by Jennifer AlLee
I spent last Saturday with about two thousand rowdy, on-fire women right in the heart of Las Vegas. That's right, the most grace-filled city in the world was a stop on the Women of Faith One Day Tour.
|Scott MacIntyre and Sheila Walsh. |
My apologies for not having a picture of Ken Davis...
I was in a confused stage ;)
The biggest lie of the devil is that the thing you need to be happy is just beyond what you already have.
Sheila Walsh shared that golden nugget, and when it came out of her mouth, it zinged in my spirit. Whoa. The biggest lie of the devil is that the thing you need to be happy is just beyond what you already have. Think about it... he's been whispering that in the ears of mankind since the beginning.
"Sure, you live in a paradise and have everything you could ever need or want. But if you really want to be happy, then you need to eat that fruit over there. You know... the one thing that God told you not to do. If you do that, then everything will be perfect."
We all know how that turned out... Guilt, shame, banishment from paradise, a cursed existence on a now-cursed world. Quite a price to pay for fleeting satisfaction and pleasure.
The devil still whispers in our ears. Have you ever thought any of these things?
"If I was thinner, then I'd be happy."
"If only I got that promotion, then all my problems would be solved."
"If I could sign a multi-book contract, then I'd know I'd made it as an author."
I've thought two out of the three (I won't tell you which, but it should be easy to figure out). That old saying about the grass being greener on the other side of the fence... that's right from the pit of hell. "If you only had what those people have, then you'd be happy."
Consider the words of the apostle Paul:
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.Paul wasn't looking to get one more thing in order to be happy. He was discarding things. He was focused on what mattered, "forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead..."
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:7-14, NIV)
Despite my epiphany moment on Saturday, I don't have a handle on this way of thinking. I still catch myself looking in the mirror, shaking my head and thinking, "If only..." But hopefully, I'll be quicker to catch myself and realize that God always has, and always will, give me everything I need to be happy. And much, much more.
JENNIFER ALLEE believes the most important thing a woman can do is find her identity in God – a theme that carries throughout her novels. A professional writer for over twenty years, she's done extensive freelance work for Concordia Publishing House, including skits, Bible activity pages, and over 100 contributions to their popular My Devotions series. Her first novel, The Love of His Brother, was released by Five Star Publishers in November 2007. Her latest novel, The Pastor’s Wife, was released by Abingdon Press in February 2010. Her next two novels are The Mother Road (April 2012) and A Wild Goose Chase Christmas (November 2012), both from Abingdon Press. She's a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America, Christian Authors Network, and the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance.