Having Your Own Way
Having our own way will not make us as happy as having God*s way. Have you ever noticed how fleeting the happiness is when you have had your own way? And have you noticed how long your heart glows with happiness after you have done something for someone else. If we could only put a timer on how long the happiness lasts when we have our own way and then put the timer on the happiness when we are unselfish, we could learn a valuable lesson. And it would be helpful if we could measure the intensity of the gladness in each of those cases. We can also learn about these things from observing others. If we see someone who is always unhappy, he is not serving the Lord. If we see someone who is always serving the Lord he will most always be happy.
Only one who has received Christ can come close to a correct assessment of the duration and strength of the two different types of happiness. Before he received Christ, he had no genuine unselfishness in him and those who have not received Christ still do not have it. Instead of comparing apples to oranges, they will only be able to compare apples to apples.Romans 3:12: They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
2 Peter 1:3a: According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, . . .
The happiness we get from having our own way is shallow. It is here and then it is gone. The happiness we get from serving God and others goes deep and can last a lifetime and even into eternity. Even though the happiness we get from having our own way is fleeting, it is like an addiction. We want it again and again. We want it a moment later and feel like we need it. Having our way once never satisfies us. Having our way over and over still does not satisfy us. It keeps us going away from the lasting satisfaction. Some of the things the Lord helped me to do for others decades ago are happy memories that still make me glad and give me satisfaction even today. They keep me going the right way.
Test this theory for yourself. Try to remember unselfish things that you have done since you received Jesus and see if those memories don*t still make you happy. And then try to remember selfish things you did and the feelings that followed.Hebrews 11:24-25: By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh*s daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
Mark 9:41: For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.Revelation 14:13: And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
We all begin by going the wrong way, the way of selfishness. And only God can put genuinely unselfish love in us.Isaiah 53:6: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5: Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Having their own way was certainly not a blessing for the Israelites.Psalms 106:15: And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.