway.”
The New Testament concurs:
Romans 8:7 “The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so” .
Paul describes in Romans,humanity ignoring what can be known about God, including presumably the “God-shaped hole,” and instead worshipping anything and everything other than God.
Romans 1:18-22 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.
Sadly, too many spend their lives looking for something other than God to fill their longing ( this hole), with meaning in life; such as, business, success, esteem, power, family, money, status, love, sports, pleasure, material things, etc. But in pursuing these things that are not eternal, they remain unfulfilled and wonder why their lives never seem satisfactory. There is no doubt that many people pursuing things other than God achieve a measure of “happiness” for a time.
But when we consider Solomon as explained above , who had all the riches, success, esteem, and power in the world—in short, all that men seek after in this life—we see that none of it fulfilled the longing for eternity. He declared it all “vanity,” meaning that he sought after these things in vain because they did not satisfy.
In the end he said,
Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man”.
Just as a square peg cannot fill a round hole, neither can the “God-shaped hole” inside each of us be filled by anyone or anything other than God.
Only through a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ can the “God-shaped hole” be filled and the desire for eternity fulfilled.
And there is also the question of eternity. What if your limited time on earth is a time of testing from God? A test to whether or not you will come to know Him? If so, how are you doing on that exam? Are you (as it says in Romans 1) “suppressing” the knowledge of God? Do you see the evidence for His existence all around you, yet are not wanting to acknowledge Him?
What if you never receive God into your life? Well, as you’ve mentioned, you can still enjoy the benefits of this life. But know that for you it will end here, because you’ve chosen to reject God. You’ve accepted the gift (your existence), but rejected the Giver.
What if God hasn’t even shown off yet, but has a lot more creative things planned for the next life? For those who haven’trejected Him? What if that life surpasses this life even more than driving a Porsche surpasses riding a tricycle? And for those who have rejected God, won’t be there to see it.