What is our end goal: our happiness or to serve God unconditionally?

How do you react when God seems to deny you what you ask in prayer, at least for the time being, and you do not understand why? What if you prayed for a long time and it still did not get answered yet? Does that make you change the way you think or feel about God? Does it makes you feel dissapointed or maybe offended with God? Does it affect the quality of your relationship and intimacy with God? Believe me, it did affect mine in the past, and it took me 4 years and a LOT of pain of mind and soul to get to understand what I am writing to you about below.

 

First of all, I realize that since God has restored certain truths in the last century – truths about faith, blessing, prosperity, confession of the Word, healing, etc – because of much focus on this sort of teaching in the church, many of us without realizing it, have made a shift in our hearts and we subconsciously started to think that God give us all the things we need to feel happy, that it is our right to get all these things from God and that made us focus on what we get from God instead of living FOR God and FOR His Kingdom, whatever the cost. We subtly have gone from believing that we are here to live for God to we are here to get from God and we are here to obtain happiness. We made out own happiness the end goal of the Christian life, instead of to live for God, whatever the cost.

But happiness is not the end goal for a Christian, because we are not to live for ourselves, but to live for God. Living for Him, no matter the cost, is the end goal, that's what we were created for, so if we make our relationship with God, our enjoyment of Him depend on Him giving us this and that, what if He has different thoughts and does not give us those things that we want to feel happy or delays them for a long time?

Why God did not answer yet some of your prayers? There can be many reasons, but maybe He is testing your heart to see if you love Him and serve Him because He is God or because of what He gives you.

After Jesus multiplied the bread and the fish, the people followed Him. But He knew what was in their hearts and He told them that He was not pleased with it:

"Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, YOU SEEK ME, not because you saw the signs, but BECAUSE YOU ATE OF THE LOAVES AND WERE FILLED. DO NOT labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” (John 6:26-27)

In other words, Jesus says: You are seeking Me because of what you can get from Me, and I DO NOT WANT YOU TO MAKE THAT THE MAIN REASON YOU ARE SEEKING ME. You should seek Me, because I am your solution for salvation and I am your God.

If we want to be free in God and enjoy unbroken fellowship with God, we need to serve God UNCONDITIONALLY, meaning, whatever you give me, I will be thankful for that. I trust You that You love me and care about me because your Word says so, but if You feel You need to not give me something I want at a particular time, then I will be content, since I am not living for my own happiness, but for You.

Since I am living unconditionally for You, my happiness does not depend on what I get from You, but on just having Your presence in my life, YOU are more than enough for me. This understanding actually made me happy and content, so if you do not seek your own happiness, but God, you get happiness along with it, regardless of circumstances.

The second reason we might not get what we want from God is because we are in a war in this life. We have an enemy who is after us day and night and after every fellow human being, and therefore we cannot just live as we want.

Do you think soldiers in a war just have parties carelessly while the enemy is prowling about their camp? No, they are sober and vigilant and obey the instructions of the Commander even if they do not understand why he is asking them to do something. The Master Commander understands, as he can see the whole picture, he has secret knowledge the average soldier does not have about the enemy, and has a strategy laid out on how to win the war. Therefore, it is crucial for the soldiers to obey and trust unconditionally, so they are protected and can rescue others from the enemy.

So, because we are in a war, and we are living as the main reason for God and His Kingdom, is it something to wonder about why God would deny us some things sometimes or ask us to suffer for Him and His cause as a priority, rather than have what we feel we want given to us?

I believe in God's mind, the priority is to first give us what we need to live for Him, to accomplish His purposes on earth, and then secondary our temporary happiness here on earth. Let's get this heavenly perspective in our hearts and our relationship with God will flourish and we will actually end up being happy in all circumstances!!!

That's why the Bible says that we should rejoice always in the Lord, even when we fall into various trials, because God's priority is not on us feeling good, but in our spiritual development and in us paying a part of winning the war for souls against the devil. What would you rather go for: settle for the low level goal or you and your happiness, or the high calling of God of living for Him and to make a difference for eternity in this world. Don't waste your life on small things, when there are bigger things available to you.

What does your happiness depends upon? God or the fulfillment of some of your desires? I really encourage you to listen or read the wise words of this prophet of God from Nigeria, called T. B. Joshua, whom I highly respect (his website is www.scoan.org):

"If you make God the ONLY reason, then your commitment to Him will be total, not partial"

"Life is not a playground; it is a battlefield. The sooner you understand this, the wiser you will be. It is the mind of God to answer prayers. Even when He seems not to respond immediately to our petitions, He is still saying something, which we may not understand because of our limitations in the things of the Spirit. In such moments, God may be saying, “Be patient; for there is a time and season for everything."

