Ben Reaoch | Category: Culture
Last month I preached a sermon entitled, “God’s Glory, Our Joy.” God intends for us to pursue joy. Yes! He wants us to be extremely happy . . . in Him. That last phrase is crucial. Everyone is seeking happiness, but most are seeking their happiness in so many things other than God.
In that sermon I quoted from a prosperity preacher who said the following, “I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God–I mean, that’s one way to look at it–we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we are happy. . . . That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy. . . . So, I want you to know this morning — Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy. . . . When you come to church, when you worship him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy.”
Those statements are so seductive, and so deceiving. They’re tricky because there are elements of truth there. Yes, God takes pleasure when we are happy. But when that statement is coming from someone who teaches a health and wealth gospel, we know that the real emphasis is on being happy in health and wealth. And thus God becomes a means to an end. The message of prosperity preaching is basically this: God is going to help you get the house and the car and the job and the spouse that are going to make you happy.
But God is not a means to something else. God, Himself, is the ultimate goal. Our happiness, our joy, our peace, our hope, is in Him. It’s not that we’re just hoping He can get us x, y, or z. Real happiness, lasting happiness, is found when we are hoping in God, Himself . . . when we’re content to be with Him and behold His glory, whether or not we ever get x, y, or z.
See this insightful article by Albert Mohler as he critiques the prosperity message of Joel and Victoria Osteen.
The purpose of our church blog is to serve the overall mission of our church: to delight in the beauty of God's greatness,