Now to be fair I don't know what Pharrell Williams believes. But I think that I want the God epitomised by two of his most famous songs. I want the God of "Happy" and "Blurred Lines".

I think that a lot of the time my primary concern is my happiness. The lyrics of my song go something like this:

(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you have also got your own way
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you have had an easy problem free day
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you've slept well and the traffic lights were green
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you've done good and by others you've been seen

Now sadly most days don't go quite like this. But I still expect to be happy. I expect God to give me a deeply contented, outwardly smiley, glorious peaceful happiness. All for me. I don't expect to be sad.

The problem with this expectation is that it involves me becoming oblivious to the world around me. That's what Pharrell suggests you do in the last two lines of his chorus...

(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
(Because I'm happy)
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do

In Pharrell's world we are all free to decide what makes us happy and to do it. But that can never work for everyone. For example, yesterday both my wife and I decided that a lie in would make us happy and that the other person in the bed should get up and give the kids breakfast. This was never going to work! We couldn't both do what made us happy. Self-centred happiness can never work. Even if you have Blurred Lines.

The lyrics of Blurred Lines are best not reproduced! The song is dominated by sexist, sexually driven, male desire. The message being sung to the "lucky" girl, is go with your desires to be with me. In other words, don't deny your feelings, let them govern your actions.

Now whilst we might not be gyrating in a night club proclaiming this philosophy of life to the young woman in tight jeans dancing beside us (nor even capable of doing such a thing if we wanted to!), it is the way that most of us decide what to do a lot of the time. We go with our feelings. And we want God to back our decisions. To give us contentment in the way we've decided that we need it. Be that physical health, job satisfaction, career recognition, relational perfection, family paradise.

But that's not the gospel. In fact that world of self wouldn't be good news for anyone.

Good news is Christ.

And what God promises to do is to make me ever more aware of how much I am loved by Him. Even though I have not just saddened, but deeply offended Him with my sin.

What will become daily more real to me is Paul's cry of despair and delight in Romans 7:24-25

"What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

God has also promised to conform me more to the likeness of Jesus. The result of this will be that I will begin to share His sadness for the lost world around me. I will not look for happiness where it looks, I will long that, with Paul, I might say:  

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21)

True happiness is found when I treasure What God has done for me in Jesus most. To get there I need daily to feel sad that I have indulged my selfish desires, so I can marvel at His grace and rejoice is His love.

Comment