Happiness is Somewhere Out There! – Lies of the Enemy #30– Purity 1042
Purity 1042 05/13/2023 Purity 1042 Podcast
Purity 1042 on YouTube:
Today’s photo of “Morning at Cherokee Lake” comes to us from Fred Dimmick who shared this scene on social media back on April 18th. I love the boardwalk pathway and the perfect tranquil reflection of the surrounding landscape on the surface of the lake, and all under a cloudless blue sky! Fred’s photo makes me want to get out there and see something!
Well, it’s Saturday and while I have been working outdoors, digging ditches, literally, this week the tranquility of Fred’s photo encourages me to spend some time appreciating God’s creation, albeit with some balance. We only have so many hours on the weekends, and we have to be wise when we plan things and count the costs. We have to ask ourselves what exactly it is we are looking for, or trying to accomplish, and to consider how much time and effort accomplishing it will take, and whether there is a simpler way to meet our needs that won’t cost us everything.
For example, last year my wife and I and some friends went on a “white water rafting trip” on the Hudson River. If you have never gone, I would highly recommend giving it a try. It was fun! However, before you book your trip with a rafting company, you need to count the costs. The rafting trip required financial costs, more or less 8 hours of you day, and some physical costs to your body (from rowing, being jostled around in the rapids, from swimming (you’ve got to get out of the boat – brothers and sister – as far as I am concerned -for the full experience), and from being out in the elements for most of the day. While you will have your evening free after the trip, you may be “spent” from the experience.
Similarly, we, like Fred, can go to nearby nature trails, state parks, lakes, or mountains to get out in God’s creation to experience the glory of the great outdoors but we are wise to figure out the “drive time” and assess the lay of the land to accurately determine the time and physical costs for our excursions – long hikes cost more than short hikes, mountain hikes cost more than hikes on relatively flat terrain.
And all of these considerations are being mentioned today because each of us have different likes and dislikes and different capacities and as I seek to encourage people to “do something” to fully appreciate their lives, and to find peace and joy in the process, I also want people to be wise and discerning and to seek to know themselves and their limitations because if they aren’t their attempts to find peace and joy can turn into frustration, angst, and bitterness.
The sense of peace we will experience will be within us no matter where we go, so it’s good to remember that wherever we go, we take ourselves with us and we should seek to accurately assess what we can handle and what we can’t. If our journey of life turns into some desperate pursuit of finding peace “somewhere out there”, invariably we will come to the conclusion that “there is nothing out there” in some sense, unless we are also connected to the Creator. There is nothing inherently meaningful or fulfilling out in the middle of the woods, next to a lake, or on the top of a mountain unless the experience brings you to a place where you thank God for what He has made and the life He has given us.
Many times on solo nature hikes, I have reached “my limit” -where I get to the point that my appreciation for the “stillness” and the beauty of the great outdoors dissipates, and I begin to get frustrated and become more concerned with whether or not I should press on ahead or turn around and leave than with the “awe and wonder” of the wilderness. When I get to that point, I know I have overextended myself and usually make a determined effort to just leave – I am no longer appreciating the woods so “times up” – it's time to go back to civilization and find rest somewhere else – usually back in the comforts of home.
I don’t know if I’m adequately expressing this experience of discovery and dissatisfaction, but this is where you come to the realization that – there is “nothing out there” – anywhere really – at home – on the road – anywhere that will fulfill us in and of themselves. This experience is simultaneously discovering our own limitations but also the limitations of “people, places, or things” to completely satisfy us.
The “answers” to peace and joy don’t lie “out there” by themselves. The answers to peace and joy are found by relating all of our experiences to God. He is the only One with us – all the time – and when we aren’t relating to Him moment to moment – the world becomes lonely, disappointing, or even hostile to us. God is our ever present companion and the only One who can give us the enduring experience of peace, safety, acceptance, security, and significance.
U2’s Bono just turned 63 (we are all getting old – our rockers will increasingly be found in rockers – as in rocking chairs) and I remember U2’s 1987 song “I still haven’t found what I am looking for” where Bono sang about “climbing the highest mountains” and “running through the fields” and having other fleshly, and even spiritual experiences, only to find himself still searching. Although the song’s lyric confesses to believing in “the Kingdom Come” and being set “free” and “believing it” – the fact that singer is “still running” makes believe that they are looking for “something out there” when they should stop and consider the fact that we are all invariably running to an eternal existence with or without God.
Our wilderness discontentment experiences, and desperate searching “out there” testifies to the inability of nature or other worthwhile experiences to provide meaning and purpose and to the fact that we have looked to created things rather than the Creator for guidance and peace.
And this may be the longest meandering segway ever but, this brings us to our current series the “Lies of the Enemy”, which is an examination of some of the common lies, sometimes sneakily whispered into our minds as “first person” statements, that the enemy tells us to cause us to doubt our faith, lose our peace, cause division, or influence us to not follow the Lord with the way we live our lives.
So today’s big lie is:
Lie #30: Happiness is Somewhere Out There!
This Lie is trumpeted everywhere! Happiness is something out there and many will offer that they have not only found “it” they have it for sale. The travel industry will book you trips to all the “happy places” on the earth. Restaurants promise to take you to a “happy place” with their culinary delights. The sex industry will give you all kinds of options for finding the “happy place” of sexual release. Dating apps even promise to bring you to the “happy place” of finding relationships. Spas and salons will provide you with treatments that will give you “peace”. The entertainment and sports industries will make you happy by giving you dramas to get lost in or to give you something to cheer for.
