Up until that point, I had always been told as a Pentecostal that if things were not going well in my life, I had to have shunned the Holy Spirit, and that I needed to repent. Maybe, but since that time, I have adopted a quote from Oswald Chambers devotional, My Utmost for His Highest: “The height of the mountain top is measured by the drab drudgery of the valley; but it is in the valley that we have to live for the glory of God.” For the first time in my life I was actually shown that my Christian walk was not solely based off of emotions and being on the mountain top; but it was how I walked in the valley day in and day out, that established my foundational walk with God. I have since been very aware that although I sat under a solid word (as legalistic as it might have been at times) I lacked a firm foundation.
Holiness and Happiness in my humble opinion cannot be separated. One is not one without the other. It is the classic definition of Synergy. The sum of its parts are greater than its individual pieces. I do however believe that one comes about because of the other. When we are living sacrificed lives, Holy and contrite in reverence to our spiritual Father, Happiness comes forth. With that being said, I think there are many cotton-candy preachers out there that emphasize Happiness (Joel Osteen), but don’t emphasize Holiness. When we are living Holy lives (of which I am not sure that the church even has a grip on the definition of what this entails) then I find that Happiness and Contentment come.
Fox’s Book of Martyr’s mentions about the martyr’s being focused on the glory of God till the end. Many would sing hymns and songs to their Maker while being ripped from limb to limb by lions, or while being boiled in vats of oil. This brings me to the definition of Happiness. Could it quite possibly be that as a Follower of “The Way” we might have a different definition of “happiness” then a wretched sinner caught up in the vile of his/her own selfishness and pride? God imparts through his Holy Spirit the necessity to live like Jesus and to crucify the flesh and be alive to Christ on a minute-by-minute basis. With that being said, from an earthly stand-point, that is not always a bowl of cherries. However, as a Follower of Christ, I am enthralled to live this way as I know what my reward is right now on this earth, as well as when we go to the place that He has prepared for us. So many people get caught up in focusing on living a good cleaned up lives now for and end result, that they lose sight of the Blessings that God has for them in the here and now. I am not talking about a big house, new car, trophy spouse, or a job that pays them six figures for working 60-80 hours per week. Quite possibly the reward might just be living in a van down by the river, but all for the Glory of God.
Happiness and Joy can only truly be defined from God’s perspective. The world’s definition of this is skewed, slanted, and tainted. We will only know what Happiness means, when we are living under the all abiding shelter of His Holiness. Frankly, I would love to hear more pastors and preachers emphasizing Holiness, and preaching Hell Fire and Damnation. It is not a personal preaching style that we lack, but rather the will and ability to call sin…sin, and to unabashedly and unashamedly declare the Righteousness of God, and what He demands of our lives. It is my personal feeling that there are many in churches that are currently being influenced by satan on a daily basis, as they have been told by preachers that they are okay because they have repeated a sinners prayer. Many do not know what it means to fall to their knees under the all consuming fire of God and repent of their vile nature, because they have not seen it, and we have not shown them. May we all be Ambassadors of the Gospel by not only sharing just the “Good News” but the other side of Jesus that is portrayed in Revelation 19. My Jesus is coming back with flames in his eyes, and a sword coming out of his mouth. May the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords be glorified, whether or not we are “Happy” by the worlds definition or not. May we all repent for sugar-coating Jesus and putting him into a little box of summation that is followed by a prayer and some water. May we all repent and cry out to God for repentance for not speaking the truth to those who call themselves Christians, but yet are as a nest of vipers. And may it start with me…