Go Do What Makes You Happy
How do you respond to God in the mundane?
WHATS THE POINT
God never said… “Go do what makes you happy.”
John 8– but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger.7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
What’s one thing that makes you happy!? (tell a personal story of a time that you felt super happy).
Optional: play this video to introduce the idea of being happy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJ9Tdvqlo_Y
If you know Gru and you know anything about Despicable Me you know that he’s not that happy type. But getting this date and having it go well for him changed his whole attitude and made him happy. But just like the happiness shown in this video or in our own stories and ideas of what happy is, it’s pretty temporary and isn’t something that lasts forever. It’s mundane happiness that comes when the moment happens and could linger for a bit and then be gone the next.
WHY DO I CARE?
When we think about happiness it’s like we are in this boat of being humans that want true happiness. I can’t be the only person that would desire our world and to live a life of happiness and to experience that daily. But in reality, sometimes that’s not the case. How many of you have heard the saying, “You do you!” Or, “Go ahead and do it, it will make you happy, do what your heart desires.” There are so many rhymes that we could list. But let me tell you doing this or following in this way is always going to lead us to the moment of temporary happiness rather than a life full of happiness.
Looking in our Bibles let’s read what John 8: 1-11 says (Read text).
In this story, you have a lady who was caught in adultery. And then a bunch of Pharisees are ready to follow the rules which say that they should stone her for the wrong. Keep in mind the wrongs she had done are also known as sin. We may not relate to adultery but think of a sin you have done before. Maybe you lied about cheating on a test, or you gossiped, or you found yourself watching porn or whatever the case is. We’ve all sinned. In this story, we see the women who sinned, but we see all of these other people, the Pharisees, who are more like, “Woah is me, I’m innocent, let’s accuse the accuser: this woman instead.” But as we get further down in the text Jesus does this thing where he starts writing something in the sand. We don’t know exactly what it is he writes, maybe it’s the sins of those around accusing the woman. But then they say, “Well Jesus, she did this.” We should be accusing her and as Jesus is writing he looks up at them and says, “Whoever is without sin throw the first stone.” It was then the people around started to walk away realizing they didn’t have a right to stand on because like the women they had also sinned at some point in their life.
After that happened Jesus took a moment with the women and said to her, “No one has condemned you, and neither do I, so go and sin no more.” Jesus doesn’t say to the women, “The temptations you have had are forgiven, and when you have more temptations make sure you come back to me and ask for more forgiveness.” No, he doesn’t say go and live it up and do whatever will make you happy. He doesn’t say you do you, and whatever you’d like as long as you don’t hurt anyone, no. But what He does say is go and leave your life of sin and be free! Jesus offers her a chance a new life, a freedom; an invitation to live a life full of grace, truth, and love. He is saying, “Hey feel free to walk in this that I have provided for you, a life of true happiness through the Father, a life of truth in who you are as a child of God.”
You see temptation, no matter what it is, can be attractive. For the woman in the story, she was considered sinning under adultery, but for some of us it could be different. Our temptation could be lies, it could be drinking and partying a ton but acting like a believer on the Sunday or Wednesday when you’re at youth. No matter what temptation is tempting you and it causes us to sin, it promises this feeling of satisfaction, but at the cost of disobeying God and pain to ourselves. It starts as something small and gradually becomes bigger until we feel stuck and trapped. And we say to ourselves if I just do this, I will be happy, or this will for sure make me happy even though we are sinning, we know the satisfaction isn’t going to last. We convince ourselves that what we are doing is right, and as long as it makes us personally happy then that’s all that matters. But in reality, God doesn’t call us to happiness in this form he calls us to a life of freedom, grace and love. Through this, we experience a life of happiness through Christ and all that He has for us as His children.
For some of us, you question what is true and think there is no such thing as absolute truth, so I do whatever makes me happy, is the answer and if it makes me happy then it must be good. But a lot of the time this isn’t true. Our happiness comes from God. And God isn’t asking us to be holy and miserable. He loves us and wants us to be free, to experience life abundantly, and to find our happiness and purpose in Him, not the things of this world that only satisfy for a moment. Matthew 7:9-11 says “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” You see our happiness will be found when we are rooted in Christ. Sin and temptation promise but they never deliver. Holiness goes with happiness, serving God living for Him, being a Christian. Our path of life is meant to be lived in the presence and fullness of God.
Let me remind you, Jesus says to us you don’t have to feel guilty be free, live for the things that matter in life. Be free in it, accept the grace.
WHAT DO I DO?
So, what do we do, when we feel trapped, or we keep doing something old and were stuck? May that be drinking, gossiping, lying, maybe you are stuck in lust. What do you do when you know it’s wrong, but you can’t get out? Maybe you’re seeking the approval of others, you lie and try to hide the shame, the thing you’re doing but it keeps eating you alive. Maybe it’s the way you act your attitude and your view on life. Or it’s a relationship you are stuck in treating each other horrible and you feel trapped. There are so many things we can be tempted by sin is sin, but God offers grace, faithfulness and love, and he will help us endure any temptation. He doesn’t bring you to a place where you can’t endure. He will help you get through it. Just like the story of this woman, there is grace and freedom, he provides you with a way out.
1 Corinthians 10:13 reminds us “no temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
God WILL ALWAYS give you a way out. Craig Groeschel said it this way, “Every temptation is an invitation to depend on Christ.” Our relationships with God need to be under full dependence on Him so He can not only teach us and enrich us as believers, but so that we can learn and grow in His grace and love and experience the life meant for us. The sacrifice that He bore on the cross, His love that He attributed to us and those around us. We are not perfect, and God knows that very well. But He offers us a gateway to freedom from our temptations and our true happiness and understanding of who we are in Christ will only come from Him.
Every time you feel trapped you need to recognize that God is there waiting for you to come to Him and be free, it’s an invitation to be connected to God. God has a better path for you, just like the lady in the Bible God says, “Go and be free.” Let’s be confident as we walk in truth and grace.