That’s such a loaded word, isn’t it? There’s something about that word that makes everything feel so easy when you are in it and everything feel so difficult when you are out of it. In it, life is simple and out of it, life is endlessly complicated. In it, everything is bright and clear. Out of it, everything is dim and confusing. In it, you feel like a kid again and out of it, you feel like the cranky old man yelling at kids to get off the lawn.
John Piper, possibly one of the greatest theologians of our lifetime, has a saying, “God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him.” While I have a million feelings and thoughts about joy, both personally and theologically, I just want to hang out in one place tonight while keeping that quote in mind…
"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
Friend, that drive to be happy… God put that there inside of you. And it’s your job as a Jesus lover, a child of God, to FIRST and FOREMOST passionately pursue pleasure that is all-satisfying… that can only be found in Jesus Christ. Read that scripture again and soak it in…
“You make known to me the path of life…”
What questions do you have? What answers do you need? What decisions need to be made? Who are you really? Why are you here? What’s your purpose in life? HE will make known to you the path of life. He will answer those questions. He will direct your steps. He will guide you, lead you, walk alongside you. But you have to stick close. You can’t hear the voice of someone who is far away. You can’t follow along The Path of Life when you are on your own path doing your own thing. You need to be close to Jesus.
“In your presence there is fullness of joy…”
I want it. You want it. We all want it. We all NEED it! If you are a follower of Jesus and you could not be easily identified by others as a joyful person… you need to spend some more time with Jesus, sweet friend. In His presence, there isn’t just a little joy, some joy, or enough joy. It says in His presence there is FULLNESS of joy! I want to be filled to overflowing with so much joy it just leaks out all over the people around me until they are filled up too because of the presence of God in my life! Wowza! I’ve got tingles all over my arms thinking about the kind of JOY I have in the presence of God! Take notice: it doesn’t say “In your presence, sometimes there’s joy,” and it doesn’t say, “In your presence, there is joy if you [x y z].” There are no qualifiers in the statement. It’s just what happens when you step into the presence of God as His baby girl! As His beloved daughter! As His favorite kid!
“At your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
In his presence, there is joy overflowing. And at his right hand, which symbolizes a special place of honor, there are pleasures forevermore. Eternal, everlasting, never-ending pleasures.
Listen. I don’t think the people of God can do the work of God and fully obey the will of God if we do not understand the position we hold in the Kingdom of God. If you feel like you have to earn it, you don’t understand what your salvation bought. Eternal life is just one part of the package. It’s a side-effect of an even greater work. Salvation found only in Jesus Christ restores you to your place as a sinless, righteous son or daughter of God. You were made for the Garden, we stepped off the Path of Life and royally screwed up the world, and lost access to the Garden which is a picture of perfect intimacy with the Father. What did Adam and Eve do in the Garden? Walk around every evening talking with God. In person. They had perfect communication with God. They were in perfect standing with God. There was absolutely no shame or hindrance between them and their Father. Joy was EASY to find. Joy was ALWAYS around because God was always around! They were FRIENDS with the God of the universe and HE was their dad!
That is what you and I were made for! Because of sin, we lost access to God who is our eternal joy! Jesus made a way back for us by sacrificing his perfect life on behalf of our sin-filled lives so that we could be God’s kids again… so we could go back to the Garden.
If you love Jesus and have been saved, but are still walking around like you are carrying the yoke of slavery to sin… girl, pick yourself up and dust yourself off! You are a child of God. You are the head and not the tail. The devil may strike your heal but you will crush his head. You live with the eternal, everlasting, never-ending, all-fulfilling, all-encompassing victory of Jesus over every sin in your life! If that doesn’t fill you with JOY I don’t know what will!
Pray that verse over yourself. You remind yourself that, because of Jesus Christ’s work on the cross, you have 24/7/365 from now until forever access to JOY. You tell yourself the truth…
So today, go find the fullness of Joy! Go be in the presence of God. Worship, read the Word, soak up His presence, spend some time in prayer… like more than 2 minutes. Get on your knees, lay facedown, whatever… just get in His presence and get your heart back in the Garden! Your joy will start spilling out all over! I promise!
“God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him.” - John Piper
WRITTEN BY:LYNDSAY TERRY
Read more from Lyndsay @ www.lyndsayterry.com
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