Today’s post is a recap of the first half of this past Sunday’s message – which unfortunately failed to record. To get the full message, read the post below and then follow it up by watching the second half here
Wait a minute…are you serious…Jesus never said that? Are you sure? You’re saying God doesn’t want me to be happy? He doesn’t want me to be fulfilled? Why would He give me a desire and then refuse to fulfill it???
You may not realize it, but we live in a world that worships happiness. Yep, you heard me right. We worship happiness and we have given ourselves permission to pursue it at all costs.
Want a new car but got no money? No problem. Finance it! Zero down and zero interest for 18 months and you can drive home in style. You deserve to be happy!
Things aren’t working out with your wife? No problem. Get a new one! You can’t live the rest of your life when you’re unhappy! How can that be God’s will for you?
Not sure you want to wait till marriage to have sex with your boyfriend? That’s ok. I mean, God wouldn’t give you that desire if He didn’t want you to fulfill it, right? Obviously God wants you to be happy.
That is what I call the “theology of happiness” and unfortunately that’s the state of the world today – including many Christians. We prioritize our happiness above all else and we justify it by saying “God wouldn’t give me this desire unless He wanted me to fulfill it, right?” or “I asked God to take away this desire if it isn’t from Him and He didn’t. Therefore it must be from God.”
Oh really? Well, let me tell you about one of my desires – one that has been with me since my childhood…my desire for DESSERT!
My desire for something sweet is real and it is strong. Very STRONG! Back in my younger days, I needed to eat a dessert after every meal – including breakfast! Don’t judge me for this, but in my younger and less metabolically-challenged days, a typical breakfast for might consist of a bagel with cream cheese, a bowl of Cocoa Krispies, and a scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. NO JOKE!
Did I put that desire in there? NO Can I get rid of it now, after years of feeding it? NO Do I feel good/happy when I deny myself dessert? NO WAY
So therefore, if you’re a happiness theologian, the only solution is to fulfill it, right? I mean, God allowed me to have the desire right? He could have taken it away if He wanted but He chose not to. Why would a loving Father allow me to have that desire so strongly unless He wanted to fulfill it?
Does having a desire for ice cream after breakfast mean that God wants me to FULFILL IT? Or does it maybe mean that God wants me to CONTROL IT?
If you subscribe to the idea that all desires are meant to be fulfilled, what would you say to a married man who says “my wife doesn’t make me happy, but this other girl makes me feel so alive.” Should he fulfill his desire? Can he say “if God doesn’t want me to act on this desire, then He would remove it”? Would you agree with that logic?
Do you now see why believing God is here to fulfill the desires of your heart can be so dangerous?
We may not admit or ever even realize it, but often that’s how we live. We think the goal of life is happiness and it’s God’s job to make it happen for us. And you know this is you if you begin your prayers with “God, don’t You know that…”
“Don’t You know that I need this job…” “Don’t You know that I want to be a mom…” “Don’t You know that I should be married by now…”
When happiness is the goal, God simply becomes a servant to help us get there. He exists to make us happy and to give us “the desires of our heart.”
Well, I don’t believe in happiness theology. I don’t believe that God is our servant and that He exists to make me happy. He is the Creator and I am creation. He is the Master and I am the servant. He doesn’t exist to serve my needs and desires; I exist to serve His.
He is not “our vending machine who art in heaven” – where we just place orders for what makes us happy. He is our loving Father and as any father, He does want His children to be happy, but that is NOT His highest priority. His target is much higher.
What is that target? God wants His children to be happy; but more so, He wants us to be BLESSED.
What does “blessed” mean? For that, I’m gonna invite you to tune in on Periscope today at 12:30 pm EST. I’ll be answering that and any other question you might have on this super-important topic.
But trust me on this one, if you’re living only for happiness, you’re missing out in life. There’s something much greater out there than simply “the desires of your heart.” Tune in today at 12:30 and I’ll talk more about it then.