Jul 7, 2009

What do you really need to be happy?

The one thing Jesus needed to be happy was a close relationship with God. Jesus found the sole source of life in his father. The delight of his life was to delight his father.
It was genuinely what made him happy.
(everything I'm saying in this post comes from talks given by Greg Boone, Executive Director, Look Up Lodge,)

What is the goal of the disciples of Jesus Christ? To be like Jesus. But we don't grasp the reality of that. While we can't fully attain this until Heaven, the goal is to get as close as possible. It is not religious activities, it is not something external. The people Jesus most rebuked were the devout people. He called them "white washed tombs" and "vipers."
Jesus doesn't speak this negatively about anyone else.
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

The word "transformed" is translated from "metamorphia." It is not overly dramatic for God to use the word metamorphosis. Metamorphosis refers to an inside change that results in an outside change. The outside change does not precede the inside change.

What we genuinely need from Jesus is the capacity to love people. Loving people is the test of where you are in the metamorphosis process. Loving people is not the end goal, it is just a test of where you are in the process of transformation. The end goal is the close relationship with God as Jesus had, where God genuinely is our ultimate desire in life.

God wants to give us this capacity to love people unselfishly. Almost every relationship we have in life is based on selfishness. What God wants to do is to change that. How in the world can we do that? There's only one way and it's the same way Jesus did it.

By finding our sole source of life and happiness in God alone.

"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."

- John 17:3

If you want to get to know what's really important to someone, you spend time together, talk, be together. What they talk about is what they care about. And it's like that with God - the things He talks about most in the Bible are the things He cares about most. How do you get to know Him? Spend time with Him, learn who He is and what He cares about.
You probably aren't living the Christian life right if you think it's
1) complicated, or 2) easy.

What is the test of where you are in the metamorphosis process -- the process of getting closer to God, the process of finding Him as your main source of happiness?
It's the quality of your relationship with other human beings.
How you treat people.
How you love people.
It's a lot easier to perform religious acts, to do or not do certain things.
It's a lot harder to genuinely love people totally unselfishly.
"..that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ.."
Not "that they might be a good missionary" or "that they might be a good parent" or "that they might have a good church."
Just: "That they may know you, the only true God & Jesus Christ."
"My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water."
- Jeremiah 2:13
Two sins? Really, just two sins? Amazing how important this is. Everything has its roots back in this.

When we focus on God, sin begins to get squeezed out of our lives.
If you're going to become this thing that God wants you to be, you are going to struggle in the metamorphosis process. Caterpillar to pupa to butterfly requires a serious struggle. Without the struggle, it just doesn't happen. This puts a different spin on pain and suffering, on teenage rebellion, marriage difficulties, and cancer and sickness.
When you understand who God is and why He does what He does, you'll stop asking "Why?"
The Answer: Trying to make you more like Jesus.

1 comment:

~Connie said...

Very well written! ... summed up the week nicely