By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
I watched a recent video clip of Victoria Osteen, wife of noted pastor and author Joel Osteen of Houston.
Honestly, I was not impressed.
I recently wrote a column expressing my opinion of the “health and wealth” ministers that are so prevalent today. At least one reader chastised me and said I was way off base.
That reader and others need to see this video for themselves.
Mrs. Osteen, with her husband at her side, told thousands of people recently at Lakewood Church in Houston: “Just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to be happy. When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?”
No amen from me Mrs. Osteen.
That totally goes against what worship is about. Worship is not joining with other believers to sing hymns or praise songs that make us happy. Worship happens when we can come humbly before God, praising Him for who He is and thanking Him for what He has done for His people who call upon His Son as Lord and Savior of our lives.
Worship is not about us. It’s all about God.
Don’t get me wrong. We can be happy when we’re doing what God wants us to do and we are in His will for our life. I believe that.
But I can’t really find in Scripture that happiness is one of God’s requirements for His people.
In Deuteronomy 10:12-13, we actually find some “requirements” that God expects from His people.
The verses remind us: “And, now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you except to fear the Lord your God by walking in all His ways, to love Him, and to worship the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul? Keep the Lord’s commands and statutes I am giving you today, for your own good” (HCSV).
As I read over the verses again, I fail to see “happiness” as one of the things God wants from us.
Happiness can be a by-product of doing His will but it is not His utmost desire for us.
What concerns me most is people are flocking to those who preach this false message.
People who follow this preaching are making a tragic mistake.
Following God and doing His will does not always have “happy” consequences. Think of the Christians in the world who have been persecuted and even killed because they professed faith in Christ.
We are living in a culture today where those of us who profess faith in Jesus Christ are ridiculed. We are called religious fanatics or zealots when we speak against abortion or same sex marriage.
When we face those trials it will be stressful.
But you know what? That’s when God will be most happy with us because we are being faithful. Ultimately, that is really what God wants from us.
I don’t think He really cares if we are happy or not — as long as we are faithful. That’s what really matters.