What are you chasing?
This last Sunday, we dove into a “true-ish” statement that derails so many people and that I believe keeps so many believers and spiritual seekers from seeking after all of God. The problem with these statements is that they are built on a nugget of truth; they are partially true. But often it’s that partial truth that convinces us that we are on track and actually keeps us from chasing more of God.
And who wouldn’t want to believe this truth: “As long as you’re happy…” We can justify any sort of thing when we believe God’s greatest desire is our happiness. I’m not sure what in scripture leads us to that conclusion. I’m not saying that God wants you to be unhappy; far from it. But what I am saying is that happiness isn’t God’s greatest desire for you. I’ve said this before in a sermon, but it’s worth saying again:
God's priority is not your happiness, it’s your Holiness.
His desire is that you would be set apart for His purpose and living out His will for your life. The greatest joy is found in living life in the center of God’s will for you. Or said differently, living Holy is the best way to be Happy. But here’s where the myth gets dangerous. When happiness becomes our goal, there will inevitably come a time where chasing what God has for you won’t make you happy. It will stretch you, push you to your limit, and ask things of you that, frankly, you don’t want to give. But on the other side of the struggle is a deeper richer life and a deeper richer relationship with Jesus.
The problem is, we want to be happy. And we assume God wants us to always be happy too. So that can’t be God calling me to give, or go, or risk or stretch myself, because it wouldn’t make me happy- and God wants me to be happy. And so instead of chasing what God has for us, we settle for where we are. C.S. Lewis describes this in “The Weight of Glory.”
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
This brings us to our truth from Sunday: There is no greater happiness than pursuing holiness. So many things can bring happiness for a moment, but that moment fades almost faster than it comes. True happiness can only be found in chasing God’s will for your life. And God’s will often require you to say no to simple pleasures. How many of us have “mud-pies” in our lives that we are holding onto, not realizing what they are costing us? How many have settled for “Just enough of Jesus?”
Don’t settle. Chase Him. Chase Him with all you are. Chase God. Chase holiness. That is where true joy is found.