Psalm 51:10-12 (CSB) God, create a clean heart for me and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore the joy of your salvation to me, and sustain me by giving me a willing spirit.
Could it be that in our pursuit of God through religion that it becomes our focus to avoid sin rather than to embrace a true relationship with the Lord through righteousness? The purpose of righteousness is much greater than avoiding bad things, it is the fulfillment of God’s Purpose by doing the right things. The Bible says that to those who love God – His Commands are not burdensome. (I John 5:3) There is a shift in mentality found in true repentance that is often lost by checklists of doctrine. Perfect love casts out all fear especially that of punishment which is the sole source of avoidance of sin our side of a loving relationship with Jesus Christ. (I John 4:18) For those who seek Him to know Him will find that true repentance can produce a steadfast and willing spirit that will change our perspective of salvation and create joy in our life.
God, create in me a clean heart. The request and acceptance of His Grace is only the beginning. Renew a steadfast spirit within me changes everything. To live in the Presence of God accompanied by the Holy Spirit will never allow for stagnant suffocation of our purpose by simply avoiding sin. This is the place where simple obedience and radical faith chosen in each step will begin to restore joy in us. Real joy. Temporary happiness will be a thing of the past. The Lord desires overflowing and overwhelming joy to flow in us, through us and from us non-contingent on our condition or circumstances. This is what it means for our soul to prosper and as it pours out over our life everything changes.
Psalm 132:13-18 (CSB) For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place: “This is My resting place forever; Here I will dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provision; I will satisfy her poor with bread. I will also clothe her priests with salvation, and her saints shall shout aloud for joy. There I will make the horn of David grow; I will prepare a lamp for My Anointed. His enemies I will clothe with shame, but upon Himself His crown shall flourish.
You are the Lord’s Chosen Dwelling Place. We are the temple of His Holy Spirit. (I Corinthians 6:19-20) His Desire for us is that He can rest in us. To dwell and commune with us. To abundantly bless us. To satisfy us. To clothe us with salvation. To fill us with joy. To prosper (grow) us. Prepare us to be His Light of Love. To defeat our enemies and be our defense. To give us His Glory. Salvation is only the beginning. Through daily acts of true repentance, turning from sin to fully embrace faith and hope, righteousness begins to lead us to crossroads called choices. Each choice an opportunity to obey God. Who doesn’t want the benefits of God in Jesus Christ? Who wouldn’t want to go to Heaven avoiding hell? What if there is more to life than just playing it safe and sliding into home? There is my friend. It’s called inexpressible joy.
I Peter 1:5-9 (CSB) You are being guarded by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials so that the proven character of your faith—more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
A long time ago, I decided that I wanted to experience real faith. I had heard the word and testimonies of many who walked by faith and saw great miracles. I began praying for God to give me “real” faith. I had no idea what I was in for. I do not believe that the trials and tests along the way could have been avoided had I not made a request for faith. However, looking back, I believe the Holy Spirit inspired such a desire knowing full well what lie ahead of me. Faith is our response to life. Fear is the natural reaction but faith responds to God’s Power when facing certain obstacles. In pursuing faith which is step-by-step daily decisions to trust God and walk with Him, I have endured some great trials. The craziest part is the joy that wells up and overflows in brokenness. It is the river of God running through us that can only come out of the broken heart and contrite spirit. Joy flows from obedience to God called faith. It is not a word, but lived in each action and reaction. The creation of joy is found in a willing spirit that chooses faith, trust and obedience as a way of life.
Are you saved? Do you profess to be a believer? Are you living in the Glory of God? The Glory of God produces every blessing and benefit that the Kingdom has to offer. It is not by simply avoiding sin that such a life is accomplished. It is the giving of our life in full surrender and complete obedience to God. What is obedience? Random acts of kindness for a start. Hold the door open for another. Give them your place in line. Let them into traffic. Smile and say, “Have a good day!” Especially when the person is thoughtless and rude still do the right thing. Be the Light in your workplace. Arrive early. Stay late. Give your all to the job even if you hate it. Decide to have a governing attitude that changes the atmosphere with positivity. You have the power of change in you called Resurrection Power that offers new life to every situation and circumstance. It is our nature to overcomplicate things to give us excuses. However, you are a missionary right where you live. You are a minister just living life. You have been commissioned by the Lord to “go make disciples of all nations.” You are an ambassador of Christ.
Nehemiah 8:10 (CSB) Then he said to them, “Go and eat what is rich, drink what is sweet, and send portions to those who have nothing prepared, since today is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, because the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
The joy of the Lord is our strength. Maybe the church is not accomplishing the Great Commission because too often we become overtaken by rules and regulations. Too focused on our inability and lack of equipment, the enemy barricades us through insignificance and intimidation. You can do great things for God by faith because it is not reliant on your ability but the One who lives in you and me. We must tap into the powerful tool of obedience to strengthen our faith and embrace hope. In breaking our flesh to the Will of God, the Way of God produces copious and abundant amounts of inexpressible joy. I am so thankful that Jesus came to satisfy the Law so that I can live in liberty, aren’t you? No longer bound by the lie of the enemy – a rich and satisfying life awaits filled with inexpressible joy! Let the Lord create joy in you today Say, “Yes!” Do the deed. Step out by faith in obedience to God! Truly the best is yet to come!
Isaiah 12:2-4 (CSB) Indeed, God is my salvation; I will trust him and not be afraid, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my song. He has become my salvation.” You will joyfully draw water from the springs of salvation, and on that day you will say: “Give thanks to the Lord; proclaim his name! Make his works known among the peoples. Declare that his name is exalted.