Yesterday, I shared the importance of having joy in the Lord. It was a much-needed reminder for myself and I hope a few of you as well. However, just simply knowing this is not enough; we have to know how to apply it to our lives.
What I am about to do is going to seem sacrilegious to some and, at the least, disrespectful to others. I ask that you hear me out and continue to read as I believe my purpose will override any misgivings.
My question for us today is “Have you lost that loving feeling?”
Now, there is no doubt in my mind, most of us are recalling the song and maybe even the movie, Top Gun, which is exactly what I was hoping for. Doesn’t sound too religious….and no, you won’t find it in the Bible (ha, ha…lighten up).
No, seriously….let’s take a look at some of those lyrics.
You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your lips
And there’s no tenderness like before in your fingertips
You’re trying hard not to show it
But baby, baby I know it
You lost that lovin’ feelin’
Whoa, that lovin’ feelin’
You lost that lovin’ feelin’
Now it’s gone, gone, gone, woh
Now there’s no welcome look in your eyes when I reach for you
And now you’re starting to criticize little things I do
It makes me just feel like crying
‘Cause baby, something beautiful’s dyin’
Baby, baby, I’d get down on my knees for you
If you would only love me like you used to do, yeah
We had a love, a love, a love you don’t find everyday
So don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t let it slip away
While it is obviously written about a romantic relationship, I can’t but help see how it could describe my relationship with God.
Over the weekend as I was remaking my blog I got the opportunity to read some of my earliest posts. It may sound conceited, but I was impressed. It wasn’t the writing that impressed me, but rather the passion and purpose. I remember how on fire I was for the Lord; how determined I was to lead others into a relationship with Christ by sharing how to apply what we read in the Bible to our daily lives. I was just beginning my journey on a spirit-filled life and I was beyond excited to share my experiences because I just knew if God could work in me; He could work in anyone.
But, as we all know, life gets in the way. Somewhere along the way my passion lessened and my purpose distorted. Admittedly, I am not as on fire as I used to be. I don’t like this. I want my fire back. I want my joy back. However, am I willing to do the work that it takes to get there…..and stay there?
This is going to be like the blind leading the blind here because, until today, I had no idea how to get my joy back. If I had only remembered this one little thing……
Psalm 16:11 (NKJ): You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
In your presence…is joy!!!
If I want the fullness of joy, all I have to do is be in the presence of the Lord.
Could it really be that simple?
Looking back on 2015, where I seemed to have lost most of my joy, I had an ungrateful heart. I had a selfish heart. 2015 was all about me..me..me. Why wasn’t God moving my ministry? Why was God not moving my daughter? Why did God not provide financially for my daughter’s college? Instead of looking at all the ways God was moving, and all the blessings He was bestowing, I only focused on the negatives. Furthermore, the further I got from God and being in His Word, the the quieter Holy Spirit became, the less I believed my prayers would be answered, the longer it took to forgive, the less I obeyed God’s word, the less I began to like myself, the less God became my number one priority, the less I loved others and I served them, and the busier I became with things that took me further away from Christ.
Since I am a list person, I made a simple list to remind me what to do when I feel my joy diminishing or Satan on the threshold looking to kill, steal, or devour.
How to maintain my joy:
- Stand in the presence of the Lord.
How to continually stand in the presence of the Lord:
Make God my #1 priority;
Read my Bible;
Pray (boldly and believing);
Give God Praise and Thanks;
Be led by Holy Spirit;
Be obedient to the Word of God;
Keep it simple stupid (don’t take on too much…say “no,”)
Love & Serve (focus more on helping others…not just my writing and teaching ministries)
Choose to love myself…faults and all…..don’t be so legalistic.
Good news. God is a god of restoration. He will gladly give back what has been stolen (or given). This is why I chose the following to be my first verse of the week in 2016:
Pslam 51: 10-13 (NKJ): Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.
Remember, having joy is a choice. Choose wisely.
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,