True Happiness Begins with Knowing God
“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:37-38)
“True Happiness Begins with Knowing God” - maybe you’re nodding your head right now - “Of course as a Christian true happiness starts with knowing God!” It seems self-evident right? Yet even those of us who have known Jesus most of our lives can get off track when it comes to our focus and priorities, especially when our world of social media and instant gratification promises happiness at every turn.
Sometimes the lies are obvious - the allure of an adulterous affair, the quick release that comes from alcohol or illicit drugs, the seduction of wealth and greed. Sometimes the things that pull us away from God are far more subtle; they might be good things that we’ve sinfully turned into ultimate things. My job here at the radio station is a good example; yesterday I shared with someone that it’s easy at times to neglect my time alone with God because I feel like I spent so much time here at the station saturated with Christian messages. In reality there’s no substitute for seeking after God and putting him first before all other things!
Today’s devotional comes from a blog entry by Randy Alcorn titled “True Happiness Begins with God.” As spiritual beings each and every person is born with a thirst for the true fulfillment that only comes from God. Sadly many of us go looking in all the wrong places; Alcorn writes:
Despairing people everywhere thirst for gladness, trying to derive it from sources that cannot ultimately satisfy. They eagerly drink from contaminated water surrounded by huge signs with neon letters flashing, “Fun and Happiness!”
Sometimes there’s no fun at all, and usually what little happiness there is quickly evaporates, leaving shame and regret. If the signs were accurate, they would warn, “Deadly Poison,” with the caveat underneath: “May taste good before it kills you.”
Randy compares our spiritual thirst to physical thirst - when we feel physical thirst, we don’t do a Google search for “water,” or join a Facebook group about water, or read a book at the library - we find a source of clean water and then drink!!! It should be the same with God; Alcorn writes:
Similarly, in the spiritual realm, I find God to be pure, refreshing, and satisfying. My happiest days are when I drink most deeply of him. I also know that if I don’t drink of him, whatever else I drink from will leave me thirsty, dissatisfied, and sick.
So what is true happiness? Randy Alcorn says this:
By being happy in the Holy Spirit, in Christ, and in the Father, we lay claim to the fact that God is infinitely bigger and more powerful than the Fall. We affirm that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will reverse the Curse and reign over a new universe.
By faith we draw upon that glorious and eternally happy world Christ purchased and promised us. Our present happiness whispers and sometimes shouts that our God lives among us and works in the world—and in our hearts—every minute of every hour of every day.