Don’t Worry, Be Happy
It seems to work against itself, using a worldly quote from a secular song in a post about finding our joy in God and not in the world; I find, however, that it suits the purpose and intent of this post perfectly!
How often do we, as children of God seek comfort in God over the things of this world? The answer, from what I have seen, is rarely. I see so many children of light who are hurting and asking where God is, while the whole time seeking comfort in things around them as opposed to the things that are above them and inside of them. We look to things like food, when we are sad; music, when we are angry; movies, when we are bored; books, when are lacking excitement; people; when we feel lonely; we try our hardest to find fulfillment in so many things, rarely looking to the One Who said He will fulfill us if we will look to Him instead of to the world!
We spend our days in a sense of dread; a truth that is brought to life by the ever so famous words, “Ugh, I hate Mondays,” and “Thank God it’s Friday!”
Why is it that the only time we are thankful for/to God is when we are leaving the job that we hate, or the company that we don’t really enjoy spending time with, and live in that sense of dread the moment we have to start a new week, or do those things?
The flesh certainly will do anything to keep our focus off of God! The easiest way to overcome an enemy is to keep them distracted so that they do not see the damage that is about to be done. A sort of spiritual Rope-A-Dope: the move that was made famous by Muhammad Ali during his fight with George Foreman, the “Rumble in the Jungle,” but used originally by Archie Moore who called it “The Turtle.”
We spend so much time focusing on the things of the world, which is contrary to our spirit once we have been born again, and then wonder why we do not see God being active in our lives!
It’s simple really.. You won’t see what you aren’t looking at.
He gave us perfectly clear instruction to, “Set your mind on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God,” and saying that we should “set your mind on things above and not on things on the earth,” is not meant to be taken lightly! He said it for a reason!
Studies have shown that men and women who work on the side of the road; whether road workers or tree trimmers, or whatever the occupation, are killed more often by drivers than by anything else. This is because the drivers focus on the cones placed on the road and, scientifically, where your eyes go your hands are going to follow!
The fact that this comes from science does not make it any less valid to those who claim “religion.” It’s still fact, and the application can certainly be used spiritually. If I am focusing on worldly and secular things rather than focusing on God, that is what my actions will be geared toward; you know, “faith without works is dead, being alone.”
If we say that we have faith, then our actions will certainly reflect that! If we say that we love God our lives will be lived like His! He said this!
“So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.” (James 2:17)
“Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:6)
I used these verses in my last post as well, but they certainly still apply! God said this, not Josh. It isn’t us who gets to decide what is right, but Him who shows us what is right!
If He says that we should look to Him in all things, all of the time, then He is saying that for a reason! Likewise, He said to “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Do not mistake this for saying, “This is God’s will that I am going through this,” or that “everything happens for a reason.” Those are foolish and worldly statements, and this scripture is by no means saying that!
God did not kill your relative so that He could “take them home,” and I assure that heaven did not need “one more angel.” Things like that just happen, and though they are certainly sad, they are not caused by God!
Rather, He is saying in this scripture that His will is that we be thankful in all circumstances; not that all of the circumstances we go through are His will! Christ came so that we might know the joy of the Lord, freed from the things that once burdened us! We have a tendency to focus on those things that once burdened us, instead of accepting and living in the true freedom from them that we have in Christ!
I’ve said it many times, and I will say it again! Our opinion does not overthrow the truth of God! Read His Word, and study it very intently to learn what He is truly saying! God would not make you have a bad day!! He wants you to only experience joy, happiness, peace, love, and hope!
Did He not say that, “I know the plans I have for you,” and that they are “plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
We so constantly preach that we serve God, and that we love God, and then we very openly contradict the way that He shows us to live! For what?! Because Monday sucks? Because I am sad that my mom suffered with one of the worst forms of brain cancer known to man, and for five years she died a slow and very painful death? Because my car broke down? Because I don’t like my job? Because these people are annoying?
The God that you “serve” said to “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) This does not apply only to money, but to everything and every circumstance that we will face in our lives!
When we stop allowing our own opinions and our own human emotion to have precedence over the truth and commands of God in our lives and give ourselves fully to Him, then we will see the true meaning behind the words “the joy of the Lord is my strength.”
When we stop letting ourselves dictate what is right and listen to what He says is right, obeying it, we will begin live happier and more content lives; free from the stress, anxiety, worry, fear, doubt, pain, hopelessness, loneliness, feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem, unhappiness, and sorrow that we were once bound to!
He said that we are dead to those things! If we are dead to those things how can we continue to live in them?
I reference Paul, who said through the urging of the Spirit that, “We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Romans 6:2) and that “whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:22)
He’s not just talking about adultery, envy, thievery, murder, and the like! He is talking about anything and everything that is not produced by faith! Sin does not just extend to disobeying God, rather we can sin against ourselves and others as well; a thing that we should also be very careful of, and that we should “Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.” (Romans 14:13)
Causing yourself to stumble is no better! Why, because you want to serve a God that is okay with you doing things that you want to be okay to do? God is not mocked! He says do it, He means do it! There is no grey area, no matter how badly the multitude may want there to be!
We are told to “live as He lived,” to be “perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Or would you say that the words of Christ are of no affect in your life, that He is not actually saying that? Yes, He is! You’ll never understand a thing He says if you do not study it diligently; another command that He gave (2 Timothy 2:15)!
When He said “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) He meant it! That isn’t a suggestion, it is for your spiritual well-being!
God understands the importance of maintaining our focus on Him! That is why He told us to “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it.” (Joshua 1:8)
When we place our attention on the negative, the worldly, the fleshly, the wicked and ungodly things around us more than we look to God, we will not be able to maintain our focus on Him and all we will see are the negative things; the bad days, the unbearable moments, the awful jobs and untrustworthy cars, the hateful people, etc!
You are slaves to who give yourselves to the most! He did say that! If we continue to do these things, but wonder why God is not active in our lives and why things are going so wrong then we have deceived ourselves!
Honestly, what do you have to lose by doing it? If what you are currently doing is very obviously not working, and He gave you word for word a pattern that WILL certainly work, then what are you waiting for? Have we become so blind that our own opinion and desires are of more value to us than the way of God; a way that cannot fail, or feel doubt, worry, fear, anxiety, stress, pain, but that only knows joy and peace and love!
Beloved, I urge you to pay attention! Make a serious effort! Don’t just say that love God, live it! He said, your God said, that “If someone claims, ‘I know God,’ but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth.” (1 John 2:4)
I will close this post with this.. You can say that you love God all day, that you serve Him and believe in Him, but if your words, thoughts, actions, and your life are not working to show that then you should not expect anything from God! If you do, however, seek His way and live it then you will prosper! We do not look to things of this world, but to the things above; where Christ is!
Take this, and look into it for yourself, seek it and live it, be obedient! I promise you will see a change in your life when you change the way that you think!
Grace, and peace to all of you in God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord!