The Pursuit of Happiness | #1

9 Attitudes for Life’s Journey

Starting today and for the next nine Thursdays I will be doing a series on the 9 Attitudes Jesus said we should have and if we follow them He said we will be happy (or blessed).  That sounds great to me.  Who doesn’t want to be blessed?  But I must remind you; as we go through these nine attitudes the Bible is clear that we must be DOERS of what the Bible says to do and not just HEARERS of the Word of God.  So to be Blessed we have to DO what Jesus tells us to do.

James 1:22 (NLT)
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.

ATTITUDE 1 – REALIZE THAT I NEED GOD IN MY LIFE

Matthew 5:3 (NLT) – “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

Here is the the first TRUTH we all need to learn (and remind ourselves of it EVERYDAY); There is a God and it is not me.  Oh, I don’t think any of us are walking arounding claiming to be God (if that were so we would be institutionalized) but there are periods of our day that we do walk around acting like God and treating others as though we are God.  We might not say it but anyone can act like it.  When we don’t get our way; when we become impatient with those who “don’t have it together”; when we fail to take responsibility for our actions; when we worry, fret or become anxious about situations out of our control; when we become Obsessive-compulsive; when we manipulate others; When we are perfectionistic in our approach to life.  Throughout our day, our sin nature tempts us to act out as though we are God.  Instead, we must take on a humble spirit that is teachable and submissive to God’s guidance.  Consider Proverbs 5:9-14:

 

Proverbs 5:9-14 – You don’t want to squander your wonderful life, to waste your precious life among the hardhearted.  Why should you allow strangers to take advantage of you?  Why be exploited by those who care nothing for you?  You don’t want to end your life full of regrets, nothing but sin and bones, Saying, “Oh, why didn’t I do what they told me? Why did I reject a disciplined life?  Why didn’t I listen to my mentors, or take my teachers seriously? My life is ruined! I haven’t one blessed thing to show for my life!”

SO how do we live a life that is blessed by God?  First, realize my need for Him; in ALL areas of life (physically, financially, relationally, spiritually, emotionally).  He is the source of Life and He is our PROVIDER in life.  Let’s stop being controllers and allow HIM to be our provider.  Here are a few steps to take:

How to Be Surrendered

  1. You Give God Control of your Life: This Includes: Money for car, college, bills; Relationships with parents, friends, enemies, guy/girls; Work, stuff, appearance, health…  Here is a simple prayer to pray; “Father, please open my eyes to areas of my life that I am take too much control. Help me to surrender the things that are out of my control to you.  Teach me to be responsible for myself and to stop being responsible for things that do not concern me.  Show me that YOU are God and I am not.  I pray this in Jesus name, AMEN.”

         James 4:7 (CEV) – Surrender to God! Resist the devil, and he will run from you.

  1. You allow God to keep control of your life: don’t get impatient! – Back in college when I was dating Jen, I became impatient with our relationship because I didn’t think it was progressing as it should.  Many times I was “acting like God” by being controlling, impatient, frustrated, depressed and even selfish.  I had to learn to give God control of my relationship with Jen; even to the point that I broke up with her because my life focus was all messed up.  It was one the the toughest things I had to do (to let go, to give up my control).  In the end, and just a few months later we got engaged; but I had to learn the lesson of control first – I cannot control others.  I have to be responsible for myself and my action and allow God to be God and others to have their own free will.

        Psalm 37:7 (GW) –  Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for him… 

When Should I Surrender to God?  NOW

As we wrap up this week’s post consider the following passages from Romans and James as it relates to surrender and our sin nature:

Romans 6:13 & 19(NLT) – Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God…
Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy.

We are either a Slave to Sin or a Slave to Righteousness:

James 4:4-10 (Msg)  – You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way.  And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.”  And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.”  So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper.  Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field.  Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious.  Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.

Last Thought:

The first step to Happiness is being Surrendered to Christ