“I Just Wanna Be Happy!!” – (Part 4 of 4)

In my last post “I Just Wanna Be Happy!!”  –  (Part 3), http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kn, I ended with these 3 questions:

  1. Have you ever heard of making a New Year’s Resolution?  A promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good, or to stop doing something bad on the first day of the year.
  2. Have you ever heard of the concept – exercising mindfulness?  Meaning to pay attention “on purpose” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
  3. Have you ever heard this verse from the Bible?  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.Isaiah 55:8

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WHAT DO THESE SEEMINGLY, RANDOM, QUESTIONS HAVE TO DO WITH GOD’S WAY TO JOY?

1.  A New Year’s Resolution.

Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him. This is the key to your life. –  Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (The whole passage can be read at, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+30:11-20)

It seems to me that our first step is to make a choice – God’s Way or the World’s Way.

But DON’T wait until January 1st, make a choice today!!  Follow God as the Lord, the leader, of your life.

2.  Mindfulness.

Many people go through life by way of their habits.  Some good and some not so good.  When I think of mindfulness, I think of becoming consciously aware of the choices/decisions I’m making.

Do I go to church on Sunday because I’ve always gone to church on Sunday?

              family-going-to-church

Do I have dessert after every meal, just because?

       Captain-Ds-new-month-of-desserts

Do I watch movies because the critics say it’s “good”, and put it up for an Academy Award?

               wolf

When I actively engage my mind vs. operating on habits, I’m consciously and actively retraining myself and my mind.  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think...  –  Romans 12:2

Instead of simply reacting, I am now choosing to respond.

  • In response to circumstances or situations, is my knee-jerk reaction – How will this benefit me?  If that is your answer, that’s GREAT!!  Why?  Because you have just made a mindful evaluation.
  • You stopped for moment, even if it was just for a split second, to recognize what was driving your thoughts/actions – me or them, them or me…

Every time we bring awareness to our reactions, we increase our chances of forming habits that we desire, verses unconsciously adopting our parents, friends, co-workers, fellow students, TV personalities, etc. ways of reacting.

Maybe what they do is good, or not-so-good.  Either way, you now have a way to evaluate your responses, instead of leaving them up to chance or habit.

3.  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.Isaiah 55:8

This verse puts “my way of thinking” into perspective.

I, “the pot”, don’t completely understand every Biblical concept, idea, or God’s mode of operation. Nor, do I have the ability to know how my choices will affect myself and others. Only God, “the potter”,  does.

          potters-wheel

I’m reminded that if I did have all the answers, I would have no need for God.  All my relationships would be perfect, or at least my version of perfect, and in theory I’d live happily-ever-after.

Unfortunately, I have all to often acted or spoken too soon, wishing I could have a do-over.

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IN CONCLUSION:

We will experience joy when we invite God, and His Word to soften, and reshape our hearts.

Everything that God guides us to “do” in His Word, is for the purpose of growing our relationship with Him, and with others.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself.”  –  Luke 10:27

Additionally, God’s desire is to give us a rich and satisfying life.  – John 10:10

GOD’S WAY TO JOY ==>>  BE OTHER-CENTERED

REMEMBER:    We can trust God.  He always has our best interest in mind.

If God is for us, who can be against us?  –  Romans 8:31

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SEE ALSO:  “I Just Wanna Be Happy!!”                                                                                            

(Part 1), http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kK, 

(Part 2), http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kY,                                       

(Part 3), http://wp.me/p5nZpi-kn

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