Pastor Adam continued our series on “God never said that.” It can be quite dangerous to believe things God never said. Often we buy into common misconceptions that can subtly worm their way into our beliefs and theology. That can, in turn, affect our quality of life, our decision making, how we raise our families, etc. Today Pastor Adam focused on the belief some people espouse that “God just wants us to be happy.”
This false theology leads to all sorts of other problems. The rabbit trail it takes goes like this: 1) God wants me to be happy so whatever makes me happy must be right and whatever makes me unhappy must be wrong; 2) Discomfort, delay, risk, suffering and other negative life occurrences must not be God’s will; 3) Without realizing it, you begin to worship the false god of comfort, temporary pleasures and things. The bottom line problem with this perspective is if we believe that ultimately God wants us to be happy, then we really believe that God exists to serve us. This is contrary to ALL scriptural teaching. We are created to love, worship and serve God.
God is concerned about our holiness and wholeness, NOT our happiness. In fact, God doesn’t want us to be happy when it causes us to do something unwise or wrong or when our happiness is based upon things of this world (peace, job, house, kids, and other “happenings” in life).
Even sincere, committed believers can let this poor theology slip into their lives. However, Christianity is not some type of behavior modification program and God is not Santa Clause or a magic genie or a cosmic coke machine. Yet we can still get frustrated – especially when we are desiring supposedly “good” things – when we don’t get what we want. Then, we are often mad and frustrated at God. The tragedy in this thought process is that many people walk away from God because they have this unscriptural view of God.
INVITATION: Join us this week as we clarify the scriptural theology that God wants the best for us and delights in our happiness and success, but understanding that is not his primary purpose. God is not interested in us pursuing happiness. He is interested in us pursuing HIM – which leads to holiness. Holiness ultimately leads to deep joy and happiness, but it is typically not necessarily the world’s definition of “happy.”
MONDAY: I Peter 1:15-16: God desires our holiness. That comes by spending time time with Him. How can you begin to spend more intentional time at the feet of Jesus getting to know Him better and more able to recognize and follow his “still, small voice” in your life? As that occurs, you will KNOW untrue theology when you hear it.
TUESDAY: I John 2:15-17: If we are not to love anything in the world, what does that say about the theology that “God wants us to be happy?” Spend some time in prayer asking for the heart of God regarding what your definition of “happy” is and your attachment to things of the world. It is easy to justify things that make us happy and seek only the people who might speak into that. Do you avoid people who speak TRUTH into your life?
WEDNESDAY: Matthew 5:3-11: In the original language blessed means “more than happy.” Read these verses substituting “more than happy” where you see the word “blessed.” How does that make you feel about God’s heart for you and your life?
THURSDAY: John 16:33: Jesus warns us that in this world we WILL have trouble. What does that say about the false theology of “God just wants us to be happy?” What about you? Can you surrender and place your trust with a God that allows trouble and hardship and things that don’t necessary make us “happy?”
FRIDAY: Jeremiah 29:11: What are God’s plans for your life, according to this verse? Can you lean into that – even when life is not going your way?