Sunday, February 27, 2011

Where Does True Happiness Come From?

I can do nothing apart from the Lord!  These words were spoken by Jesus in the book of John in chapter 15.  What does this mean?  How does a person remain in Jesus?  If He died and rose and is sitting at the right hand of God in Heaven...Where is Heaven? If I can't find where Heaven is, how can I remain in Jesus?  Also, unless I can be transformed into a food, there is no way I can remain in Jesus.  Even if I were a food, I would have to find His mouth to be eaten.
I know many of you may read this and say that you can do plenty on your own.  Just look -  I went out and got a job on my own, I purchased a house or rented an apartment, I took my family on vacation, I go to the store and buy food, I can go out to eat and afford to pay for it, I have a nice TV, car, clothes, etc...  None of this was given to me I earned it all; as a matter of fact I worked hard for it all!
Charles Finney the Revivalist once wrote. "The more I try to be happy, the less I am. When I stop trying to be happy and just live to glorify God and praise Him, happiness is chasing me around and I can hardly get away from it!"   The idea here is that you cannot make yourself happy.  You can have everything and be empty inside and still be searching for happiness.  It is only when we give up trying to be happy that we will find true happiness!
A couple of observations come to mind when I think of this.  First I think of what Jesus did for us.  Eighty percent of the U.S. public proclaims to be Christain, so I do not think it is controversial for me to say that Jesus paid it all!  Jesus was God and came into this world making Himself just like us so that He could live a holy and blameless life.  A life with no sin!  Why?  Because we could not do it on our own, we tried and failed and God wanted to bring us back to Himself.  Notice in this equation what God did and what we did!
           What did God do?  Everything!!!!!
           What did we do?  Nothing (unless you call trying to be perfect and failing something)
Looking at the creation story in the book of Genesis, when did God create the world?  It was done at night!  When do we typically rest?  At night!  God went on to create light, the ocean, land, animals, and so on.  On the 6th day after He created everything else, He created Adam!  Man was made on the 6th day and the 7th day was a day of rest.  Again note - what did God do and what did we do? 
           What did God do?  Created everything!!!!!!
           What did we do?  Nothing! Rested with God!
Also, when Adam or Eve needed anything, where did they get it?  Did Eve call Adam and say to him, "On your way home can you stop at the store and buy milk? We are almost out"?  Did Adam go out and put in applications at the Fortune 500 companies to get a job?  Did he (Adam) request Eve to meet him at the local appliance store to purchase a television?  No! Adam and Eve were completely dependent on God for everything.  If you asked Adam where he got anything from, he would have said it all came from God.  Perhaps he would have said, "I have nothing apart from what God gave me!"  Each breath he took came from God!
            What did God do?  Provided everything!
            What did Adam and Eve do?  Nothing!
What happened when Adam's and Eve's pride took over and they decided to show God they could do it on their own?  They went to the tree of knowledge of good and evil and were tempted.  They may have perhaps asked themselves, "Do I really need God to take care of my needs?" Their answer was obviously "no," so they ate from the tree and sin entered the world.  They were separated from God!
            What did God do?  Nothing!
            What did we do? Sinned and separated ourselves from God!
So the question I have for all here is simple.  If you did nothing to be reconciled to God, and if God created us and provided everything for us, why do we feel like we have to do anything?  When we try and do something, what is the result?  When God does something does it last forever?  Last time I checked the Earth is still here and the Universe is still out there!  When Jesus died on the cross, did He change what we did?  Do you really believe this?
God is waiting for us to give up our ways and take on His ways.  It does not matter if you are struggling with accepting Christ as your true Savior or if you have believed and want to do great things for God.  God is waiting on us to give up and let Him live through us!  Yes, that is what is meant by you can do nothing apart from Me.  God is saying, I provided it all; I paid the way and did all the work - all you need to do is remain in Me!  How is that possible?  Accept the entrance of the Holy Spirit into your heart!  Let it manifest itself in your body and just enjoy the rest that God provided to Adam!  In time God will move you to do things in His story and you will find true happiness!

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