Had a great start to my month by hearing from some amazing International Ministry online. Our church (kingdomcity.com) normally runs a three day conference each October but due to COVID and all the restrictions we had people from all over the world (approx. 100 countries join in) log into a ‘live feed’ for three days from their lounge-rooms. It was phenomenal and people invited friends and family to fill their homes to eat, watch, worship and be involved in community.
There were soooo many brilliant things shared and touched on but one at the moment stands out and it was from Ps Chad Veach - https://zoechurch.org/about-zoe-church
Ps Mark Varughese (Senior Ps of kingdomcity) was interviewing Ps Chad and commenting on how much JOY he radiates all the time, in everything he does.
Ps Chad said - ‘God is not working in you if you don’t have JOY’ This statement struck me!
Every evening when my hubby and I pray together before going to bed, thanking the Lord for our day, giving over to the Lord our sleep so we can be re-strengthened for the day ahead, laying out all our family & friends needs etc…. My husband always finishes his prayer with ‘give Kim abundant JOY tomorrow – Amen’
Now there are times and situations when we most certainly do not feel joyful. I have even had friends/work colleagues in this COVID season text me while we are doing live zoom meetings, saying ‘turn off your camera cause you look awful’! So, I admit that we don’t always put on our ‘happy face’ in all circumstances so when Ps Chad made the statement above, it really made me think! How can I have JOY on and in me all the time?
(I am reposting a blog I wrote back in 2014…)
“Restore to me the joy of ‘Your’ salvation & uphold me with a willing spirit” Ps 51:12 (AMP)
In the amplified version of the above scripture it uses the word ‘your’ with prominence and it made me stop and think! The writer is saying to the Lord, restore to me the joy….. of ‘Your’ salvation! The Salvation that the Lord has orchestrated for us, was His Salvation to us as we did not have to do anything but just receive it so our ‘Joy’ should be overwhelming.
Back in 2012 when my husband and I were going through some difficult circumstances, we had a prophet and his wife share with us and part of that word to me was…
“Sister … God is saying Joy – that this is joy, the Kingdom of God is not meat or drink but its righteousness, peace and Joy – when the enemy comes to steal the first thing he goes after is our Joy – the joy of the lord let it be your strength”
During this season I read the book ‘Choose Joy’ by Kay Warren and she shares on her personal road and choices which for any mum or woman would be challenging but I was able to grasp from her words, her perspective of Gods amazing desire for us and who He calls us to be – very individual and unique.
I have only just now realised how the writer of the scripture above puts ‘Your’ salvation as the basis for restoring to me the Joy I so rightly deserve and should claim for what Christ sacrificed for me.
For many, many (many) years I have worn a perfume called “Joy” by Jean Patou and have always loved it but it is very hard to come by – especially now, the older I am getting . I do not want my joy from the Lord to be ‘hard to come by’. I want to be able to step in and claim what God so desires for me to have and ‘let it be my strength’.
If the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and JOY then I want bucket loads and not just the tiny smear that you daintily place on the nap of your neck. I want to be able to drench myself in ‘the oil of joy’ for whenever those circumstances would cave in around me, to pull me back when the enemy has the nerve to drag me down.
“To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion—to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3
God is amazing and I am blessed to give testament to walking with him day by day. I don’t always quite get it 100% but that is what makes up the unique and individual part of us, enabling us to continually seek our Father for the choices he desires for us to make in Him.
As with the song we sang as children in Sunday school;
I’ve got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy down in my heart - where?
Down in my heart - where? Down in my heart;
I’ve got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy, down in my heart, down in my heart to stay!
When googling on the internet for pictures of ‘joy’ they all came up with people jumping – I guess they were jumping for joy but this represents the best in my view, Snoopy - head and hands raised in total abandonment for God and a ‘willing spirit’ as original scripture verse at start says!