Saturday, July 31, 2010

Joy



In the wake of Cindy's death yesterday and my heart feeling heavy, God led me to read my last year's journal entry for this day and ministered to me from a lectio I did on Psalm 84. I want to share it with you.

v1 How wonderful that I get to dwell where You dwell, I get to be in Your Presence. You live inside of me in my spirit AND in my physical being! O Lord of Heaven's Armies, You are the Commander and Keeper of all of the forces of Heaven - all the angels who do your bidding in battle in spiritual realms and here on earth and yet You are my Papa God. I barely can comprehend that!

v2 My desire for You is a longing that almost brings me to fainting away without You. God You are living, Alive, More Real than anything on the earth. I want to shout to You how much I love You and praise You for who You are! With everything that is in me, in my physical being and my soul - my intellect, emotions, will, personality, feelings, with my desires, my passions, with love and a sense of awe. AND with joy!!!

v3 You care about the sparrows. (How much more about me!) You enjoy them when they choose to be close to you, choose Your altar to build their nests and even raise their young there. Thank you that You guided me to be near You and raise my young at Your altars. I pray all my girls will be intentional about the same.

v4 Joy is a result of living in Your Presence and singing Your praises just as the birds do every morning and all day long.

v5 Joy is a result of the weak relying on Your Strength and not our own. Joy comes as we walk with You along the pilgrimage of this life, keeping our minds ever aware of You and how You intersect the moments of our days.

v6 Even when our walk takes us through difficulties that makes our eyes overflow with tears, those tears can turn into a refreshing spring . .

v7 As we allow You to make us stronger because of our trials. You are with us in every trail and can cause blessings to come forth from desolate places.

v8 Thank You for hearing my heart when I share with You. Thank You for listening to my cries of desolation and my cries of joy.

v9 O God without Your favor, I cannot be who You want me to be, who You have called me to be so allow Your favor to fall on me so I can bring glory to Your name.

v10 If I only got to serve You one day in my entire lifetime, it would be so worth it! Even doing the most menial job serving You is better than doing the most coveted job without You.

v11 You are the SUN: bright, beautiful, warm, life-giving, glowing, glorious, huge, fiery, magnificent! You are my Shield: the One who protects, guards, goes before me, says I belong to You, keeps the enemy far from me. I cannot live without You, without what You provide or without who You are. I am 100% in need of You 100% of the time. You give me grace and glory.

Grace: undeserved merit; exchanged my life for Yours, my sin for Your righteousness; paid my debt and filled my account up with everything I need; all the time Your grace is sufficient for me - all the time - every moment. How unaware of this magnanimous provision You've graced me with. How unreliant I am on You. I think I can do it myself like a stubborn three year old who has no comprehension of her inabilities. Forgive my independence! I want to celebrate my dependence on You!

Glory: We are glorious because we are made in Your image, we reflect You! I reflect You and Your glory, by being made by You and for You and in Your image . . .
When I obey You, love You, love others, I am displaying Your glory.
When I give You praise, speak to others of who You are, serve You, love You, be with You, just be, I reflect Your glory.
When I be who You created me to be, I display Your glory.

I love this part of this psalm, it is one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible: No good thing will You withhold from those who walk uprightly.
You desire to give me good things when I yield to You and allow Your righteousness to be a part the whole of my life. And what are those "good thing"? I think it must be wealth, influence, fun, pleasure but You say Your grace and Your glory are the good things You have in store for me - better things than I could ever think of, think up, dream or imagine.

v12 Joy is the result of fully trusting in You, that You desire what is best for my life and that I believe and rely on that fact and live my life in Your presence because of Your lavish love for me.

Here is Psalm 84 as found in the New Living Translation.
1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
2 I long, yes, I faint with longing
to enter the courts of the Lord.
With my whole being, body and soul,
I will shout joyfully to the living God.
3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young
at a place near your altar,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!
4 What joy for those who can live in your house,
always singing your praises.
Interlude

5 What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord,
who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
6 When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,[b]
it will become a place of refreshing springs.
The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.
7 They will continue to grow stronger,
and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.[c]

8 O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, hear my prayer.
Listen, O God of Jacob.
Interlude

9 O God, look with favor upon the king, our shield!
Show favor to the one you have anointed.

10 A single day in your courts
is better than a thousand anywhere else!
I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God
than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.
11 For the Lord God is our sun and our shield.
He gives us grace and glory.
The Lord will withhold no good thing
from those who do what is right.
12 O Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
what joy for those who trust in you.