“Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that Scripture say, ‘He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us’? But he gives more GRACE. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives GRACE to the humble’. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
Recently I have had to fight for joy. I have had to resist the devil in his schemes of doubt, fear, and jealousy. Recently I have had to fight for joy. I repeat that phrase because I have never had to fight for joy so much as I have lately in my walk with the Lord. I have never doubted to the extent to which I have been recently. I don’t doubt my salvation or whether I am a child of God. I KNOW this to be absolute truth in my life. I am undeniably His forever… But certain doubts creep in. Doubts like, why does God ask us to love people so deeply and yet there are all these jurisdictions we put on that and what that should look like? Why is THAT a thing? Doubts that creep in about being able to find complete pleasure and joy in Him alone. I think we often think about that in terms of how to achieve the pleasure and joy in Him alone. We are so scared of truly, deeply, passionately loving His children that we think that to obtain that complete pleasure and joy in Him we must somehow do that alone. Well… I don’t see that in Scripture. But I see that in the church. We are getting this wrong. So very wrong and it has brought me down a path of persecution. I welcome it… Strangely, I welcome it. Because it has brought me to a place of searching God’s Word for the answer. It has brought me to a place of KNOWING His Spirit’s leading and guiding. Through this whole process of searching and knowing what God’s Word says to be truth about loving others, discipling, and relationships, I have found a strange “feeling” (the only way I can describe it. Almost like fighting for justice???) that has crept up in my heart. I look out at God’s people and think… WHAT ARE WE DOING?????????? WHY DO YOU WANT COMFORT? GOOD EXPERIENCES? RETIREMENT? EASE? WHY ARE WE SO CONTENT WITH THE MEDIOCRE OF THIS EARTHLY LIFE?
Resisting the devil lately has been resisting his lies that God didn’t really mean to love people like He does… I mean for goodness sake, we’re humans how could we? But, I want to fight that. I want to fight for God’s love towards others. His Word says that’s how people will know that we are His disciples. Don’t you want the world to know that you are HIS? Don’t you????? Maybe you don’t…. They won’t know because of some awesome program we have in church. They won’t know based on the amazing teacher/leader who brings cool concepts to how to grow our churches… THAT’S NOT HOW IT WORKS… It works by truly, deeply, passionately, exhausting ourselves for EACH OTHER.
So I’m going to fight for this joy when I don’t feel like worshipping, when I don’t feel like proclaiming His steadfast love in the morning, when I feel like people I am discipling won’t reciprocate back the love that I give to them… I WILL FIGHT FOR IT. Because I don’t want to exchange the Truth about God for a lie that Satan has used for generations. Not this girl… Not today Satan!