Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Are you joyful?

Last weekend I attended a conference in Ceta Canyon.

"You Can't Steal My Joy"
was hosted by Daphne Delay and Family Harvest Church!
(play the You Tube video below if you want to hear our theme song by Mandisa)
I went expecting to spend time in God's Presence.
I received a thousand times more.
I watched friends get saved, marriages get restored, girls go to another level with the Lord, and more!
In the first session Daphne showed us the number one way to keep our joy:
Psalm 16:11 AMP

"You will show me the path of life;
in Your presence is fullness of joy,
at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore."

***IN HIS PRESENCE IS FULLNESS OF JOY***

You see joy comes from being in relationship with God, face-to-face with Him. That is why anyone who is legalistic and set on following the rules will never be filled with the full joy of a RELATIONSHIP with God (2 Cor 3).

Joy doesn't come from our circumstances or our situation in life.
So many women, me included, blame others for "stealing our joy".
We blame our husbands, our location, our parents, our job, our pants size,
our bank account, even our kids and their busy schedules for robbing us.

But in reality, it is our choice.
We choose to give it away.

Some might say, "What do I have to be joyful about. Look at my life."
Michel, another speaker, posed this question,
"If all God ever did was to send Jesus to redeem you and restore you into right standing with HIM, wouldn't that be enough to shout for joy for the rest of your days?"

"Is it enough?"
That is the question I have been asking myself.
Neh 8:10 says the joy from what God has done in our lives is our strength, rock, and fortress. How often do we remember what He has done, or are we like ungrateful children who forget the moment the "new" wears off the blessing or gift?

When we choose to allow self-pity, ungratefulness, offense, and bitterness get a foot into the door of our thinking we walk outside of God's protection.

Instead of walking through the valley of the shadow of death,

we stop, sit down, and pitch a tent.
Don't believe me?
Just ask the Israelites who roamed in the wilderness for 40 years complaining instead of walking out the 11 day trip.
Hmm...

"Am I walking, or am I hanging out in the tent named
'poor me'?"
Another question I have been asking myself.

God says we will all endure trials (John 16:33), but He has already won the victory. What matters is how we respond to the trial because our attitude determines how long we stay in the shadow of death. Some people never reach their promise land because they have been walking around the same mountain for many, many years with a bad attitude.

Having joy is a choice because God says you can walk through the trial with joy and peace.

How we react to problems is suppose to us apart from unbelievers.
Proverbs 24:10 in the MSG says
"If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn't much to you in the first place."

OUCH!

It is our strength, not self-pity, it is our victory, not defeat that is the sweet-smelling fragrance that draws in the lost (2 Cor 2:14). It is an attitude of thankfulness, joy, confidence, peace, and love that causes the lost to stop, observe, and say, "I want what they have."

"Am I living that way? Am I a liability or an asset to the Kingdom of God?"
More questions I am asking myself.

I just have to step up on a soap box for one minute...I can't hold it in any longer.
Deep breath...
The majority of Christians aren't a sweet-smelling aroma during trials,
or anytime for that matter.
We complain.
We murmur.
We gossip.
We worry.
I have to say that again, WE WORRY.
We are filled with bitterness.
We are ungrateful.

Just to keep it real, I thought I was doing okay with being thankful. My mom raised me to always see the glass half full, and my nana always told me to count my blessings when I was upset...
BUT GOD,
reminded me of how many times I put myself down for my flabby, saggy tummy instead of thanking God for the babies that caused it.
BUT GOD,
reminded me of how many times I walk in my closet and say, "I have nothing to wear," when my closet is over-flowing.
BUT GOD,
reminded me of how many times I complain about the three (or maybe four=) disgusting hairs now growing out of my chin instead of thanking God for His amazing creation of hormones--
I mean really, where would women be without them?

It is impossible for me to be JOYFUL if I am not GRATEFUL.

"Your altitude of influence in the lives of others is directly related to your attitude of gratitude" Michel Powers.

I have been saved for 8 years. I remember looking at "church-goers" when I wasn't one, and thinking, "I don't want to be anything like those people. They are more unhappy, miserable and dissatisfied than I am."

The church is so big on "bringing in the lost" and "reaching out", but as a whole most churches are not growing (except for member's children and believers coming in from other churches.)

But, if we, the church, would learn how to become victorious and thankful in our daily walk at home, at work, and at the ball park
the lost would flock to Christ.

I think this is the #1 problem with the Body of Christ.
We lack practical teaching.
We lack "how to" preaching?
We don't hear enough testimonies on how other Christians have over-come through the power and love of Christ.

We don't need another church program.
We don't need another "trick" to get people in the door.

We need victorious Christians...

...believers who KNOW how to forgive those who hurt them
...believers who KNOW how to conquer their thought lives and die to their feelings
...believers WHO REALLY believe in the power of prayer (that would take care of all worry;)
...believers who KNOW their words hold the power of life and death
...believers who never complain
...believers who KNOW their authority in Christ and EXERCISE IT,
...wives who respect and adore their husbands
...mothers who quit whining about their schedules
...believers who have peace during this recession
...believers who smile

I am just asking?

It is one thing to think I am joyful, but what is really coming out of my mouth?
Is it gratitude?
Just another question I am asking myself?

After the first session, I wrote the following summary:
"God never leaves me (Heb 13:5), so I am always in His Presence(Ps 16:11) and filled with triumphant joy and ecstatic delight (Jude 24). When the trials come I will remember that I KNOW A GIRL IN CHRIST (2 Cor 12:2). I know what Jesus Christ has done for me the last 8 years (Neh 8:10). I command myself to be happy, blessed and fortunate (Acts 26:2) because I am face to face with my Redeemer and my Strong Tower."








THE WORLD CAN'T STEAL MY JOY!!!
This video is kind of silly, but I LOVE THIS SONG!

2 comments:

Andrea said...

"The joy of the Lord is my strength." Neh. 8:10

Blessings,
andrea

Paula said...

Liked your post. Sounds like you had a great gathering.

Hello. Fellow Texas Blogging Gal member here to let you know about a giveaway of my Snail Mail Notes. Notecards include Texas themes and scriptures. You can see giveaway details at http://lonestarlifer.wordpress.com/2010/02/28/snail-mail-notes-giveaway/ and see my notes at www.snailmailnotes.com.

LoneStarLifer
Paula

 

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