God Doesn’t Want You to Be Happy More Than Anything
“Whhhooooaaaa. Come on! Really? This title is too far. This is too much. Over the line.”
Maybe you said something similar, or thought this after seeing the blog title. If it got you to click on the blog post, then it worked!
No bait and switch, however. The point we will arrive at here is exactly what the title says, but only after we can grasp a context. I know that many of you absolutely do not like this title, but hopefully after hearing what I’m trying to say, it will hopefully make sense. Then we can be in agreement and be one big happy family!
There’s certain sayings or beliefs that many people hold onto that I cannot sit quietly about. This post will address one of those beliefs. Something that many people say is, “Doesn’t God want me to be happy more than anything?” The number of times I’ve heard this is astonishing. “At the end of the day, I’m just going to do what makes me happy. This is what God wants for me.” Upfront, if you’re one of these people, you just need to stop saying it. Because it’s not true.
Needless to say, God is not against happiness. Happiness, in itself, is not a sin. Neither is God against eating fruit—like an apple. But when happiness, or eating fruit, gets in the way of your obedience to God, then it is sin #thegarden. We cannot let good things get in the way of the God things, or else it is sin. Plain and simple. If you think sin only means breaking one of the Ten Commandments from the Old Testament, then look at Rom. 14:23—”For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”
You see, I’ve come to realize that this idea—that God just wants us to be happy—comes from not knowing how to rightly handle a difficult situation, a conviction, or a challenge. My friends, this is how the world operates, but not how God operates. Rather than following the truth, the world falls back on what the flesh wants, what feels good, what’s comfortable, what makes them happy.
God never teaches the church to follow what makes them happy. He says, “Follow me.”
My goal here is not to simply confront. My objective is to introduce you to the living God. More than God wants us to be happy, he wants us to be holy (cf. 1 Thess. 4:3-4; 1 Peter 1:16; Lev. 20:26). Some oppose the idea that holiness does not trump happiness, but it’s certainly what I see in Scripture.
I realize this can stir up arguments, heaviness, and challenges. But this is a ludicrous teaching that needs to be corrected. This is not a biblical concept to grasp. Test it in the Scriptures. Chasing happiness? I believe that God does not want us to chase whatever makes us happy. But I believe that he wants us to be filled with joy that can be sustained through any circumstance. And this joy can only be found in Jesus Christ.
So what do we do? How do we make decisions without happiness being the primary factor? When a difficult situation arises and we are tempted to simply do what makes us happy or comfortable, look at the heart of Eph. 4:20-25.
But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
Let us start by examining our relationship with Jesus Christ. How is your relationship? How is your prayer life? How much do you read your Bible? These are not just questions we examine at a conference then forget about. These questions are a Christian’s way of life. We don’t move on from these topics but do our best to grow in our knowledge and intimacy with Christ through these things.
From now on, approach every situation with God, for God’s glory. Radical? Yes. Biblical? Yes. God never taught us to chase what makes us happy. That is a shallow way of life. Rather, a joy, found in Christ alone, that can sustain through even difficult situations, sounds more like God’s way of life.