Summary: Why christians should be living a joyous and victorious life and how to get it.
So, when will you be happy?
Take time to ponder this question.
Is it the time when you receive that promotion you’ve been working hard for? Is it the time when you get married to your dream man/woman? Is it when you get your own house and lot? When?
You will show me the path of life;
In your presence is fullness of joy;
At your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
As born-again christians, God’s presence is always in us and we are always in God’s presence. Therefore joy is always available to us.
How many here have been Christians for more than 5 years? How about those less than a year?
Sometimes I believe that the happiest people in the world are the newly born again Christians. I remember when I was just got born again for less than a year, I was the happiest man on earth. It is as if everyday there’s a liquid love surrounding me. I didn’t know anything about being a Christian and living for God. All I knew was that God loves me and sent Jesus to die for me. Everything went well until the Law came into the picture.
I heard about God wanting to bless me but I got to fulfill some requirements first. I even heard about, “Salvation is free but His blessings have conditions.” It sounded like a membership of an exclusive club- the membership may be free but you have to pay for the privilege of using the amenities. It didn’t sound like a good deal. But, of course I wanted God’s blessings! Then naturally I tried to fulfill the conditions to get blessed and naturally I failed. That brought condemnation to my life and that is how my Christian life deteriorated. Looking back, I realized that’s how I started to get burned out. How I became a”holier-than-thou Christian”. You know, the type of Christian that give Christians a bad name. Why? Because religion came in. Ever noticed that sometimes the religious people are among the most difficult people you can come across? This what Paul was warning the Galatian church about in Galatians 3:1-4
Galatians 3:1 ¶O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.
And the same thing that Jesus was warning about when He said in Matthew 16:6: “beware the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees”. Which meant the leaven of self-effort. The leaven of the Law. The Pharisees and Sadducees are known for this.
Leaven is what they used to mix with dough to make it fluffier. But the quality isn’t as good.
It’s like buying a loaf of bread that is mixed with bromate. Which is not good for your health.
You see in your Christian life, you need to always be on guard against self-effort mixed with grace. That is what you call a mixed gospel. And that is not the gospel at all. And it is actually dangerous. Why? Because the flesh will profit you nothing. (John 6:63)
When the Holy Spirit reveals to you that you are actually practicing a mixed gospel, or if you find yourself joyless, tired or burnt –out, it is highly likely that you have been living your life from your own strength. In other words, you are performing for the Lord out of your own strength.
When that happens, do like David did in Psalm 51:12
“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me with Your generous Spirit.”
Remember how wonderful it was like when you first received Jesus in your life?
God made is so simple for us. The way that you received Him, is the way that you will live your life. Or rather God’s life in you. It is said in Colossians 2:6
As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him…
It is as simple as that..
And if we go down the verse further on verse 8, God is warning us something:
..Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
What is the tradition of men? What is the basic principle of the world? Corporate workers, how do you get promoted in your job? By merit system. Or some would even resort to underhanded tricks. In short, you got to have done something to get promoted. You got to be hardworking, talented, or at the very least, in cahoots with your boss. But according to Christ it is different. It is all by grace. Meaning, there is nothing you could do or could have done to deserve it. How did you get saved? By grace. How do you live your life? By grace.