"Sometimes when we pray it appears we are being denied answers to our prayers or that the answer to our prayer is being unnecessarily delayed. Sometimes we work so hard and the result or reward of our effort seems to delay in coming. As a Christian, if you find yourself in such a situation – don’t lose heart, don’t lose faith. There may be a reason for the seeming delay. God is not a man that disappoints. HE may be taking HIS time to consider your request for certain reasons that may be hidden from the ordinary mind. It may be:

1. To strengthen your desire for Christ 2. To prepare you for the challenges ahead. 3. To reform you for a better position in God. 4. To preserve you for redemption. 5. To keep you for a new level in life.

As a man of faith – whatever level you find yourself – you will still believe that the best is yet to come."

Whatever the reason, since our end goal is not our own happiness, but in knowing God and serving God and living by faith as a first priority, that means that we might need to suffer for Him or for the sake of His purpose. And this is more important than our own happiness, though we will be rewarded both in this life and in that to come for it. The Bible says He is a REWARDER of those who DILIGENTLY seek HIM (not what He gives mainly). If you seek Him, and His righteousness, ALL the other things that you NEED will be added unto you.

I think the emphasis of the prosperity teaching that we have heard in the last few years unfortunately has gone to an extreme where it has become what I call the 'luxury' teaching and the 'covetousness' teaching. Many are no longer content with having what to eat, what to wear and a place to stay, but lust after luxury cars, mansions in this world, and bigger and better to feed their lusts. It reminds me of the children of Israel that were complaining about God's provision while in the wilderness, saying: We are sick of this HEAVENLY bread, we want meat! They despised God's miracles in their lives in the small things and lusted for more. God was not pleased with them, though He gave them what they wanted, but also sent them leanness of soul, while they lost on the best in the future. I am not against prosperity, if the focus of why you want it is so you can use it for the extension of God's Kingdom mostly. But again, making the pursuit of this the main focus instead of the presence of God I consider it an idol, being loyal to Mammon and despising God.

We need to believe that He is more important to us than our own happiness and this will free our hearts to serve Him with gladness, with freedom of heart! It actually brings that happiness that is not dependent on circumstances!

We are in a war in this life, therefore we cannot just do what we want, winge about what we don't get, we need to follow the instructions of the Master Commander, so we escape the death that our enemy is seeking to bring us and also execute His orders to save others from the enemy. In a war, we are more concerned with accomplishing the mission than getting our desires met.

And because we are in a war, and in a time of testing before God, we can understand such times when we do not get what we want and not feel offended with God about it – which I used to be for almost 4 years – because we live FOR HIM, not for our own happiness.

Trust Him and be happy in serving Him and living in Him and you will see that He will give you the desire of your heart in the end, IF you delight in Him even when He seems to not give you what you want. Moses ran after God's spiritual main priorities, the children of Israel, with a few exceptions, ran after natural desires, which one do you want to be? Go for the best, choose real life….

I really recommend that you watch this movie from YouTube.com, which talks about how happiness has slowly become a main focus for many, which is humanism, rather than living for Christ, at any cost:

What do YOU think?

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About Marilena Fackerell

Comments

  1. childofjesus says:

    This is a beautiful & powerful message as to what we should consider as a end goal.
    From the article, our key to happiness : I believe in God’s mind, the priority is to first give us what we need to live for Him, to accomplish His purposes on earth, and then secondary our temporary happiness here on earth. Let’s get this heavenly perspective in our hearts and our relationship with God will flourish and we will actually end up being happy in all circumstances!!!

  2. blu-girl says:

    I am saved and i can speak in tongues but i havent heard God speak to me.In addition to this,how come i dont prophesy since i am spirit-filled?

    • Beloved says:

