Calvin Miller once stated that the single most tell-tale sign of a Christian is JOY. Is this true in your life?
Want joy in your life? The kind that sustains us, buoys us, and lifts us up? Here’s how:
20 My son, keep your father’s command
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
21 Bind them always on your heart [read them];
fasten them around your neck [memorize them].
22 When you walk, they will guide you;
when you sleep, they will watch over you;
when you awake, they will speak to you.
I was praying this morning and running through my Scripture cards. I tweak them to read as prayers (a Beth Moore idea). One of the Monday cards is Ephesians 1:15-23. In that passage is, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened…” (18) As I read that part, I sensed the Spirit say, “You’re doing it.” I immediately realized that I was reading His Word! Reading the Word of God, whether from a bible or from a card, gives me instant access to God–and Him instant access to me. What happens is INSTANT JOY!
Here’s how it works:
- I read His Word.
- He speaks to my heart.
- We have a close connection.
- We both experience joy in that connection (Jude 24 says that He gets great joy from presenting us to the Father).
Philippians 1:25-26 says, “Since I am convinced of this, I know that I shall remain and stay by you all, to promote your progress and joy in believing, 26 So that in me you may have abundant cause for exultation [JOY] and glorying in Christ Jesus, through my coming to you again.” (AMP). The joy came from Paul’s physical presence with them. The same happens with us and God. When we read His Word, His physical Presence shows up. We feel Him with us; we hear His gentle whisper; we sense His nudge to read here, turn there, write this down, ponder that phrase, etc. It’s a great time of fellowship and worship.
That JOY we feel comes in three levels:
LEVEL 1: We have the satisfaction and security that come from an established relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son by the presence of God the Spirit in our lives, our heart and soul. This level is a sustaining joy through all circumstances. It’s the foundation of our faith.
LEVEL 2: We have joy generated through our relationships with others. The bond we share is an everlasting bond, one that we will carry into eternity. Our hearts are joined together by the Spirit. We experience JOY.
LEVEL 3: We have the joy of sweet fellowship with Jesus through an intimate time with Him. This level we get when we have time set aside for just Him for us to read, pray, ponder, and write down whatever comes to our minds through His Spirit. We feel His pleasure, which translates as JOY.
As we experience quarantine, may we take advantage of the extra time by spending it with Him. We want MORE of Him and LESS of Us. “He must increase; I must decrease.” John 3:30. May our joy be complete in Him. “I have told you this so that my [Jesus] joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:11.
Abba, I pray for all my brothers and sisters in Christ that even though we don’t get to meet together physically, that we would all feel the connection we have in Christ as we spend time in Your Word and in sweet fellowship with You. Join our hearts together through Your Spirit as we worship separately, yet together, at Your throne. May You speak to our hearts at a level that we are not accustomed to having. May the eyes of our hearts be enlightened to the hope to which You have called us, the riches in Your holy people (relationships), and the power we have in You (Eph. 1:18-19). Bless us today, O LORD, with a sense of Your Presence, Participation, Pleasure, and Power. Amen.