Monday, May 09, 2005


"Sing for joy, Daughter Zion; shout loudly, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem! The LORD has removed your punishment; He has turned back your enemy. The King of Israel, the LORD, is among you; you need no longer fear harm. On that day it will be said to Jerusalem: "Do not fear; Zion, do not let your hands grow weak. The LORD your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring you quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy." Zephaniah 3:14-17
Joy is an emotion unfamiliar to the territory of fear. Joy is extravegant. Fear is constricting. Under the bondage of fear I have even found myself suspicious of the joyful. One of the most
incredible aspects of this daily deliverence from fear is the bubble of joy finding its way out of my heart. I'm both surprised and delighted. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom!

"The Sovereign LORD has filled me with his Spirit. He has chosen me and sent me to bring good news to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to announce release to captives and freedom to those in prison. He has sent me to proclaim that the time has come when the LORD will save his people and defeat their enemies. He has sent me to comfort all who mourn, to give to those who mourn in Zion Joy and gladness instead of grief, a song of praise instead of sorrow. They will be like trees that the LORD himself has planted. They will all do what is right, and God will be praised for what he has done.
Isaiah 61:1-3
The following is a pharaphrase of a message Mike Bickle gave on moving from duty to enjoyment. It is the perfect portrait of the sweet joy I'm discovering in the heart of my Saviour and King:
"All that Jesus taught us was to lead us to joyful freedom.The greatest commandment given to us to love as He loved is an invitation to joy. "If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full." John 15:10-11
Holiness and Gladness are not a contradiction. Joy is an expression of the Lord's Holiness:" You have been a lover of righteousness and a hater of evil: and so God, your God, has put the oil of joy on your head, lifting you high over all other kings"Psalm 45:7 God is not shocked when our flesh is weak. Therefore he is not shattered and withdrawn from us, withholding approval and affection. No, he exposes our immaturity that he may discipline and train us because He has a heart of gladness towards us. "Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now, and forever. Amen." Jude 1:24-25 We must behold Him in this light so that we will run to Him in our failures rather than away from Him. The revelation of the Father's tender love and enjoyment of us awakens our hearts. His songs of love and joy over us quiet our inner storms of insecurity, rejection, striving, uncertainty and fear. We are being prepared as a bride for the wedding feast of the lamb. ( A time of great celebration and rejoicing! ) My bridegroom King will be glad on His wedding day and He rejoices in anticipation. He calls me to rejoice with Him! "A voice came from the throne, saying: Praise our God, all you His servants, you who fear Him, both small and great! Then I heard something like the voice of a vast multitude, like the sound of cascading waters, and like the rumbling of loud thunder, saying: Hallelujah--because our Lord God, the Almighty, has begun to reign! Let us be glad, rejoice, and give Him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has prepared herself." Revelations 19:5-7

"Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His place. Ascribe to the LORD, families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory of His name; bring an offering and come before Him. Worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness; tremble before Him, all the earth. The world is firmly established; it cannot be shaken. Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, "The LORD is King!" I Chronicles 16:27 -31

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