Happy Land, Pragmatic Success, and Other Cop Outs

I've observed an interesting phenomena over the years, and more so recently.  When God begins to really answer prayers...driving us back to His Word and prepping us to make a real impact, the difficulty of pursuing His purposes causes a wave of excuse making amongst His people.  (Goodness knows I've done my share!)

For example, it is obvious God is trying to prep His church in the area of stewardship for what is ahead.  He's calling us to free ourselves from debt, make sacrifices, and change our view of material things, holding them loosely.  But THAT call is tough.  For many it will mean extreme levels of pain.  So sadly, it's off to "happy land" for so many.  You've heard of happy land haven't you? That's the place where the grass is greener!  No worries! Forget about all this discipline stuff; live for today!  You "prep for tomorrow" people take all the joy out of life!  LOL.

God is also trying to change our homes.  But for so many of God's people...that's too hard.  So examples are cited of unbiblical patterns that "seem to be working," so behaviors don't have to change.

Another example: God is teaching us where we erred concerning the discipleship of our children. But some of us are told that "doing ministry" or "discipling them" the world's way (is that possible?) is having success, so stop being such a stick in the mud.  I need to find my happy land tickets! :)

And God is certainly trying to get us to preach the whole Gospel. "That won't work" they say. Too mean-spirited.  Don't worry.  Be happy. You attract more flies with honey!! :) (BTW, I really dislike that phrase.  I repent for saying it myself years ago!  People aren't flies.  Jesus didn't die for a fly.  A fly was not born in iniquity; neither has a fly broken every commandment of God.  God didn't instruct us to preach the whole Gospel to flies.  A fly doesn't need to be convicted of its sin before it can be saved.  A fly doesn't have to repent before it can receive grace.  A fly won't face a terrible judgement if it dies unsaved!  Once they are caught, we aren't try to save and nurture a fly.  We kill them!  Enough already with the flies/honey deal!) :)

All joking aside, what this actually is is a loss of hope. So many of God's people lose hope that the way God designed a thing is possible.  So they (we) avoid the real issues by seeking happiness and good feelings (been there!), or simply declare that there are "other ways" that can work for them apart from God's patterns.

The tragedy in all this is that a huge point is missed.  The happiness we seek is only found in Christ.  For true joy to grow, we must love Him with everything we have.  He told us that means keeping His commandments.  Obedience and love/joy are eternally connected.  Satan's plan is to cause us to pursue "good feelings" apart from obedience; Satan's lie is to tell us we are happy when we are out of God's order.  He's really really good at it too.  He sure got Adam and Eve....

Now don't get me wrong; perfectionism/phariseeism is wrong and wouldn't make us joyful.  But the vigorous pursuit of God through obedience should!

Lord, help us to help others to trust your Word.  Help us to demonstrate that changing and shifting according to your Word is loving and joy-filled even though it's hard.  Help us to encourage others to give their all to you in every area and to settle for nothing less.  Help us to exchange Happy Land for Heaven.