But as I tried to express above, all the “things out there” – while admittedly they can provide us with pleasure and happy experiences – we were never meant to invest ourselves in them to find our ultimate fulfillment. True fulfillment – peace and joy – come from a relationship with the Creator, not with temporary experiences or created things.
Isaiah 26:3-4 (NLT2) speaking
of God, says
3 You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
4 Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.
Our temporary experience will give us temporary peace. But the Lord offers perfect peace for eternity. And the Way we can enter into a relationship to know God’s eternal peace is through Jesus. He said in:
27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
His teaching and His very life were given to and for us so we would have peace. Jesus acknowledges the difficulties of living in this world but assures us of that through Him we can over come it. He said:
33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
We are not to try to find our peace – or happy place – in the world. We are to find our peace in Him.
So while I encourage you to enjoy your life and to get “out there:” this weekend to do something, make sure that you understand your limits and that the peace that endures forever is found in Christ alone. So don’t believe the lie that “happiness is somewhere out there!” just waiting to be found because no matter how much you search in this world, unless you are looking towards the Creator and consider His Way for peace, you’ll will not only never find “what you are looking for” you will discover that you were running away from the only One that could give it to you.
For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple apologetic will provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is :
1 Peter 3:7
7 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
Today’s verse reminds husbands to treat their wives with honor and understanding that she is our equal partner in God’s gift of new life and that failure to do so may hinder our prayers.
Well, just in time for Mother’s Day, the Lord provides us with a verse to honor our sisters in Christ. Women are our equal partners in our new lives in Christ and when we treat them as second class citizens of the kingdom of God, we apparently will disrupt the effectiveness of our prayer lives as a spiritual consequence.
Men and women are different. They have different strengths and weaknesses, but the Lord loves them both and wants them to honor and respect one another as equal partners in God’s kingdom. While men are given the spiritual authority in marriage, they are not to abuse it. Instead the word of God instructs us to love our wives as ourselves and to give them honor.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from “Satan, Demons & Satanism: A Sinister Reality” By June Hunt.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work. This resource is available online for $7.99 (https://june-hunt.myshopify.com/collections/keys-for-living/products/keys-for-living-on-satan-demons-satanism_ ).
Satan, Demons & Satanism
A Sinister Reality
by June Hunt
IV. Steps To Solution
E. Claim Your Victory in Christ
Christ’s victory over Satan is complete, final and irrevocable. Because Christ lives in you, His victory has become your victory. There is no power over Satan apart from Christ because He is the only one who has been and can be victorious over your adversary. Claim and appropriate His victory as your own, and then walk in that victory on a daily basis.
• Commit your entire life to Christ as Lord.
Fully rely on Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
“If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, your will be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
• Confess your involvement with Satan.
Recognize and renounce each evil practice.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
• Confront Satan as a liar.
Refuse to believe any thought that Satan puts into your mind.
“He [Satan] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44)
• Command Satan to leave you.
Base your command on the authority given you in Christ.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
• Cleanse your home.
Destroy all satanic and occultic paraphernalia.
“Avoid every kind of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22)
• Conform your thinking to God’s thinking.
Transform your mind by memorizing Scripture.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
• Concede your own weakness.
You cannot resist evil in your own strength … you must rely on the indwelling power of Christ.
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)
• Clothe yourself with the armor of God.
Learn God’s way of protecting yourself against the devil’s schemes.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground.” (Ephesians 6:13)
Q “For several years, I have been having perverse sexual dreams. I feel dirty when I wake up, but I can’t seem to do anything about them. Although I recently became a Christian, our family was heavily involved in witchcraft and satanism. What can I do to stop having these nightmares?”
Recurring sexual nightmares can certainly be rooted in the occult or in satanic rituals. Because your family was heavily involved in witchcraft and satanism, your first line of defense is to enter into spiritual warfare against these powers. If satanic oppression is the cause of an involuntary, immoral dream invading your life, through prayer it can be overcome. Claim your position as a child of God by thanking Him for loving you and saving you. Speak audibly, for Satan cannot read your thoughts. Then, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and through the power of His blood, renounce and reject any influence of the occult or any evil presence attacking you.
“They overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb [Jesus] and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” (Revelation 12:11)
Thank You for saving me and adopting me into Your family. I acknowledge that Your blood was the payment price that purchased the full forgiveness of my sins. My testimony is that I truly am a child of God. Right now, I take the authority that is mine in Christ and renounce any satanic, demonic power that was or is coming against me. When I sleep, I ask that the helmet of salvation protect my mind. May the breastplate of righteousness deflect any flaming arrows from the evil one. Put a hedge of protection around my mind and purify my dreams, and may God get the glory. In the powerful name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
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My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ), her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)
For those who require the assistance of a Deeper Walk International Prayer Minister to experience healing or your freedom in Christ, I highly recommend Christy Edge’s Life on the Edge Freedom Prayer Ministry. You can schedule a session by going to : https://cedge216.wixsite.com/life-on-the-edge
“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”
Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Satan, Demons & Satanism: A Sinister Reality (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 16–18.