Joy of the LORD - Perhaps in amongst all the busyness of life in all we get involved in, there can become a challenge to find true intimacy with the LORD. Yet in all things, the LORD is looking for us to draw near to Him so that He can satisfy our innate desire to be close to His heart. We live in a World which is yearning for love and acceptance, not knowing that we can only find true acceptance through the LORD. All our motivation to please man is wasted energy as we enslave ourselves over to serving Egypt rather than enter into the promised land that the LORD has prepared for us.
Clearly, each creature has a God given destiny and that is needed to fuel our lives in HIM. No other motivation is acceptable in HIS eyes. The fact that the truth has been given to us means we have much responsibility. The more we know and grow, the greater our responsibility to share and equip others to also enter into God's Kingdom.
Ironically, when we do find ourselves intimate with the LORD, we can be in our weakest moments. There tends to be a mentality that we turn to GOD when we most need HIM. There is another mentality that GOD helps those who help themselves. However, how often do we praise HIM when everything is going well? Well we ought to praise HIM all the time. We ought to praise HIM in the storm and thank HIM when we are out of it. We ought to count it all joy when we enter into various trials. The joy of the LORD is our strength.
There can be much perplexity when strange things start happening to us. Yet we should not be surprised when that takes place. Were we not promised persecution as a Christian? We know that the enemy loves to give us a rough time as he is fuming that we have redemption back to the Father, yet for himself there is no redemption. We are going home to the place that the devil was cast out of. Lucifer and his angels have no place in Heaven anymore. They will continue to get worse and worse as their destination becomes closer and closer.
Colossians 1:11 (NKJV)
1 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;
On the other hand, we will continue to go from strength to strength, glory to glory. The LORD is preparing a place for us in HIS home in Heaven where we will receive a true inheritance. How wonderful and glorious that moment will be. There will be no more tears, no more suffering, no rust or moth to destroy. Our place will be perfectly matched. We need to dig into our reward in a Heavenly perspective not yielding it up for Earthly pleasure that we cannot take with us.
Some say that the World is our Oyster. Well in some ways that is so. Our Father in Heaven clothes us, feeds us and we are never found lacking. Certainly Paul states that we need to be content with much or content with little. Yet in all things we need to accept our lot in life. Certainly we do not want too much that our security is in our goods and on ourselves. Yet we do not want too little as we may then turn to crime.
It is also true that some of us have a rotten life on Earth and others do not. Some live extravagantly and are blessed all the time while others suffer with multiple complications and needs and get a bad run of events in their life. However, we have a GOD who will level this out over time. Our lot in this love is to remind us that we do not belong here but in the arms of our Father. We are in this fallen rotten World and we are not meant to like what the World has to offer. Jesus is very clear in that we are aliens to the World and Satan's influence however we have to stand against the enemies dark and vicious Kingdom.
2 Corinthians 6:10 (NKJV)
10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
Now things can appear glamorous and life can be fantastic all the time. Remember however what was spoken between Lazarus and the rich man in that the rich man lived a good life on Earth while Lazarus suffered greatly. There is a chasm between the two of them and the rich man was denied access to where Lazarus was. Think about it, if we belong to the World then the World will love its own. Satan is delighted when people get busy and do not seek God so life can appear all merry and rosy and that is what people prefer to turn to.
Ironically, when we turn from darkness to light we are opposed by a clever enemy, although he is dumb. Instead of having his motivation in the World Satan then realises that we are his enemy now so the tide turns and he then attacks us for doing a mutiny on him. We are promised persecution and if you are persecuted, know that Jesus was first persecuted. If we hate the devil, the fallen angels, the World, the lust of the eyes, flesh and boastful pride of life then guess what - we do not belong in Satan's Kingdom!
Praise God that he confirms that we are His when these strange persecutory things happen and suffering comes upon us. For this, we ought to rejoice and find joy.
Isaiah 41:16 (NKJV)
16 You shall winnow them, the wind shall carry them away,
And the whirlwind shall scatter them;
You shall rejoice in the Lord,
And glory in the Holy One of Israel.
Believe it or not, in Job, the LORD allowed Satan to test Job to see whether he really was righteous, whether Job would turn to God or curse his faith. Does this still happen today? Does Satan roam about before the Father asking who he can devour? God may allow Satan to test us to see whether we really belong to GOD however, if we truly are of the LORD, we will stand the test and triumph over the enemy's challenge of our faith. Let's face it - there are so many people who choose not to suffer and find that living for the World is much cozier and nice than all the tests that come as a Christian. We have all been there I am sure where our faith has been tested. However, praise GOD that he rewards us when we trample the enemy's challenge against us. The further we grow, we further our resounding stance we have over the enemy. Jesus says that the more we are given, the more that is required of us. He also said that for those that are forgiven much will love much.
Psalm 40:16 (NKJV)
16 Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let such as love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!”
So the joy of the LORD is our strength. When demonic forces come against us physically or spiritually, we should be well comforted that Jesus has won it all. Will we stand on our faith and receive the victory and the miracle that we so dearly long for or will we give it all away and allow Satan to control our lives? Will we yield to the World's ways or will we stand firm in our faith and declare to the devil that we choose to stand united against him until he releases us and let go. Some are called to be martyred others go through insidious diseases such as cancer or mental disorders. Satan inflicts those who belong to GOD. Rejoice I say it again rejoice that we are worthy to take up our own cross and follow after Him. Count it all joy when we enter into those trials that tests our faith. If we rejoice in our trials, guess what, Satan knows that nothing He does will shake us and we are on the solid rock of Jesus Christ, where the enemy is trampled underneath our feet. As we die to ourselves, we are the LORDs. When we bow the knee to Jesus then He is faithful to preserve us and keep us and we are HIS.
