Sep20TueWhat is happiness September 20, 2022
But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matt. 4:4 ESV
“He answered, “The Scriptures say: Bread alone will not satisfy, but true life is found in every word, which constantly goes forth from God’s mouth.” Matthew 4:4 TPT
Jesus was talking about physical bread in the above verse, but his point was sustenance. What sustains the body? Bread (or food). However, what sustains the body will never sustain the soul and spirit. Just as the body needs natural food to grow, you need spiritual food for spiritual growth. We need sustenance and nourishment not only for our body, but for our soul, and for our spirit, every single day. It impossible for a person can survive on breadcrumbs. Leave out a day of proper and healthy nourishment and you start to get hungry. It's then that you go after junk food. Spiritual speaking as well. And junk food, both physically and spiritually? It doesn’t satisfy and leaves you feeling nasty afterwards.
Now let's take it a step further. What are things that you seek after to sustain you? What are things that you think you can't live without? Are they things that nourish and fulfill you in soul and spirit or do they weaken and zap your strength?
Make a list. Is it social media? Is it fame? Is it just one more thing added to your shopping list? How about clothing? Or the next new phone or tablet? Or maybe, if you're single, you believe if you'll find the one, everything will be perfect. See, if we're really honest, we are constantly running after something. Why? We're just wired that way. Wired to work, to achieve, to grow, to attain. But if our pursuit is continually after selfish pleasure its all in vain.
So, scratch your list. All of it. There's only One that will satisfy and fulfill you completely. Jesus. All other pursuits to joy and completeness will eventually leave you empty. Yes, happy for a day, but empty in the end. All those things that we long after are temporary and that is why they have fleeting temporary satisfaction. Jesus has created us to seek after good and healthy sustenance, for instance, to crave bread when we're hungry. In the spiritual this translates to the Word and to communion or fellowship with Him. It’s receiving love from Love. This is eternal and has an eternal deep satisfying fulfillment. In the end nothing in this life is as complete and perfect as God's awesome love for us. Until we discover this we'll never be satisfied and will only run ourselves weary pursuing worthless things.
I've learned this the hardest of ways and still often struggle. My flesh wants no part of the plan to running after God. It hurts too much and costs too many sacrifices. Everything worth having costs something, and this is true here also. We have to sacrifice self and the flesh in order to find that God satisfies. We were created to trust and love Someone bigger than "self”. His name is Jesus! It's as simple as I can put it. He satisfies the thirsty with water that never runs dry. He satisfies the hungry with himself, pouring into the heart so much of Him that it overflows unto others. He truly is the gift that keeps on giving.
Speaking of gifts. Have you ever wondered what gifts you're running past as you're in pursuit of the next thing? No? Well, stop and think about it. How many valuable friendships have you missed out on? How many deep and meaningful conversations? Have relationships with your family suffered because your eyes weren't on the here and now but on ""maybe's?"" Its typical of the enemy to keep us distracted from the present by pursuing tomorrow. Today comes complete with its own set of joys and presents. But today requires our full presence in order to release its treasures. Present joy. Present fulfillments. Are blessings overlooked because you were blinded by the lustre of things that have no eternal value? I can admit this has been my story. So focused on tomorrow, on maybe, on the next pursuit, I miss out on the gift of today. We walk past opportunities and new experiences, past little hands reaching for hugs, past life itself...are you getting the picture?
Somehow, Jesus has a way of bringing everything into prospective. He gives such a laser focus on what is important in this moment right now. Somehow, distractions disappear. Suddenly life is filled with blessings and you don't know how it happened, all you did was turn to Jesus. I'm not saying there aren't any problems, but they sure are more easily overcome when He's fighting them with you. How silly of us to think we can do life alone and be satisfied. Didn't He create us? And doesn't He know best what will bring us joy? What will fulfill us?
The Word boldly states: Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. You know what that truly means? That as you spend time with Him, He fills you with His dreams and desires. The longings in your heart will be from Him and He will bring them to pass if you stay connected with Him. This is beautiful! We serve a God who is into details! Just look at nature, its a witness to this. And if He gives that much care to a flower which is here today and gone tomorrow, how much more does he care about the details in our lives?
I believe in living moment by moment. Am I perfect? No. But I've learned to remind myself to enjoy all of today. To be present. To not get lost in the web of the world( yes, that includes my phone 😒). To take time to look at the sky, at nature, to talk with people. It makes a huge difference, especially if I'm intentional about it.
So, what about you? What can you do today that will have an echo into eternity? What can you prioritize today that maybe you’ve been pushing off? What earthly thing are you in pursuit of that has no heavenly value? Can you let it go? I pray for you to see the value of today’s gifts, that you will notice the little miracles, the moments that build upon one another and shape tomorrow. Most of all I hope you seek Him first, the Giver of today and find that in Him ALL your needs are truly met. He is all sufficient. He is your joy, your hope, your strength, the hand within your hand. May all your todays be so blessed! Never forget: You are highly blessed and favored!
“Happy are the people who are in such a state; Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!”Psalms 144:15 NKJV