Christine Caine recently wrote a twitter comment :’ Truly the joy of the Lord is our strength – it just somehow supernaturally works. If we determine to find and draw our strength from our joy in Him, His purpose, and His call, then it is amazing how much we can accomplish.’
I have been thinking about thieves a lot lately…not the burglar, people type who rob banks but the thieves that rob us of the important things in life like our peace, love, faith, confidence, power, strength and this week: JOY. Thanks Kerryn Lee for the picture you put on Facebook this week about needing to watch out for the joy thieves.. (Comparison being just one of them).
If a burglar comes into a bank, getting the money is not his first priority, as first he has to deal with the security system and the people in the bank. They may corner them, muzzle them and intimidate them into doing whatever he / she needs them to do so he an get what he wants and get out of there.
The devil is called a thief because he is intent on stealing, robbing and destroying and just like a bank robber he will weigh up the security system and see how strong it is first. He is seeking who he may devour. He’s constantly trying to wear me down. Eventually if I hold fast to the security system I have been given then he will go find another bank where the security system is not as strong. He is looking for someone devour-able…someone who is an easy target. Unlike a burglar, he is a little more subtle and conniving. He uses fear and intimidation but the difference is he is often unrecognisable and comes in really great disguises
The burglar is only able to burgle because he is able to play on the vulnerability of the security system and the people inside. If he knows he can’t steal your joy from your bank he will try and steal something else and if he can’t steal anything then he will go find someone who he can steal from. The devil is after your joy!!! How strong is your security system and how easily can he steal your joy. Would you just hand it over or have you got a system in place to protect it?
I believe that joy is one of the most precious resources we have as God’s daughters. Who doesn’t want joy. I don’t know anyone who longs for misery and sadness. My whole life and everything connected to it needs JOY. My emotions need joy, my body needs joy, my mind needs joy, my soul needs joy, my spirit needs joy, my kids need joy, my husband needs joy, my home needs joy, my friends need joy, my work place needs joy, my church needs joy, our community and our world needs joy and copious amounts of it.
The only picture, sound and taste of heaven that those connected to you will get is you…. Is the picture of heaven that you are presenting to the world around you ….one of joy?
Does your life sound like heaven?
Does you tone sound like heaven?
Does your attitude represent heaven?
Does your voice sound like heaven?
Does your life sound like joy?
Do those around you define you as a representative of the kingdom of God because of your joy?
It is a taste of something supernatural, eternal and doesn’t make sense. It is something that is an expression of faith and trust and dependance and belief.
You can be going through the greatest trial of your life and those around you can see the supernatural power of God at work because your life is not defined by hard or miserable but by joy.
Some of the most joyful people are going through the hardest stuff and yet we can be going through easy and be misery personified. What is with that???
When Paul writes to the church in Rome, he tells them (from prison) in chapter 14:17 that the kingdom of God is this: righteousness, peace and JOY!!!!! not only do we get joy when we come to Christ but you become to the world around you, the expression, through your life, of what heaven is like and all about. Your life is a conduit of all that we have discovered in the person and work of Jesus…his righteousness, his peace and his JOY!
Right now you might want to stop thinking about all the people you wish would read this blog …. This is about your JOY. Today there are people in your life completely reliant on you for the sources of heaven to touch their life…they need JOY and some of them need what heaven is supplying for them through YOU!
As others encounter you today …and tomorrow.. will what you pour into their lives fill them with joy or rob them of it?
When you allow yourself to be robbed of joy you are also allowing others to be short changed from what God intended for their life today.
Joy theives are everywhere: comparison is just one of them. People, trouble, circumstances, the weather, frustration, feelings, the news, insecurity, loss, disappointment, the daily grind, stuff, a show on TV, the radio, music, food, your appearance, your period, stupid decisions, offence…. Pretty much anything can steal your joy.
Not only do we need to know how to restore our joy but how protect it from the joy burglar.
We can often feel weak because we have naively allowed the joy thieves to come in and take what they want with no fight to protect it.
We were made for joy. The original design for mankind was to dwell in God’s presence. Think back to the Garden of Eden when Adam walked with God.
Jesus himself said: “I have spoken all these things to you for one reason, that my joy may be in you and that your own joy may be complete, full, abundant, continual…
Joy is our birthright. We were created for it. And when we lost it, Jesus came to bring it back again. From start to finish, Jesus is all about joy.
So for you as a passionate lover of God and his presence …where is your JOY???
The thief comes to steal your joy, rob you of joy, kill your joy…what will you do to protect your joy.
It is in his presence, that we find the supernatural eternal measure we need. It is by abiding in the vine that we experience joy but also a joy that is complete, not partial or sometimes or circumstance and emotion driven.
Today you get to choose how you display the glory of God to those God has placed in your sphere of connections. When others need your joy, how will you pour it into their life… It is supernatural, it is a fruit of the spirit, it is meant to be harvested and tasted and seen and experienced in abundance.
Why oh why do I let stuf rob me of my joy? And why oh why do I let eh enemy use ME to rob someone else of their joy. I not only must guard my own joy but be careful that in a moment of someone else’s vulnerability I don’t rob them of their joy quota.
David in psalm 51:12 says this.. ‘restore to me the joy of my salvation.’
David knew what it was like to have his joy stolen but he knew where to go to have to restored.
find ways to laugh….laughter is good for you. Do what you can to make someone laugh out loud today. Be a joy seeker… Look for the funny side of things. Be intentional about keeping your joy full. find things that make you laugh, not at the expense of others but in spite of them.
The next time you are tempted to express your frustration, discontent, annoyance, misery, grumpiness, mood or lack of gratitude, appreciation; the next time you want to have go or dig at someone; the next time you want to vent…you have potential to not only let your joy be stolen and your strength be taken but you are also about to leave a taste of heaven that God never intended for you or anyone else. His intention for you is joy…complete, full, abundant and overflowing…
I’ll leave you with this quote from Kay Warren, ‘Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.’ http://purposedriven.com/blogs/dailyhope/?contentid=10448
If your goal today was to simply be JOYFUL I think you would be right in the middle of God’s purpose for your life….
1 Thessalonians 5:16 ‘Be Joyful ALWAYS’ ?..OUCH!!!