Christian Life

The Pursuit of Happiness-Are We Drowning in the Chase?

Many times when I come to the Lord, I desire His presence so that I feel inner peace, love and joy. While it is true we can only experience true satisfaction of our souls in Him, our willingness to yield our lives to Him also brings Him joy!

When we choose to pursue relationship with the Father, we gain all that He has for us. But, do you realize you make His heart joyful too? Just as we can grieve Him by our actions, we can also bring Him joy by our actions.

The Lord tells us to lose our lives to Him and thereby we gain all: “Then He said to them all, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must *deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?'” Luke 9:23-24.

There are many ways we think we gain our whole world by holding on to it tightly. The Lord tells us to let it go, (key the music), but we continue hang on to our control. Why are we afraid to yield all to the Lord?

Answer this question: I am afraid to yield my entire life (my work, my time, my spouse, my children) to the Lord Jesus because__________________________________________________________________.

Now take that fear to the Lord (He knows it anyway) and ask Him to replace it with truth. Whatever you filled-in that blank above, the Lord wants to trade with you. He has something for you a million times better. But He will never just snatch anything out of your hands or your control. He gives us the gift of choice every day.

Choose this day, Whom you will serve. Your self or Jesus.

Lets put some “brick and mortar” to these words of “losing our lives.” What constitutes “our lives?” I would say it is that which we hold dearest. It is what consumes our thought and our time.

1.  Work: I know we must work to make a living and work takes up vasts amount of thought and time, but do we work as if we are working for the Lord in our earthly jobs? Do we pray for our co-workers and show them Jesus in our every day lives? And how can we be effective at our workplace even in our normal tasks if we are not spending time in prayer, reading and meditating upon Him and His word?

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.” Colossians 3:23-24.  

2.  Television: Are we watching programs that we would be embarrassed about if the King of Kings was visible in the room? Do we sit in front of the T.V. endlessly? Even when there is nothing on we care about watching? I know, you’re tired after a long day and just want to veg in front of the screen that asks nothing from you. That fifty-two inches of joy that you think you’re getting nightly may be robbing you of great treasures if you let it replace time you need with Jesus daily.

“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

3.   Endless Pursuit of Happiness and/in our Children’s Lives: Do we get so caught up in the endless pursuit of our own desires for things that we forget to even seek the Lord first? Are we so caught up in the busyness of our children’s lives in extracurricular sports, music and education that there is no time left over to spend with Jesus? And why should we be giving Him our leftovers anyway? He deserves our first. The best of our day when we are freshest and strongest. Then when we are weak, He can be glorified as His strength is made known through our weakness.

“but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.

Are you letting busyness and life pressures choke Jesus out of your life?

We all deal with things that turn us from the pursuit of our Lord. But don’t let it. If you need to make some changes, then ask the Lord to help you and show you how.

Pursue Jesus like your life and the lives of others depend on it.

When you give up your life and yield control to Jesus, you will find you really didn’t give up anything. Instead, you gained great riches that only Jesus can give you.

I have experienced all the traps listed above, but by God’s great grace, He has forgiven me and continues to show me His ways and give me His treasures as I yield to His call.


*deny yourself challenge (I challenge myself too): Today, trade something YOU value. Give it to Jesus instead of using it yourself.  Need some ideas?

  1. Instead of watching that favorite TV show, make an intentional choice to go in a back room and pray or read your Bible.
  2. Skip a meal and spend time in prayer. Ask the Lord to give you the strength you need because of the meal skipped and to reveal His truths.
  3. Turn off your favorite music and turn on some worship music and worship the Lord in your home.
  4. Pick a scripture and challenge yourself and/or the whole family to memorize it in a certain amount of time.
  5. Get up early (I love my sleep!) and give the first of your day to Jesus.

 

Thank you Lord for loving me,

for being always with me.

Thank you for gentle breezes

and for bird song.

Thank you for provision in every way.

You are a good good Father,

a good good Savior,

a good good Friend.

You satisfy my soul with Your presence.

Lead me and guide me

in Your perfect will.

I yield to You my Lord and King.

I give up nothing but ashes

and trade them for precious Jewels.

I say, “Lord, thank you! But I’ve come out

way ahead on this deal

of yielding and trading.”

Then He smiles and looks at me

with such love I can feel His passion for me.

“No, my child,” He says, “you are the most precious of jewels.

When you give yourself to Me, My heart is full of joy.”

tyler-nix-550581-unsplash

 

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