UNDERSTANDING HOW TO SERVE THE LORD: With Purpose of Joy

 “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)

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.

Why is it so important to God that His children walk in the fullness of His joy?

His joy gives us strength.

“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)

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.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

Next- UNDERSTANDING HOW TO SERVE THE LORD: With Fullness of Joy        

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

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