Life, Liberty and Your Pursuit of Happiness
It was Thomas Jefferson who gave us those most precious words addressed to every American in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Here’s an interesting question, “Where did Jefferson find the inspiration to frame those words most cherished?” The answer comes from the moral thinking of his day. What he wrote was his mindset of godly principles that were in part, the rule of the day. Here’s the next question, “Exactly, what was it that made the difference in the mind and heart of our early nation?” Historical accounts give us the answer; there were godly pastors, who were the likes of John Leland, Roger Williams, and John Clarke; they unashamedly preached the truth from the written Word with Holy Spirit power that changed lives. An undiluted gospel came forth from the pulpits of the day with the soul-saving message from the Living Word. They preached it the way Jesus preached it: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). It was the Lord who gave our founding fathers the words of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Endowed by HIM, indeed; the living foundational truths are certain: In Jesus is LIFE (John 1:4); in Jesus is LIBERTY (John 8:32), and in Jesus is HAPPINESS (Mathew 5:3-11).
So, how about your life, your liberty, and your pursuit of happiness. Are those goal posts of life still on the move, any touchdowns recorded with your cheerful applause? Here’s a quaint proverb that may help us all to define our pursuits concerning those unalienable rights. “End the chase, pursue no more; that futile effort is like chasing the proverbial rabbit, uncatchable.” The blessing from the Lord is as sure as his Word: “Blessed is the man that maketh the LORD his trust” (Psalm 40:4). So why pursue that which the Lord desires to give you anyway, IF YOU ARE IN THE WAY? Blessedness is his gift to his children walking with him. You don’t have to walk finding only disappointment, headed toward that which you initially thought would make you happy, just walk with the Lord and he will give you a heart blessed in him. The Word of God brings us to the fulfillment of those ideals, of which are divinely endowed, not pursued. So, back to the moral thinking of Jefferson’s day, and back to WHAT those pulpiteers delivered: the messages of life, liberty and happiness from the Book. Jesus still is “The Way, the Truth and the LIFE” (John 14:6). The Lord still remains as our Liberator from the bondage and miseries of sin: “If the Son therefore shall make you FREE, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). Oh, don’t seek that happiness determined by your own shortsighted calculations, especially when HE invites you to the place where HE first finds you, and then you with his ample supply: “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is FULNESS of joy at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11). So, there it is, what you are really looking for is already endowed by our Creator, who is still in the Spirit-filling business of creating life, liberty, and happiness IN YOU. Oh, stop your own search, “But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Luke 12:31). “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him” (Psalm 34:8). Now, how about drafting a spiritual Declaration of Dependence on the HIM, who is the Life-giver, the Liberator, and the LORD of your happiness.