Posts Tagged ‘Lam. 3:22-24’

Go After Joy

“You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” (Psalm 16:11)

“Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones; And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.” (Psalm 32:11)

“You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of joy above Your fellows.” (Psalm 45:7)

We speak of the joy of the Lord quite often as a strength in trouble or a fruit of the Spirit… but I truly believe it is a great weapon for spiritual breakthrough and freedom.

God is completely faithful, He is generous as our Provider and sensitive as our Healer. When we are in need, He wants us to recognize His love and allow joy to lead us to our breakthrough. The psalms remind us that God’s loving kindness is new every morning (Ps. 30:5). His mercies are like the rains that fall upon the fertile soil of the heart to bring forth the seeds of spiritual strength (Lam. 3:22-24). No question, God is the instigator of our breakthroughs; yet we are all called to walk in step with Him for the achieving of spiritual victory.

We are co-laborers in the Kingdom of Heaven for our breaking forth.

As Kingdom Agents, we can and must see the joy of the Lord as a spiritually anointed tool that releases us from the chains of oppression. Joy is a great weapon against fear and depression.

I still remember…

In Sunday School years ago, we used to sing about the power joy had to bring great freedom in the Spirit. We would sing “if you want joy you must laugh for it” and off we’d go with, “ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha”. Pretty soon we would all experience laughter that would cause us to see differently the rest of the day. Those little songs were a point of release, setting the atmosphere of joy that influenced our dispositions and changed our heart attitudes. In one sense we were taking our thoughts captive without even realizing we were having moments of breakthrough.

I truly believe that the supernatural life of the Spirit is more natural than we think… try it – laugh a little and see if it doesn’t lighten the load. The Joy of the Lord can be your strength for breakthrough! (Neh 8:10)

Reasonable Service

I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy (and) acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”  (Rom. 12:1)

This verse from Romans not only tells us the nature of true worship, but gives us the context for its success. Success is tied to an awareness of God’s mercy! As we are called to live for God, we must discover a mercy that goes beyond our sense of frailty. We need to know how to do all that He requires, all that is “holy and acceptable” to Him. This verse is a model that all Christian leaders ought to meditate upon. It offers us one of those key spiritual truths that reveals His heart to us.

Mercy is… God not giving us what we deserve! 

In my work of discipling nations, I see so many good spiritual leaders stumble and fall looking for their identity, only to become frustrated by the way religion has put faith in a box. If you are like me, you need mercy consistently because you live with limitations. Most of our limitations are between our ears, but sometimes we carry around pride and selfish ideas like they offer us hope in ministry. I find more questions than answers in the ”church culture” of today. So I would rather approach God from a fresh view of His mercy, than rules or institutional religious formulas.  

Reasonable Means Logical:

Rather than getting into a whole mess of Greek definitions, we need to look at one phrase. The Apostle Paul says that to present ourselves to God as a living sacrifice… is “our reasonable service”. A service that would be reasonable sounds good. It would make “common sense” and be logical. The New International Version of the Bible says something interesting. It says this presentation of ourselves is our, “spiritual act of worship”. That means it is a functional lifestyle.

Here in this verse; the Apostle Paul uses the phrase, “logikan latreian”. The word “logikan”, kinda makes us think of our word logic or logical, refers to “thought out” or “well reasoned” - reasonable, if you will. ”Latreian” means “to serve, to render religious service or homage”.

Be Devoted to God’s Purposes:

“To worship” then as the Apostle Paul seems to be speaking of here means, “to be devoted to”. It speaks of who I serve with my life or who governs my life. Worship is more than just praising with words, as sincere as those words might be. Its about God’s purposes! It means more than just acknowledging God’s greatness! To worship God means service and activities that honor His priorities!

Devotion’s Foundational Pillars - Mercy & Logic:

We need to be devoted to God in all we do, because of His mercy, and because it is logical. To be devoted to God means allowing the Holy Spirit, at work in our lives, to govern us from a perception of mercy. We must yield ourselves to His leading.

Our spiritual journey is a walk of faith, a sacrificial one; but in light of mercy it becomes an effective one as well. Our spiritual journey is a walk holding on to our Master’s hand; but when led by the Holy Spirit a logic begins to emerge that guides us in all Truth. This is the renewed mind that we can expect from God (Rom. 12:2), for we have the Mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16).

Therefore, what we  must know, if we have seen the mercy of God and truly value it, you and I will present ourselves to God as devoted followers. We will lay aside all that would get in the way of pleasing Him. Doing so is our reasonable service… it is our worship. We are responding to the God we worship by giving ourselves to Him… and in turn we become filled with hope and faith.

He is faithful – His Mercy is New Every Morning!

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!” (Lam. 3:22-24)

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