‘I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.’ John 15:11 (NIV)
The Christian today has a great challenge. He or she is a fledgling teetering on the edge of the nest. The dangers are many that would harm its chances to grow into a mature creature that will soar with the clouds. Some of the dangers that confront the little chick are obvious. But the dangers are not always so apparent with the Christian. We may be injured while never being aware of it. Our growth in the Spirit can be seriously inhibited or effectively prevented without our conscious knowledge.
One such treacherous area is one of joy. Modern times would have us seek our pleasure and comfort as if our lives depended upon it. None are exempt. We all face the dilemma that this great concern for happiness brings. But what we may never imagine is that most of our joy is not bringing us any closer to God. We could take a defensive stand and get lost in debate over which interests are higher or lower on the scale of sinfulness. We could heatedly defend our opinion of what is right and wrong. But to travel down that road could we be blindfolding ourselves further and effectively preventing ourselves from seeing what the Lord would have us learn?
Earthly joy is almost certainly as tainted by the separation from God as we ourselves are. Fallen mankind, in whatever terms we would like to look at it has placed distance between our interests and those of our Lord. So no matter how lofty we may like to lift them, for us to gain satisfaction from the things we enjoy, we may still remain far from what God would have for us. The only Way for us to please the Lord is to be close enough to Him to see the smile upon His face. “Impossible,” one might say. But history has proven that some people in nearly every age have testified to approaching God so intimately in living experience that He was pleased to show them whether or not He was happy with them. What those saints lived in their close walk with God set them far above the average worshipper of today. They felt the immeasurable sweetness of the smile of God. They felt the joy that Jesus Himself experienced.
Our God lives. As surely as He lives, He can be found by the very people He has always promised that we could. And this is done not by seeking our own happiness. The blessed of God attain soaring heights and revel in the joy and love of Jesus by seeking His pleasure first. They get their by sacrificing their own agendas. They get near enough to God to become aware of His pleasure with them because they are willing to pay any price in this world just to have that experience! Can we say today that we are interested in having Jesus´ joy for ours?
Not many may even care. But we want to know the joy that is Yours. We want to be so close to You that we are aware of what makes You happy. You can show us what makes God happy. It will be our eternal joy to bask in the warm smile of His pleasure! So teach our hearts now how we can be this into You that we can have Your joy in us!