Previous to this post, we looked at what the “pull” of society is and how it can be destructive in our lives. However, we did not fully look at a proper solution to that problem. The first commandment of the ten commandments is “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Society & materialism aim at putting many gods before the one true God.
What Is The Solution?
What am I to do if I don’t want to fall under the lies of society? Commonly, people have assumed that the Bible & Christianity have taught that you must deny your happiness and follow God. The solution to the problem is not to deny your joy! No one reading this woke up this morning and said “I don’t want to sin today, but I guess I have to because it’s my duty.” No one sins out of duty. We sin because we are seeking our joy. Naturally, the human heart was meant to have joy.
The problem here, is that we’ve been seeking our joy in the wrong things. We’ve looked to television, music, friends/family, porn & sex, substance abuse, money, and religion, among many other things. These things may seem like fun & the most important things now, but they will be seen as anything but important when you are standing before the Lord. No one on their death bed ever comforted themselves with their possessions.
The solution I offer you is something that you will do either way, it’s just a matter of how you will do it. Seek out your joy in all things. More importantly, seek first the glory of God. That is the tough part. We will always do whatever will make us happy (deep down inside), but what makes us happy needs to be God glorifying.
An atheist once told me that all that matters in life is what makes us happy and doesn’t hurt anyone. I mostly agreed, we must be happy, but we must find happiness in the glory of God. This atheist was particularly concerned about having people accept his sin because “it made him happy and didn’t hurt anyone.” (Our joy must glorify God).
Some readers may not be convinced because they have nothing but the idea “take up your cross and follow me.” Sometimes that means suffering. The apostle Paul addresses this when he says in Philippians 1:20-21
“It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
How could anyone truly say “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” if he had not replaced his joy for the things of the world with a joy in Christ? Paul suffered for the sake of the Gospel & did it with full joy and confidence in the Lord.
As Christians, the common misconception is that we must deny our joy & just do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, not because we take joy in glorifying God. That is the wrong attitude to have as a follower of Christ.our ultimate goal is to glorify God in all things. If we do that with an unwilling and unjoyful heart, He does not receive much glory. If a husband buys his wife flowers and she says “oh you didn’t have to!” and he says “Well, I didn’t want to… but I’m your husband, so it was my duty!” She doesn’t feel very loved at that moment. However, if the husband buys his wife flowers and she says “you didn’t have to!” and he says “I know I didn’t have to, but it was for my joy that I bought them for you.” That sounds like a selfish statement, but at that point she’s not saying “you only ever think about yourself!” She still feels loved because he found joy in loving her.
If you still find your joy in the “pull” of society, you are not glorifying God. If you are truly born again, you will no longer find joy in your old lifestyle (or the unbelieving lifestyle you wish you had). That’s what it is to be born again. The old has passed away and the new has come.
Instead of denying our joy, we must do all things for God’s glory and our joy. If you are born again, you will find joy in glorifying God. 2 major texts point to the idea of our joy in God…
These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
… In your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Dear believer or non believer, I hope you are encouraged that following Christ is not about giving up all happiness and joy. Yes, we are still called to glorify Him in all that we do (1 Corinthians 10:31) but we do it for & in our joy.
We combat the “pull” of society by replacing our joy for the world with a happiness in God. Suffering may come, but God is great all the time. Echo the words in your heart of Psalm 73:25-26
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
All things for His glory for our joy…
God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him..
– Tyson Bradley
You can read Part 1 Here