      I can so relate to your post,I have felt the same way at times ๐Ÿ™‚ I believe that hearing from God takes a little work on our part. We live in a “noisy” world. There are so many distractions! It’s almost like we need to adjust our “tuner’s”,and get on the same wave-length as the Lord.(If that makes any sense) We need to learn to discern His voice from all others. He often speaks to me through His Word. I can be reading a piece of scripture,maybe one I’ve read many times before,and all the sudden,I will see or understand something that I had not before. The Holy Spirit reveals something new to me.Sometimes it will be relevant to something I am going through,or something I have been praying about. Other times something just “drops” into my spirit,and I know it is the Lord. One thing I have learned about God’s voice,is that it will never deviate from His character.By that I mean it will never be ugly,or mean.He never speaks condemnation over us.He will never use fear to motivate us,and He is never pushy and never advises us to rush into anything. It took me a while to recognize that if it sounds anything like that,it is more than likely the enemy or even myself. He is always gentle,even when correcting us. I hope this information will help you,maybe God has spoken to you after all!
      About the gift of prophesy,God doesn’t give us gifts just to have them. I believe that prophesy is a “get it as you use it” kind of gift. When you are ministering to someone is most likely when this gift will manifest. Even then you will have had to learn to hear His voice,so you can be sure that what you are hearing is from God. I can say this has happened only a few times for me,but then,I haven’t personally ministered to that many people.(by that I mean praying for,etc.) But what an awesome feeling! To know that God has used you in some small way to help someone else!!!
      It truly is more blessed to give than receive!! So worth the time spent learning. So be patient,and don’t be blu! God has so much He wants to say to you,and so much He wants to do through you! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Beloved

  3. Does anyone know what the deal is with people getting their body pierced?
    I had not thought too much about it, but today on the news I heard about a lady in Australia who has over 6000 of these piercings! (the world’s most pierced woman.) She even has INTERNAL piercings.

    Can someone PLEASE EXPLAIN to an old fashioned guy like me what the deal is that makes people want to get themselves pierced???? I’ll say it another way: What makes a person want to stick something SHARP and painful into their body? (Not to mention risk of infection) It is so alien to my thinking and mindset that I just can NOT see it. To put it in plain language. Man, that’s DUMB. Dumber than a proverbial box of rocks. Do they do it because it gains them applause, fame and friends?? If so, those kind of friends can take a flying leap.

    But this lady had over 6000 of them. I thought, My Lord! That HAS to be some kind of spirit that possesses someone to mutilate themselves like that! It HAS to be demonic. it just strikes me as UNHOLY.

    What is the truth? What is going on here?

    Doesn’t the Bible have something to say about getting piercings and tattoos on our bodies? if so, was that under the law? What should be a Christian’s stance nowadays?

    • You are right. There is often a spirit involved when people pierce and tattoo themselves. It is possible to become addicted to the process of getting tattooed. Todd Bentley was someone who was (is?) addicted to getting himself tattooed. He was always off at the tattoo parlor between meetings.

      We have to remember that it was the Spirit of God who inspired the Old Testament, including the prohibitions of tattooing. Can the proponents of tattooing for Christians tell us why God would be happy with it now? Our bodies belong to God. Why would a person permanently put a mark on God’s property, if they were inspired by God’s Spirit? Especially if that mark was a symbol or image of questionable nature.

      • Hi Michael

        Could you please elaborate on your “body piercing and tattos” comment. I have a tattoo (which I got before I got saved) and yes for while I hid it, especially when I whent to church because I thought it wouldn’t be appropriate.I am ok with my tattoo now, mainly because I realise that is more to having relationship with God, than a mere tattooo.

        • I don’t think there is any big deal about this at all. We do all kinds of things before we get saved. I think the problem occurs with people who do profess Christ who like to go and get all kinds of tattoos.

          Its probably just a cosmetic issue now. If your tattoo troubles you, ask God what to do, thats all.

    • I believe central among the roots of a person’s desire to have body piercing and tattooing are self hatred and a desire to self mutilate. They simply do not like themselves and they are never good enough. They seek to draw attention to themselves to ease the pain.

      Eph 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
      Eph 4:27 Neither give place to the devil.

      When we look at Ephesians 4:26 we see the progression of demonic strongholds. “Be angry” Anger is alright. God Himself has anger. “and sin not” What is God-given can become sin. “Let not the sun go down upon you wrath,” is a warning not to let our emotions go unchecked. We are given an allotment of time to sanctify our thoughts and line them up with God’s Word. If we do not do this, we are open to giving “place to the devil.”

      The root of self hatred often begins by parroting the words of Satan often spoken into our hearts and lives by parents, or an authority figure, or a friend at a bad moment. “You will never amount to anything.” “You worthless bum.” “I wish I never had you!” “You never should have been born!” etc. If you are reading these words and they are bringing up pain from your own past, it is time to be set free!

      Regretably, many children and teens do not know how to bring these things before the Lord, and the stronghold of sin grows unhindered. They become captivated with hurting their own flesh as a form of release from the emotional pain. A spirit of death comes upon them and they act it out in part. Take a moment next time you see a tattoo parlor advertising. They are advertising death. Then they make people into walking billboards of death and glorify the power of death.

      Jesus came to set us free from the power of death and destruction. You CAN be free!

      Blessings and Peace,
      Timothy

      • Thank-you. That enlightens me a bit on the piercing issue.

