Home > Uncategorized > What is it we have?

What is it we have?

Or, what is it we are actually offering people?

A friend was over for lunch yesterday and we started chatting. I had been thinking in the morning how if I could somehow get people to taste the ‘Joy’ I and I know others have in our lives they would run to Jesus! My friend said he had been leading the young person’s discipleship group, a mix of people at different stages in their faith journey. The subject was drink, what the bible says, what might be wise, etc. My friend then very wisely moved on to that verse:
Ephesians 5:18, ‘And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit’

My friend then asked the young people if they had ever experienced a strange/unexplained sense of joy (in a church setting)? And lo and behold two of them had! I then recalled how at a similar age this had happened to me. I wondered if someone had been able to teach me, experientially, how to deliberately drink from that cup of joy, whether I would have quite so easily rebelled for all those years (from age 18 to 32!). I asked a few friends if their experience had changed over the years and yes they were at similar points in that they felt if they went to that quiet place or prayed with friends they could become joyful. The question is, should this be normal Christian experience? And if so, is it something that a new Christian can experience straight away and be taught to continue to experience/grow into? Also when those young people are tasting all sorts of new things in life how can we get them to taste the joy that comes from having a living, authentic relationship with our Father in heaven?

I am not saying look at me or some other person, just that experience is telling me that we are selling ourselves and unbelievers short. Of course the challenge here is how often I choose not to do this! ie go to that quiet place and drink (and this is what others are telling me is the real challenge for them) So in other words I think I am doing normal Christianity though not necessarily doing a good job of it! (there are lots of areas in my life need attention!)Never the less I feel that God is leading us to discover or rediscover something important . . .

Being Joyful: OK, so what’s the evidence?

Firstly we are made in God’s image and so our God given relationships can be a guide to what our relationship with God might be like. Take marriage, yes it could be said to have a moral rule book, that, at times may be all we have left for motivation. If the situation stayed like that, the marriage might be said to be dead or dry. What we hanker after is that romance and the joy it brings.

Secondly, a bit of theology, John Pipers book, ‘Desiring God’, explores this. In short for God to chase after happiness cannot be wrong since He is perfect. We are made in His image to do the same and we have been restored or redeemed, so it’s not selfish to chase after joy.

What about some bible verses?
This is just about my favourite one! Psalm 16:11 ‘You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.’

So why don’t we let Him show us the path of life? I know I need it and I am very sure those around me, who don’t know the Lord, need it! Why not get with those you normally pray with and ask the Lord for joy? Maybe even lay hands on each other or spend time waiting quietly on what the Lord might to with/for you? Ask the Lord to restore to you the joy of your salvation. Spend some quiet time together and ask the Lord to show you what might be in the way, ie blocking the well of joy and minister to each other . . One of the most common blockages is that at the bottom of what we say or believe, in certain areas, is that we do not think God is good . . so that is worth exploring.
Some more reading
1 Thessalonians 5: 16-19
Romans 15:13
Romans 14:17

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