Relationships can be complicated. Often they put us in new and unexpected situations and they can be a drain on our energy and strength. Sometimes we can develop negative attitudes toward those who are closest to us. Often, we expect too much from others, that they should be the answer to fulfilling our needs so that we will be happy. And herein lies the real problem that first, we fail to recognize that we are looking to the wrong persons for satisfaction. And second, we fail to recognise that happiness, joy and satisfaction depend on what we do and how we respond.
The truth is that it is not possible for human relationships to fulfil all of one’s needs. There is only one source of fulfilment and satisfaction which is through Jesus, God’s Son, and the Anointed One. He is and has all that we will ever need.
While the world tells us that we need certain relationships and certain things in order to be happy. The reality is that true satisfaction comes primarily from the Lord rather than from others or from things. Our relationship with him will minister to and bring fulfilment of our deepest needs and produce the happiness and joy that we are all searching for. Plus, He fills us up with joy, wisdom and strength so we can minister to to others; to our spouse and our family, to our neighbours, co-workers and community so that we can be a blessing to them. So it is our relationship with the Lord that should be our first priority. If he is satisfied with us, we too will be satisfied with our lives and our relationships.
How do we apply this then? What steps should we follow to find this happiness in our lives?
1. Spend time with the Lord Jesus each day in worship, praise and prayer; to learn to listen to his voice; and bring your thinking in line with his by meditating on his word.
2. Discover what your assignment is during your time spent with the Lord. Assignment? What assignment. Yes, we all have an assignment. You see, we are his representatives (2 Corinthians 5:20), the Lord has things he needs us to do and people he needs us to assist, just like the disciple, Ananias, in Acts 9:10-18. We all have a calling and a purpose to fulfil in the body of Christ (Ephesians 5:30).
3. We stay obedient to his word following the guidance of his Spirit.
4. Practice loving God and showing his unconditional to love to others (Matthew 22:36-40)..
5. Walk by faith and stop relying on what you see (Proverbs 3:5, Romans 1:17, 2 Corinthians 4:18)
6. And learn to stop following the impulses of our flesh by yielding to the control of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26).
What happens as we follow these steps? We discover that joy does not come by gratifying our own desires but by bringing gratification to the Lord and fulfilling his desires. And as the Lord’s requirements are met, our needs will be taken care of, just like He promised in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well.” Thus, we never have to worry or be anxious. He will take care of our needs. We just need to be faithful in fulfilling what he has called us to do.
It is normal for us to focus on pursuing our hopes and dreams for a better future. Some are working toward completing an education. Others are looking to be employed with a bigger salary in better position or with a new company. Another may be seeking to be the best in his field of expertise or the best in her sport. Some may be seeking to move to a better house in a better neighbourhood. And others are desiring something new in their lives: to start a new business, to have a baby, to take a trip to visit a new destination or to start a new relationship. Most of these aspirations have to deal with our daily physical existence. But what goals and aspirations do we have concerning our spiritual lives, concerning our relationship with God and concerning our effectiveness for God’s kingdom?
Seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
How often do we ever hear believers say things like:
- “I aspire making abiding in Christ my daily habit.”
- “I want to learn how to receive God’s guidance and direction for every difficulty and challenge I may face.”
- “My goal is to excel in bringing people to Christ through personal evangelism lead by the Holy Spirit.
- “I want to bring glory to Christ though my testimony and talents.”
- “My goal is to see people delivered and healed through sharing and proclaiming God’s word.”
- “I want to dedicate my life to prayer and intercession for individuals to be delivered, peoples set free and nations opened to hear the gospel of Christ”
For most of us Christians it often seems that these goals that we have to satisfy the physical, emotional and financial needs of ourselves and our families should take precedence over our spiritual development and our relationship to the Lord Jesus and his kingdom. Yet, after being a Christian for 37 years I have come to see things differently. For over these years I have had the opportunity to discover, among those things which I aspired to obtain, which ones were worth pursuing and brought satisfaction. Too much of the way we think and our desires and aspirations have been shaped by the world’s standards. We have been taught by the world to value possessions, status and power and even sin; but these things will never completely satisfy us; they are not enough in themselves to make us happy. Meanwhile, as we were busy seeking the things that the world tells us are important, the Lord has been busy also. He has been trying to get us into the position where we can hear from him, learn his principles and receive his blessing that will bring us true satisfaction.
So what about your current dreams and aspirations? How do they related to the Lord and his kingdom? Perhaps you are putting too much emphasis on your self and your earthly life. But there is more, much more if we would bring our aspirations in line with the Lord and his kingdom as Jesus explained to his disciples:
Most assuredly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life will lose it. He who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life. If anyone serves me, let him follow me. Where I am, there will my servant also be…John 12:24-26
See more in God is my Source Blog by Alan Pasho