Joy Robbers

August 27, 2006 at 9:25 pm (Faith, My ramblings)

Last night at church, our Pastor shared a message entitled, Made to Celebrate. One of the points really hit home in my heart and I just had to share it. He asked this question, what are some of the ways the devil steals our joy?

The first one is anxiety and worry-I am not too much of a worrier by nature so I thought I was doing pretty good on this count, then I read the Scripture he added under the point.
Philippians 4:6-7
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
The fact that Paul had to say rejoice twice should be a wake up call! I started to think about the lack of peace I had in my heart and realized that I have not brought all the concerns in my heart to the Lord. Why do I keep doing that?

The second one was anger and I thought for sure I got this one covered! I am a happy go lucky person. Then he said that all anger was the result of hurt. I cringed because I had just experienced a deep hurt that a sister in Christ caused me and when I really thought about (and the Holy Spirit opened up my eyes that I had been squinting shut!) I realized that I was very angry!
Ephesians 4:26-27
“In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”
Had to throw that one in there, yikes! I had given the devil a foothold and he was hanging on for dear life.

The third one was grumbling. Man this was beat up on Rachel night. That is all I feel like I have been doing. My heart has been grumbling so loud for the last week that it was keeping me up nights! The pastor said grumbling meant to mutter in discontent. I started to think about that one. Am I really discontent? He then threw in this Scripture that made me a feel just a little weak in the knees.
1 Corinthians 10:10
“And do not grumble, as some of them did and were killed by the destroying angel.” Hmmm.

The fourth point was ingratitude. He made a great point and one we all are very aware of, we just forget. He said that when we have ingratitude in our hearts, it’s because we have not been thanking God for everything He has given us. Not material things, mainly our salvation, the Holy Spirit, important things. I really started to get a little wiggly in my seat and I was wondering how many people were feeling as convicted as I was at this point.
Colossians 3:16
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”
It is hard to sing psalms and hymns with gratitude in your hearts if it is full of ingratitude. Ask me, I know.

The fifth point was doubt. My pastor made a great statement about this. He said, “stop doubting your doubts and start believing your faith.” He said that at one time or another we will have doubts but that is the time we need to seek God and His truth, the Word!
John 20:27
“Stop doubting and believe.”
This means that we have the ability to make a choice. Praise God I made the right one.

The sixth point was mistrust. Mistrust means lack of trust or confidence. Another pastor shared a few weeks ago about mistrust. He said that when we worry about a situation that God clearly tells us not to worry about, we are in essence saying to the Lord, Creator of the Universe, that we don’t trust Him enough to see us through whatever we are going through at the time.
That was the thought that was going through my head as my pastor shared more on lack of trust. Do I always trust Him with absolute surrender? Whew, am I glad this message is almost over. I was about shrunk down in my seat as far as I could shrink down!
Isaiah 26:3
You will keep in perfect peace him whose heart is steadfast because he trusts in You.”

The Lord had just brought that Scripture to me a few days ago in my devotions. I really need to rethink my trust levels. I realized that this situation I am going through right now is testing me. Will I give into my hurt and my emotions and potentially not be in His will? Will I cling to my”rights” knowing in my heart I did nothing to warrant this betrayal? How can I? Did the Savior of the world cling to His rights? No He most certainly did not. I love the book of Philippians but sometimes I wished chapter 2 was not in there. Especially the part about considering others better than yourselves and following Christ’s example. It is hard work sometimes to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

I knew when I saw the notes that our pastor was speaking directly to me. I had been avoiding dealing with my heart issue and it was eating me alive. It has been affecting my attitude, my health and my sleep. I am so thankful for pastors who speak the truth in love. I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit who opens our eyes and our hearts. I am so thankful that I don’t have to make decisions based on my feelings, which change from day to day. I am so thankful that God is the same, yesterday, tomorrow and forever! I am so thankful that when we confess our sins, He indeed is faithful to forgive me and not only that, but to also cleanse me of all unrighteousness.
Yesterday I woke up with a heavy and a sad heart. Today, after confessing and repenting and receiving my Father’s forgiveness, I am whole again. Free for Him to use me as He pleases.
I know the devil is crouching just outside my door. It never ceases to amaze me that one minute I am in the very throne room of God and the next, I have taken Him off the throne and put myself on it.
Lord, I pray that my heart will be steadfast. I am so thankful that you hold me on the palm of your hand.

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