I think happiness is a goal all of us can agree on. Let’s face it—we all would like to be happy. In fact, if you were to make a list right now of all the things you want in your life, chances are the vast majority of things are on that list just because they will make you happy—or at least you think they’ll make you happy.
You may think if you have a bigger house or more money you’d be happy. You may believe if you had a different job or a better boss you’d be happy. Or you may think you’d be happier if you were married…or you’d be happier if you were not married! Whatever the case, it’s easy to base your happiness on another person or on some kind of outward circumstance over which you have no control.
John 10:10 says, The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows (The Amplified Bible).
One of the most effective ways for the devil to steal your current peace and joy is to get you to focus on what you don’t have instead of what you do have. I want to encourage you to stop wanting somebody else’s life and love your life. Until you do, you won’t even get close to being able to enjoy the life that you have. Believe me, the grass is not greener on the other side.
Have you ever seen a movie where some guy is out in the desert, and he’s starving and thirsty, and he thinks he sees a pool of water up ahead. It looks very real to him. He goes for that thing. He jumps in the middle of it and finds out it’s just dirt. It was just a mirage—something that appeared to be something that it wasn’t.
I believe that’s exactly what the devil does to us. He dangles a “mirage” in front of us—something that appears to be real but isn’t—and keeps us chasing after things that end up being nothing instead of going for the one thing the Bible tells us is going to meet every need that we have.
I know what that’s like. I’ve been that poor guy crawling through the desert! I used to believe that there was a whole list of things that would make my life better. The devil had me convinced that happiness was just around the corner. All I needed was something I didn’t have.
Let me share another verse with you. John 15:1,2 says, I AM the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit. When you prune something, you cut away the dead or useless branches that aren’t bearing fruit. In fact, according to that verse, even the branches that are bearing fruit are pruned back so they become even more productive.
I used to have a tree in my front yard. It was a pretty tree, but every year, around the bottom of the trunk, a bunch of baby tree-like things would begin to grow. They were so cute! But when somebody would come to trim our trees, they would always cut those cute little things off because they were actually sucker branches; they don’t really do any good. In fact, they would suck the life out of the tree and keep it from getting the nutrients, or life, that it needed.
Do you have sucker branches hanging around in your life that are just sucking the life out of you? If you’ll let Him, Jesus will come along and prune some of that stuff out. He’ll cut back all those things that you spin your wheels trying to do that don’t bear fruit. He wants you to let go of those things and be happy. He wants you to begin to focus on those things you do have and not let the devil steal your peace by tempting you to focus on the stuff you don’t have. Let go and begin to enjoy your life!