Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

9 Journey of Joy Part 2

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Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand”

In Psalm 16 David reveals the last part to the journey of joy:

  • Participate in God’s pleasure.

Do you know that God wants you to participate in His pleasure? Psalm 36:7-9 says “How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. 8 You feed them from the abundance of your own house, letting them drink from your river of delights. 9 For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see” This is the cry of every human heart, the longing to be loved. It’s what every person on the planet is searching for, something that will satisfy their soul. Those who trust in God’s unfailing love are abundantly satisfied. Our chasing after the carnal is really a craving for Christ that we are trying to satisfy with sin. World religion can’t satisfy, only a relationship with Jesus can. Today many of us are drinking from the sewer of sin instead of the sweet water the Savior offers. Are you thirsty for God? Remember the prodigal son who turned to his father and basically said, “Dad, I wish you were dead, I want my share of the inheritance now.” The son who went out and wasted it on wild and riotous living. The son who tried looking for joy and pleasure in sin, but he couldn’t find it. When he finally came to his senses scripture says in Luke 15:20-25, “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ’Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ’Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.” Only when the son came back into the presence of the Father did he experience lasting pleasure. Today I fear we have traded a kingdom party for a kegger, we have become satisfied with sin, surrounded by pigs instead of praise. Why would we settle for what we think is a good party when we could be at God’s party?  We have traded real pleasure for pain. Chasing after the worlds sinful system leads to the sewer, but chasing after God’s plan leads to pleasure. Today we seem to have been lured into the lie that God doesn’t know how to have a good time, but it was the Father who said, “We’re going to throw the fatted calf on the BBQ, we’re going to eat, drink and celebrate. There’s joy with Jesus, its fun being saved, but we have traded the party of praise for the party of puke. In John 10:10 Jesus tells us that: “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” Jesus wants us to experience joy and pleasure, but in the church today we have this idea that pleasure is sin. We can’t experience pleasure, because pleasure is bad, but there is a difference between sins pleasure and the Saviors. Sin’s always leads to pain, the Saviors leads to pleasure. Do you realize that God’s plan involves pleasure? What the world offers us in sin is a counterfeit, and only Christ can meet our true craving. Sin is pleasurable for a season, but it will always take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and charge you more than you want to pay. The wages of sin is death not delight, so we need to stop settling for Satan’s system. Why put up with a counterfeit when you can have Christ? Stop pursuing passing pleasure when you can have the real thing. Today many are paying the price of pain and punishment when they could be pursuing Godly pleasure. So what happened when the older son came to the house and heard the music and dancing? He was angry and would not go in. He was angry over the party, and he refused to join in the praise. I wonder how many of us act more like party poopers than people of praise? Instead of rejoice in the rescue and participating in God’s pleasure he pouted. He was a joy jerk because he had forgotten the heart of His Father. Why did the older brother refuse to participate in God’s pleasure because his focus was on his situation and not the Savior.  He chose to live life based on His interpretation of the facts not the Fathers, his interpretation of the facts led to false feelings. 2 Samuel 6:12-16 says: “Then King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with gladness. And so it was, when those bearing the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, that he sacrificed oxen and fatted sheep. Then David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet. Now as the ark of the Lord came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.” It seems that wherever there was a party in the Bible, that there was someone who had a problem with it. But God loves it when His children are set free to experience His joy. Are you judging or joining God’s party? We rejoice in the Lord, not what life has dealt us, not in how we feel but in the Father. So many of us make our praise circumstance based instead of Christ based. In the presence of the Lord there is fullness of joy no matter the journey. Jesus said in John 16:22, “Your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.”  Nothing and no one has the power to rob you of rejoicing, unless you let them. Like David I want to experience jumping joy in this journey, regardless of the sour pusses around me that have settled for a substitute instead of the Savior. Today are you participating in God’s pleasure or pouting?

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