When the Joy of the Lord is the Desire of Your Heart-
When we accept Christ as our Savior, we are forgiven and cleansed from all sin. Our sins had separated us from God, but now God has made us to be the righteousness of God in Christ and we have entered into His presence.
Not only does God forgive us and make us righteous, but He sends the Holy Spirit to live inside of us and empower us to become the children of God.
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Rom. 8:9)
When the Holy Spirit comes, not only does He bring His power to change us and enable us to do the will of God, but He also manifests His fruit so that others might behold Christ in us, the hope of glory. (Col. 1:27)
The Holy Spirit has said that He would never leave us nor forsake us. (Heb. 13:15) He is always within us.
The Holy Spirit never changes. He has not diminished. His power and fruit is still the same and ever present. His peace and joy is always inside.
That same joy we experienced when we were born again and first stepped into His presence has never left. It still flows in us like a river.
However we do not experience it because we lose access to it.
How do we lose access to the joy, peace, and faith that is the fruit of the Holy Spirit? How do we regain access so that this fruit is manifested in our lives on a daily basis?
The first step is to not settle for the imitation, but to crave the genuine article.
“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
The Bible has said that God will give us the desires of our heart. However, it is a promise contingent upon one thing:
“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” (Psalm 37:4-5)
The promise requires that we first “delight” ourselves in Him.
How to “delight ourselves in the Lord” might seem confusing until we find out what the word translated “delight” actually means.
The Hebrew word that is translated “delight” actually means “to be soft or pliable”.
In other words, the Scripture here is telling us that if we will allow ourselves to be “soft” or “pliable” in the hands of the Lord then He will give us the “desires” or “requests” of our heart.
That is why the next verse says, “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”
The present “request” of our heart is to regain access to the joy of the Lord that resides in our spirit. The place to begin is to allow ourselves to be “soft and pliable” in the hands of God.
In the eighteenth chapter of the Book of Jeremiah, we read of the potter and the clay.
“The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.” (Jer. 18:1-2)
“Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.” (Jer. 18:3-4)
“Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.” (Jer. 18:5-6)
The Bible says that as the clay is in the hands of the potter, so are we in the hands of the Lord.
If the clay is hard and resistant to the potter’s will, then it is difficult for the potter to make it into the vessel that he wants.
However, if the clay is soft and pliable then the potter can mold it into the vessel of his desire.
How can we be soft and pliable in the hands of God? By submitting our will to His will and not resisting Him.
This is done by knowing His will for our lives and desiring or requesting the same things for ourselves that God wants.
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” (1John 5:14)
“And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (1John 5:15)
The only way we can know what His will is for our lives is to read it.
It is called “The New Testament”.
And the only way that we can know God’s direction for our lives is to hear the still small Voice of the One who authored The New Testament.
One of the things that we read in The New Testament is that it is God’s will that our joy be full.
“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” (1John 1:4)
Our joy is full when His joy is fully manifested in our lives and not hidden deep in our spirit.