“Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Neh. 8:10)
Why is it so important to God that His children walk in the fullness of His joy?
His joy gives us strength.
Without His joy we have no spiritual strength.
Joy results in dedication to the Lord.
“And the children of Israel, the priests, and the Levites, and the rest of the children of the captivity, kept the dedication of this house of God with joy,” (Ezra 6:16)
The Old Testament House of God, the Temple, was symbolic of the New Testament spiritual house of God.
“But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” (Heb. 3:6)
With the joy of the Lord we dedicate our house, our bodies, to the Lord and when we walk in fullness of joy it empowers us to walk in that dedication.
The manifested joy of the Lord glorifies God and encourages others to do the same.
“Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.” (1Ch. 29:9)
The joy of the Lord delivers souls.
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalm 126:5-6)
When our joy is full it causes us to want to sow the Gospel seed in others, to reap and bring a harvest of souls into His kingdom so that they may also have the joy of the Lord.
“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” (1Cor. 3:6)
The joy of the Lord brings victory over the enemy.
“And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.” (Psalm 27:6)
These are the reasons why Satan wants to steal your joy and these are the reasons why we should be willing to do whatever is necessary to restore our access to the manifested joy of the Lord and walk in it.
“The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.” (Isa. 29:19)
“Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” (Psalm 51:12)
How do we restore our access to the fullness of joy that is in the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ?
The first step is to make sure that we are dwelling in the manifested presence of God.
“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11)
Jesus said that He would never leave us nor forsake us.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Heb. 13:5)
However, He also said that two cannot walk together unless they are agreed.
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3)
We must determine in our hearts to live our lives in agreement with the will and Word of God.
Once we have made the decision to remove from our lives all of the things that we know are displeasing to the Lord and we begin taking the necessary steps to do it, then we can trust that the Lord will begin to manifest His presence in our lives.
Since the Bible says that Jesus is the Word of God, then if we continue in His word we will also continue in the presence of God.
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;” (John 8:31)
When we ask the Lord daily to fill us with His Spirit, to be filled with the Holy Ghost, then we are opening the door to the manifested presence of God.
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” (Eph. 5:18)
“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4)
If we will draw close to God then He has promised that He will draw close to us.
“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” (James 4:8)
We draw nigh to God in humbleness with daily prayer and worship.
“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” (Psalm 100:4)
The Bible teaches us that all of these things open the door to the manifested presence of God, and the manifested presence of God is where we will find the fullness of His joy.