Self-fulfillment is a fantasy. Our self-desires are never fully fulfilled. Self always seeks something more. Even when self gets what it wants and the “rights” that it demands, it immediately cries out for more. Self is continually discontented and constantly craving. It cruelly compels us to conform to its compulsions and to dance to its endless, destructive desires. Therefore, a culture and belief-system based on the pursuit of personal happiness is a recipe for misery.
So what is the key to happiness? We have to go beyond self — to find a cause greater than self. Peace Pilgrim put it this way: “Forget yourself, and concentrate on being of service as much as you can in this world, and then, having lost your lower self in a cause greater than yourself, you will find your higher self; your real self.”
Jesus said: “Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me.” Since compulsive self-desires can never be fulfilled, they need to be courageously resisted and continually denied. To lay down our self-desires and die to them is the key to joy.
If we daily and persistently follow and obey the living, resurrected Jesus Christ and no longer obey our personal cravings, compulsions, or desires; we begin to experience victory in life. Paul of Tarsus put it this way: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Paul also said: “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Are you walking by the Spirit?
There’s nothing like walking in the flow of God’s Spirit — sensing the Holy Spirit moving within you and letting yourself go with His flow that releases peace, love, and joy streaming through your innermost being. Flowing in the Spirit is not just a one-time (or even an occasional) experience. It is a way of life. Christ calls us to daily live and walk in the Spirit’s flow. We don’t learn to flow with the Spirit by reading a book or by hearing a sermon. We lean to deny self and walk in the Spirit the same way we learn to walk physically — by doing it over and over until it becomes the norm for us.
It also helps to regularly meet with a group of Christ-followers that sets aside programs and agendas, and begins to just flow in the Spirit together. If you would like to experience a group like that visit The Salvation Army Berry Street in Nashville, where instead of a one-man sermon, everyday people share as they are prompted by the Spirit — Sundays @ 10:45 am., 225 Berry St., 37207.