The Bible declares that the point of human existence is not happiness, but worship of the God who created all things and sustains all things. And yet, most people live with their individual happiness and the happiness of others in mind, making themselves god. I’m pretty sure that many if not most self-defined Christians have even adopted this view, creating a god of their own making who is, above all else, most concerned with their well-being, making God a servant to us. This is deception and the watching world has caught onto this, believing that the Christian God is no more than a powerful genie. And when the God of the universe is presented as a means to bring us fulfillment, health, advancement, victory, and progress… well many folks have already accomplished or believe they can accomplish that apart from him. Perhaps a person like this would think along these lines… “If God’s purpose in a person’s life is to help them advance…well, I am pretty sure that I have the talents, skills, and drive to do that on my own. In fact, I really don’t want the extra boost he would give me if it means I have to sign up to a bunch of Christian rules and regulations. I’d much prefer to set up my own rules and regulations, which are certainly more well-suited to my needs and tailored to my life goals.”
If you are a Christian, you give evidence of God in your life one way or another. Do you promote a God that is deserving of glory and to be worshipped with love and reverence? Or do you speak and live in such a way that makes God out to be a servant of human desire? When you pray, do you pray “hallowed be your name!” or do you pray “hallowed be my existence!” Is God the means to your end, whether it be for security, comfort, acceptance, influence etc., or is God the end? Is God your reward? Have you had the Holy Spirit so impress upon you that God’s glory is to be the grand and glorious pursuit of your life, or are you attempting to use God to enhance your life in hopes of dying happy?
When you share the gospel, do you offer it as a solution or program for improvement and ridding a person’s life of alcohol, marital distress, sadness, poverty and other problems? Or do you show someone God’s holy character and his righteousness and the wisdom of his designs and the glory of Christ and how each person stands guilty before him, deserving eternal punishment? Only then can the Spirit break a person, revealing to blind eyes the need for the light of Jesus! The same Jesus who suffered, died on a cross and on the third day, rose to new life and conquered death, so that his name would be exalted among the nations as his kingdom advances!
If you are Christian, will you agree with me that God saved you when you were in rebellion against Him so that He, first and foremost, would be glorified and His name would be made great through you? He alone is worthy of this, isn’t He? Friends, God is not a means to an end. He is the end. He is the reward. You don’t come to Christ, making deals with him in order to get something you want or to avoid hell. You’ve probably never met Christ if you tried to bargain your way into heaven. Instead, we come to Christ agreeing with his assessment of us…guilty on all counts. And we receive the free gift of life by turning from our sin and trusting in our hearts and minds that Jesus has swallowed up the death we deserve. We joyfully follow after him in the hope that his name would be exalted and treasured among people everywhere. As the preacher Paris Reidhead once said, “Didn’t God intend to make man happy? Yes. But as a by-product and not a prime product.” Let’s lay down once and for all the pursuit of happiness and exchange it for the pursuit of making Jesus’ name famous in your family, your neighborhood, your county, state, your nation and beyond. There is where true joy lies.
I’d highly encourage you to listen to this message by Paris Reidhead, whose words have bent my heart to write this post. I hope it will impel us to consider how to joyfully orient our lives for the glory of God.