James Cagle

James Cagle

The Bible says, “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord” (Psalms 119:1).

To be “blessed” means to be “enjoying happiness; enjoying spiritual blessings and the favor of God.” It’s enjoying the quality of life God promised to those obedient to His Word. It’s experiencing health, and vitality and the use of all our God-given capacities in a fulfilling way. It’s knowing our purpose for life and reaching our God-ordained potential.

The “undefiled in the way” are those Christians that choose, while living in this sinful world, to live according to the Word of God.

Blessedness is the crowning glory, the reward that comes as a consequence of the Christian living their life for God and keeping themselves from being spotted by the world (James 1:27).

The lost do possess a sort of happiness, so called. “ . . . wherefore are all they happy that deal treacherously?” (Jeremiah 12:1). And, “Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked” (Proverbs 2:14).

Their happiness is not at all like the happiness of a sanctified person.

The sinner’s happiness comes from the gratification of their sinful lusts. It’s like the sow returning to her wallowing in the mire and the dog returning to his own vomit (2 Peter 2:22).

It’s the nature of the person that determines their happiness. The sinner has only their sinful nature that enjoys the filth, and the pleasures of sins that are only for a season (Hebrews 11:25). The Christian has a new nature and is a new creature in Christ and enjoys the holy things of God for eternity (2 Corinthians 5:17-18).

When a person gets saved, they are forgiven, all their sins and are made innocent. They are then to strive to be pure and undefiled, which is the same as saying to be transformed into the likeness of Christ. And this is done through the Spirit and the Word (Romans 15:16; John 17:17).

Such purity and holiness, and Christlikeness comes solely through obedience to God’s Word (KJV). That’s what Jesus meant when He said, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). 

True happiness comes as a result of victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil, which is the result of our obedience to God’s Word.

Victory comes as a result of obedience to God’s Word. Defeat comes as a result of disobedience to God’s Word. Subjection, slavery, and bondage to sin, and unhappiness are the consequence of our disobedience to God and rejection of His salvation and deliverance.

Many Christians are not happy. They’re trying every means possible to be happy. The church is also offering everything imaginable to get them to be happy and stay happy.

Morale or happiness, among Christians is at an all time low because our morals, or our holiness, is at an all time low. Holiness, according to the Bible is the only real means, the only way, to true and lasting happiness. That is because walking in holiness is walking in fellowship with Jesus. The closer we are to Him the more separated we are from this sinful and miserable world, and the happier we’ll be.

Jesus didn’t die on the cross to make us happy and put a smile on our face. He died to make us holy and put the joy of the Lord and a song in our heart. Holiness is the means to an end, and that end is happiness, both now and for all eternity.

We have the cart before the horse when we put happiness before holiness. When holiness, or being undefiled, is first, and realized, then happiness, or blessedness, will naturally follow.

James H. Cagle lives in Ray City, Ga., and is a former Hamilton County resident.

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