Connecting with God: “He is the Fuel Our Spirits Were Designed to Burn”
By: Alexandria King
“Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn” ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
When I first saw this C.S. Lewis quote, it resonated with me on a deeply spiritual level. The sentiment from Lewis’s book Mere Christianity was a one sentence culmination of all the things I had recently learned in my walk with God: God is the puzzle piece necessary for life. Every time I’ve taken God out of the picture, things were visibly incomplete in my life. Whether I left God out of my decisions, my day to day, or my relationships, God’s absence was always felt. Though sometimes I didn’t even realize it was specifically God’s absence, I just knew that something was missing. Through a biblical perspective and using my own experiences, we’re going to explore what C.S Lewis’ quote means and its implications in our lives.
Relationships: Design & Desire
The two concepts of humans being designed for relationships and God desiring a relationship with us speak directly to C.S Lewis’s quote. In understanding both concepts we can recognize how, “God designed the human machine to run on Himself.” There is an innate desire in all human beings to connect and the inclination for connection is not accidental. God intentionally and specifically designed humans for relationships. This can be underscored by understanding who God is and who he created us to be. God is the Trinity: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. God is one but is also three which makes God intrinsically relational. We were made in the image of God, so we are relational like Him.
We have a desire for connection because we were made in God’s likeness according to Genesis:
Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
God desires for his creation to have a relationship with their creator (Himself). Human beings were not just designed for relationships in general but also a relationship with God. We can infer this idea by understanding how things operated in the world before the fall and after. Before humanity’s fall, man was freely communicating with God; it was the perfect picture and God’s intention for creation. After humans sinned there was not the same free communication and relationship with God. Jesus had to die in order to restore the possibility for that same relationship. By looking at what God’s perfect picture of creation is we can see that we were designed to have a relationship with God. We can also see just how much God desires to have a relationship with us considering that he sacrificed his son.
God’s desire for a relationship with his people is shown numerous times throughout the Bible. The book of Leviticus has an example in God speaking to the Israelites:
Leviticus 26:12 “I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.”
That’s what God wants even now, for Him to be our God, and for us to be his people. God created a perfect dynamic with his creation. A dynamic in which humanity will always need God and God will always love having a relationship with us. This dynamic is described by the idea that: “God designed the human machine to run on Himself.” God created humanity with desires that he will always be the answer to and the fulfilment of.
Depleted When We Stray
Now that we understand the dynamic of the connection between us and God, let’s get into how we can be drained by drifting from that connection. God is our source. The Bible tells us that all things are for God and done through him. The Bible also tells us that we are sufficient through God, not ourselves. When we are not connected to our source our lives can go awry.
Here are two verses that remind me that God is our source:
2 Corinthians 3:5 “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God”
Romans 11: 36 “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen”
Since God is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, what happens when we’re not using that fuel? The answer is that our lives become not as full as they should be. In my own experience my peace and my joy faltered most when I was not connecting with God. I would wonder why some days or weeks would go by where I felt completely hopeless or overwhelmed. Or I would wonder why many of my relationships looked hopeless and chaotic. The answer was I was not acknowledging God as my source or connecting with him. I was walking around on an empty tank spiritually which affected every other aspect of my life. When God wasn’t at the center of my days or weeks I felt off. My relationships with others also reflected that spiritual emptiness. As Romans 11:36 tells us, all things are from God and done through him. If we try to do things like even our day to day without God, we can end up empty quickly.
Fulfilled When We Stay
When we connect with God as often and freely as He desires, we are more fulfilled as people. John 10:10 tells us that God came to give us abundant life. When we spend time with God and build our relationship with him we can see that scripture in our individual lives. As we’ve already learned, God designed us for connection, a specific connection with him. When we decide to run on the fuel of life that God provides we won’t run on empty. Instead we can continue to get filled by God, who we were designed to run on. The parable Jesus teaches of the wise and foolish builders can be used to explain what life looks like when we commit to a consistent relationship with God verses when we try to go it alone in life.
Matthew 7:24–27 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
The wise man who built his house on a rock is someone who connects with God and applies what he says. The foolish man who built his house on the sand is someone who has heard God but doesn’t commit to connecting with God and applying his word. I’ve been in the shoes of the foolish man as I mentioned a little earlier. As we all strive to not be like the foolish man, we can see that connecting with God is fulfilling in a way that nothing else can measure up to. I’ve learned that when you commit to and connect with God you have a foundation that causes you not to run on empty.
I hope reading this C.S Lewis quote and taking a deeper look at what it means, causes you to assess where you’re at in your connection with God. Is this the first time you’re hearing about him? Are you a Christian but you’ve stopped making God the core of your life? Are you like the wise man who has committed to God and applies what he says? Or have you been the foolish man like I have? Regardless of where you’re at I pray that God draws you closer with his loving kindness. Deciding to have a connection and commitment to God looks like: consistently putting him at the center of every aspect of our lives. Remember that we were designed to have a relationship with our creator; our lives are complete when God is at the center of them. “He is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn.”