Authors, from visionary dreamers to theologians to psychiatrists, have written books of their vision of Utopia. In these imaginary lands everyone is happy, usually as a result of following the wise leadership of a beneficently minded leader who knows best. Those who step out of line, however, need a little extra guidance or re-education. God has a different remedy for a happy land. It is found in Psalm 33:12, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, and the people He has chosen for His own inheritance.” Of course, this was an ideal unrealized since the people of Israel were always hankering for someone other than God to be the god of their land. But it is an ideal that can be realized by His people today.
In the New Testament God does not have a “land” as such. He will in the future reclaim Israel for His sovereign territory for a thousand years, but right now He has no land. What He does have is people. His people, called by and through the Name of His Son Jesus, are His “territory”. In their hearts and lives He has a worldwide territory. He has enough “land” and people to make known to all the world that He can make a difference in the contentment level, the joy level, the peace level, or what we might call “the happiness quotient” level of humanity. For those who are His territory, who will die to self and live to Him – making Him Lord, they will prove to all that “Happiness is the Lord.”
Too often, however, we find that the Christian community is no different than the lost community. Instead of trusting they live in worry. Instead of praising they live in complaining. Instead of acknowledging His authority they set out to run their own lives and give Jesus a lift along with them if He wants the ride. The result is that they have as many idols as ancient Israel had and have no more happiness than they had as a result.
But Jesus daily calls out to us to change that pattern. He calls out to us to repent and live this day for Him and in living it find all that He promised is true. Each of us needs to make that commitment of Paul, as expressed in Galatians 2:20, to die daily and then live in the joyful expectancy of Christ and His kingdom in us.
Great Christ the King to Thee we bring our willing hearts today
To be the land with Your command where You alone hold sway
Reveal through us Your graciousness and let our full hearts sing
That happiness is real in us when You are Christ the King.