Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

by Jeannette Haley

Many people today, both believers and unbelievers, are haunted by feelings of unhappiness, stalked by insecurity, tormented by temptation and languish in loneliness and loss. As prophesied of the end times, millions of Christians, instead of receiving solid, biblical counseling and teaching, are brainwashed, indoctrinated, and encouraged to put their trust in unbiblical, heretical, and occult teachings. Instead of obeying Colossians 2:6-8,they prefer to be spoiled “through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

No wonder Jesus referred to people as sheep. Helpless in the hands of hirelings and wolves in the religious world, and “successful” politicians and unbelievers in the secular world, they gullibly believe whatever they are taught, read or hear. Proverbs 14:12 warns, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” The most tantalizing “bait” that allures people, from their youth up, to choose the way that seems right, is the underlying desire for happiness. After all, who doesn’t start out in this life looking for ways to make oneself happy?

Those of you who have read Hidden Manna or attended one of Rayola’s seminars know that there are also three things that people need depending on their nature. They are acceptance, emotional love, and recognition. Thus, the drive to find our personal need fulfilled coupled with the desire for happiness can lead to some dangerous and destructive decisions. For example, the nature that needs acceptance generally chooses the path that seeks to acquire knowledge.   Such persons consider themselves to be superior to others because of their “expertise” in certain subjects. Their idea of fulfillment and happiness is to be worshipped, and they are good at playing games to achieve the desired result. However, the people around them have their own need to be worshipped, so conflict, rejection, and offenses occur.

People who need emotional love desire to be adored. Of course, this is also worship. Unless they realize that their insatiable need for emotional love is not reality, they will choose, and justify, any way that “feels right” at the time. And, if that relationship doesn’t work out, they will continue to make bad choices to their own destruction.

Those who need recognition will either expect others to recognize who they are trying to become, or they will crave recognition for who they are. Because these needs are such an integral part of such people, they can display powerful attitudes if the need for recognition (which is another form of worship) isn’t met.

Trying to get our needs met is a big part of why we are tempted to choose the “way which seemeth right unto a man”. We think that if we could just get our need satisfied, then we’d be happy. Of course, no other human being can satisfy our needs—only Jesus can. A relationship with Him is what we need to cultivate by reading, studying, and meditating on His word, communing with Him in prayer, and walking His Word out in obedience. It’s amazing, though, how many people reject this truth because it does not appeal to their fleshly sensibilities. Their attitude is, Yeah, well, that isn’t the answer I’m looking for. All that stuff isn’t fun!

Even though the truth is the truth and never changes, people still try to get their needs met and find meaning and purpose for their lives through the vanity of worldly game-playing and devices which results in sin. We know that the “wages of sin is death.” Yet, the desire to find “happiness” by satisfying needs and desires (lusts) of the flesh is so great that in order to bring even temporary relief people will sell their souls to get it. Sadly, this includes unconverted Christians. Jesus warned that a man cannot serve two masters. James tells us that a “double minded man is unstable in all his ways” James 1:8. King David prayed, “…unite my heart to fear thy name” Psalm 86:11b. Defeat and destruction await those who seek personal gain while walking with one foot in heavenly places in Christ, and the other foot in the devil’s playground of the world. (Converted means totally committed to walk out, or follow after righteousness through mortification of the “old man”—the lusts of the flesh—and following Jesus. (See Luke 9:23-26.)

We are reaping the results of this half-hearted, lukewarm form of “Christianity” in our nation, our families, our churches, and our personal lives as the real goal of the majority of the people has shifted from pleasing the one true God to pleasing the god of self. The truth is self can never be pleased. If a person does somehow manage to achieve fame and fortune, all he or she reaps is nothing more than emptiness and vanity. “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all That is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” 1 john 2:15, 16. Looking to anything other than Jesus to give one’s life meaning, purpose, and fulfillment is idolatry. James 4:4 declares, “…know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” There must be a separation from the love of the world in our hearts that we may be “complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ” Colossians 2:10, 11. The Apostle Paul painted an accurate picture of the days in which we live when he wrote to Timothy, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” 2 Timothy 3:1-5.

The key to real happiness is summed up in 1 Timothy 6:6, “But godliness with contentment is great gain”.Godliness and contentment can be compared to strong, twin pillars upholding an entrance into a place of light, joy, and beauty. The “pillar” of godliness means a life lived in holiness—totally consecrated to the Lord. Such a life overflows with the Spirit of the living God in which the fruit of the Spirit is abundant, and sweet. Godliness is holiness without which no man shall see God. (Hebrews 12:14; 1 Peter 1:16). The “pillar” of contentment, means self-satisfaction. Such a person has come to a place of peace and well-being through the faith and love of Jesus. A contented person possesses a heart filled with thanksgiving and gratitude to God for the gift of life, and for all that pertains to the fullness of God. Contentment enables a believer to enjoy fellowship with the Lord at all times, and is responsive to God’s goodness, mercy, and love in the simplicity that delights His heart. Faith grows in the heart of a person who has been reconciled to God, which produces godly living, for “the just shall live by faith.”Thus, we see a balance between godliness and contentment. Godliness results in contentment which is a state of blessedness (happiness) while contentment enables a person to live a godly life. There can be no true and lasting happiness without holiness. Yet, millions of people think that God wants us to be “happy” when the truth is, God wants us to be holy.

       Jesus gave us the key to godly living which results in true happiness in His Sermon on the Mount. Did you know that, according to Webster, “Beatitude” means a state of utmost bliss? Perhaps it is time to revisit these words of Jesus, and ask ourselves if in our busy lives we have shunned, overlooked, or set aside His instructions concerning what real and lasting happiness truly is. And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed areye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” Matthew 5:2-12. [Emphasis added.]

Will you choose to “seek…first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” or, like Demas who forsook the Apostle Paul, choose to depart in order to satisfy your love for this present world? The choice is yours.