        For many years it has had me baffled. Hard as I tried, I simply could not grasp the fundamental desires of those who seem intent or even hell bent on sticking something SHARP in just about any area of their body that was not meant for something sharp.

        Now I see that “hell bent” is indeed the literal reason.

        Now I see that it is closely related, in fact kissing cousins with the tattooing.

        And I surmise that like the tattooing, it allows the entrance of some rather unsavory friends into one’s temple.

    • renai Ahlatis says:

      I too have been disturbed by the growing trend of tatooing in the church. I decided to do some research and came across a fantastic article on ‘tatooing’ on the website http://www.biblebelievers.com.

      This article is thorough and leaves no stone unturned. If you want the full picture of what a person does when they tatoo their body, take a look at this article. My suspicions were definitely confirmed. I’m tired of the justification that is going on when it comes to tatoos. I understand when we are away from God, the things we will do. But once we are saved our conscience should confirm the truth that our bodies are the temple of the holy spirit. Why defile our temple with these grotesque markings that can never be removed. Our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made just as they are.

      One thing i found interesting is when I read that there is a satanic practise called ‘blood letting’ or cutting of the flesh, which apparently unleashes demonic or supernatural powers. Because the ‘life of the flesh is in the blood (Lev 17:11) the blood is highly valued in the occult as the ‘power source.’ to release demonic powers

      Apparently the tattoo originated from the satanic ritual of ‘blood letting’ or ‘cutting of the flesh’ as described in 1 Kings 18. When you are marked with a tattoo you begin to bleed exactly the same as they do when they carry out these satanic practises.

      Here is an interesting quote from pro-tattoo historians, Hambly Wilfred and Steve Gilbert:

      ‘The reasons why puncturing the skin should be regarded with some degree of awe are not far to seek, for in the first place, there is the drawing of blood, which to the savage world over is full of significance as a rejuvenating and immortalzing factor. There is in addition the opening of numerous inlets for evil to enter.’

      Did you read that last line. Sounds like we can open ourselves to demons just be getting a little innocent tattoo. For those seeking the truth, I really encourage you to look up that website.

      • That was a great link! I read the entire article and learned a lot. Now I see why the Holy Spirit who lives in me never felt comfortable about tatooing, and why I never got one.

        The entire site is great. I read many of the articles. They even had one preaching the truth about ungodly rock and roll, which is something I myself tried here but was quickly shot down.

  4. I am hoping someone can help me here.

    Today I came home from work, and when I went to get on my PC, there on the screen was website called Runescape, and it had illustrations of dragon like creatures. it also had an advertisement for Dungeons and Dragons.

    I knew it was my son’s doings. Even though he has his own PC, he still gets on mine. He plays this game called Runescape, and I have warned him and warned him about how evil this is, but he just doesn’t seem to get it.

    When I saw the site on my PC, I lost it. I layed into him loudly making it abundantly clear that I do NOT want that stuff on my PC, because I am trying to get blessed in my life, but I don’t see how the Lord can do that when there are pictures of His arch enemy hanging around.

    He kept trying to defend himself by saying it’s ONLY pictures, and it can’t be that bad, but I shot back that their are evil forces that are in CHARGE of those pictures, and it’s very likely that those images are images of actual demons in hell. I told him that as long as the pictures are around, the spirits that are in charge of the pictures are also around.
    Still, it was like talking to a wall.

    How can I get him to SEE that this is evil??? What can I say to convince him?

    • Doug, I think you have to evangelize your son from first principles. You can’t assume that he loves Jesus or anything. You need to teach him the reality of the spiritual world and who Jesus is line upon line. At every point ask him what he believes. You may have to engage him in discussion, treat him more as someone with a right to a different opinion, and try to win him over.

      If he believes in the spiritual world, see if he would be willing to read some of the testimonies on this site for example. They can work to wake people up.

      When I was a teenager I used to play Dungeons and Dragons with my friends. After getting baptized in the Holy Spirit, there were still wrong attitudes within my soul towards spiritual things. I actually had to get delivered of all kinds of occult-related demons which got into me through playing this game. The demons manifested in various ways when they came out, especially with coughing, yawning, strange movements of the tongue and with mental suggestions to my mind along the way. It was very real to me that I was dealing with demons as I was being delivered.

      You will need to really pray for your son. But as well as that, the appeal of these things is really that in your imagination, you can manipulate a supernatural world, gain in power and prestige, and accomplish goals and visions – in an imaginary world.

      Your son needs to understand what he could be in Jesus Christ. Hopefully you can begin to model Christ’s life more and more and inspire him to come along with you in serving God.