Water baptism is a great example of declaring our allegiance to GOD and being born again into a new life with HIM. We are buried with Christ and rise up with Him into eternal life. Our temple is then an advocate of God and we fulfil an adventurer's plight in an awesome family with the Saints before us. Further, we can share in our experiences with other faithful Christians and really live a purpose driven life.
Hallelujah, we are the LORDs and He looks after us. With all the World has to offer, that is frivolous and we do not want to be slaves to the devil as he is not just, he is not faithful, he uses people then abuses people yet people do not acknowledge that there is a much better way. Satan is no better than Pharaoh was to Moses and God's people. Look how Satan has persecuted the Jewish race, trying to wipe God's people out. My GOD, you are much more worthy, your ways are so much wiser than ours. How could we ever stand for satan?
Nehemiah 8:10 (NKJV)
10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Mighty GOD, you deserve all the praise, all the glory. We love you with an everlasting love. For you have the overarching covering of your people and it is your desire to bless your people and teach your people and enact your Kingdom so that we deserve our reward and the devil deserves his punishment. As we move on in our eternal life, the devil and his people become worse and worse until Armageddon and tribulation locks him up forever and ever, justly releasing him to flames separated from GOD and His tremendous Kingdom. Praise the LORD that we are considered worthy of our prize to live with our creator forever and ever. We learn how to treat our Heavenly Father with the joy that He brings to our lives. We learn to depend on Him for working out our salvation with fear and trembling. If we do not revere Him and fear Him in a reverent manner, then we enter into dangerous ground.
Praise to God for His Word and Providence
1 Praise the Lord!
For it is good to sing praises to our God;
For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.
2 The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
He gathers together the outcasts of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.
4 He counts the number of the stars;
He calls them all by name.
5 Great is our Lord, and mighty in power;
His understanding is infinite.
6 The Lord lifts up the humble;
He casts the wicked down to the ground.
7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
Sing praises on the harp to our God,
8 Who covers the heavens with clouds,
Who prepares rain for the earth,
Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.
9 He gives to the beast its food,
And to the young ravens that cry.
10 He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man.
11 The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
In those who hope in His mercy.
12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
Praise your God, O Zion!
13 For He has strengthened the bars of your gates;
He has blessed your children within you.
14 He makes peace in your borders,
And fills you with the finest wheat.
15 He sends out His command to the earth;
His word runs very swiftly.
16 He gives snow like wool;
He scatters the frost like ashes;
17 He casts out His hail like morsels;
Who can stand before His cold?
18 He sends out His word and melts them;
He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow.
19 He declares His word to Jacob,
His statutes and His judgments to Israel.
20 He has not dealt thus with any nation;
And as for His judgments, they have not known them.
Praise the Lord!
Let us pray
Mighty mighty God, you are so worthy of our praise this morning. We live in a dark and perverse World. Our generation has twisted and distorted the truth for their own gain. The World around us is degenerating. As we live for GOD and as the Earth starts groaning, we see that the time of your arrival is nigh. As that time approaches and we become stronger and stronger in our faith, the enemy becomes closer to his destiny also and he will degenerate. The righteous will become more righteous and the enemy will progressively become more wicked as the time of the LORD approaches.
Holy GOD, we look to you with fear and trembling in a healthy reverent fear of who you are and what you do. We are willing to go through the fiery trials of life to enact our faith and put an everlasting seal of our faith to you in this end time age. We truly believe that we are alienated from the World we live in. Just like Jesus said that His Kingdom was not of this World, so we declare that this planet is not our own. Our home comes from a much greater realm where our Creator is. Our treasure is not for this World. We build our treasure in Heaven as we submit to you. As we carry out our responsibility to our KING Jesus Christ, we will continue to enact the Great Commission of going into all the World preaching God's Word to everyone from Albury to NSW to Australia and to the nations of the World. We will proclaim that Jesus is LORD.
We repent of becoming too involved with Satan's Kingdom, perhaps not knowing what we are doing. We unveil any blindness we may have and look to you for our sanctification. As we become purer and purer, being refined with fire, the devil becomes filthier, blaspheming to new levels, declaring that he is lord, that He is King that Jesus is an imposter and yet that he is the one that people turn to. Yet people do exactly that!
We repent for our nation for not making you preeminent in our lives. Our sin leads us away from you but you always give us a way back. You are so worthy and you love your children with an everlasting love. May we recognize the enemy's disguise and peril and slip back to be the precious children you have destined us to become.
Come heal our land as we turn to you in these trying days. The end is nigh and we live in exciting times. As we go through our adventurous journey with you, may you give us the strength to hold onto you and stay firm in our faith. You have asked us to repent and be baptized for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. May you bless your people as we continue to hold onto the declaration that Jesus you are our LORD and loving Savior who takes away the sins of the World. By all means test us but may we pass all the tests of time and enter into a glorious life full of your favor and love where there is great purpose and blessing, full of your prosperity in every sense of the word. We live for you and declare to the Kingdom of Darkness that you have no place in our life. May the LORD expose you Satan for all your hidden agendas and may we choose to make a decision to put you Jesus first. May the love of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost be with us now until the end of the age. In the Mighty Mighty name of Jesus. Finally, may the joy of the LORD be our strength, especially when under trial. Amen.