      In the meantime, get as much prayer for the situation as you can. These kind of games can put a hostile attitude to God in people, though they are not as bad as say doing a seance.

  5. My family just began a new church. After searching for years and putting off going to church because we were looking for one that preached the Word and we felt it. I love the way our Pastor can make you feel with one with Him. But, is he a Pastor true to his word or is the devil giving me reasons to not go and worship….or is this God working on me to stop something that isn’t right?

    The first sign was that our Pastor lives in a large ($500,000) home on the golf course. He and his wife both drive expensive cars. All four of their children are unemployed (all are 18+) and one has his own apartment. Two of the children just returned from Africa after a 8 week stay. The Pastor and wife returned from Israel a few months ago and are planning another trip. The Pastor is always pushing tithes and also has “special tithes” throughout the month for various things, ex: church mortgage. Then, I learned that one of his son’s does prophetic paintings. Which I though was wonderful….until I overheard him say that he charges $200 dollars a painting.

    My family was sooo happy to find a church to worship in but now with all these questions I have..I am confused. Did the Lord send me to this church to help my fellow christians in uncovering a scam? or is the devil trying to keep me from hearing His word? I am very distraught over this and would like some insight on how I can resolve this situation.

    • Hi Brandy,

      11 years ago we felt the Lord’s blessing and direction in moving 1000 miles to join with a ministry. 6 1/2 years later the sins of the senior pastor and his staff became obvious to us. Until then our eyes were blinded to it. During our stay however, the Lord used that ministry to bring healing into our lives. We have had to leave churches before. There is a right way and a wrong way.

      I do not believe it is God’s will that we expose the sins of a church. Those seeking the Lord will have Him expose this at the right time for them. We were there for a season and then ‘the cloud moved’. When we become the whistle blower, we cause confusion and may cause offense to the Gospel itself, making our weaker brothers and sisters stumble in their Christian faith. This is the end result of the ‘very distraught’ you are enduring. You may be mature enough to go forward in your walk with the Lord, while others may stumble in their faith.

      I trust that sincere Christians in that church will receive what the Lord has for them there. When they hear the voice of God to ‘move’, I trust they will do so. Pray for the leadership. Pray for the leading family.

      My Dad once said, “a wise man will learn from a fool, but a fool will not learn from a wise man.” Even in their sin, God can use them: example, “we have cast out devils in your name, and healed the sick…. and He answered them saying ‘I never knew you.'” These people were used of God, even as they were ‘using’ God, but there was no relationship.

      “Love covers a multitude of sin.” Therefore, God being love, I do not see that it is him putting you up to uncovering them. God will take care of that at the right time. Remember the parable of the tares and the wheat and be faithful in prayer as you find a new church home for your family.

      [I know this site often exposes churches and error. Perhaps that is best done from a distance. When it comes to attending a church that you find to be in error, is it best to leave it and not take others with you? Michael, what are your thoughts on what the Bible says about it?]

      God bless you!

      Timothy

      • I pretty much agree with you Timothy.

        I think if we are personally bitter or hurt by something going on in the church, we ought to receive healing before we begin to speak about it. The problem is when a root of bitterness against what is going on springs up and causes trouble, thus defiling many.

        I don’t like to major on talking about certain popular ministries that are easy to take a swipe at, even though without a doubt it would increase the influence of this site. Sometimes I do mention things I consider extremely dangerous, like the Todd Bentley phenomenon, and I let people join the dots so they can form further conclusions on their own.

        To me the great need today is to show the way forward in spirit and truth, and not only to blast that which has flaws.

        The problem with spiritual mixture is that some people will see the good and swallow the evil with it, while others will see the evil and react against the good. Its not an easy thing to handle.

    • Hi Brandy & Rev Mike,

      Why don’t you come out with a list of all the well known preachers and prophets , categorising them as

      A – Acceptable.
      B – Borderline.
      C – Not acceptable.

      A lot of Christians , like me , who are new to the Evangelical movement,
      will know whom to follow and whom to avoid.

      (In the mean time , my old time Catholic friends say that anything non-Catholic is scandal-ridden , as if to say that the Catholics are any different) ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Dear Vikas,

        I’m not called nor really qualified to do as you ask. We can discuss particular teachings on this website, but I don’t want to make a blanket assessment of all prominent individuals on the international scene. To do that, I would need to spend a lot of time and money to follow their ministries and listen to their materials. I think it would be a waste of time. There are millions of Christians who follow so many TV ministries. We would all be so much better if we got off our couches, and in addition to some serious Bible study and prayer, went out and started ministering in Jesus’ name to people everywhere.

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