SURPRISED BY JOY
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
I had quoted this scripture for years, “delight yourself in the Lord”, but had no clue to what it meant. I thought I knew, it kind of meant to try harder, to work on my attitude, to “get my heart right”, I really had no idea what the joy of the Lord really was. That all changed suddenly when I found myself, unexpectedly stuck to the floor in the front of a church in 1994. I tried my best to get up, but I was stuck, hopelessly stuck to the floor. That’s when it happened, the joy of the Lord caught me by surprise. Have you ever been surprised by joy? This was not just ordinary joy. This was not laughing at a funny joke, there was something supernatural about this. There was a strange presence that seemed to get stronger the more I laughed. It was like medicine, like therapy. It was cleansing, it was empowering, it was transforming. This was the life changing presence of the Holy Spirit, “so this is what Pentecost is all about”. The joy of the Lord was becoming my strength. The carnal man and the religious man cannot comprehend the joy of heaven, this is what Charles Spurgeon had to say about it.
“Ungodly persons and mere professors never look upon religion as a joyful thing; to them it is service, duty, or necessity, but never pleasure or delight. If they attend to religion at all, it is either that they may gain thereby, or else because they dare not do otherwise. The thought of delight in religion is so strange to most men, that no two words in their language stand further apart than holiness and delight.
We fear not God because of any compulsion; our faith is no fetter, our profession is no bondage, we are not dragged to holiness, nor driven to duty. No, our piety is our pleasure, our hope is our happiness, our duty is our delight.”
So that is how the Lord changes us, it is by His heavenly joy. If you have not figured it out yet, it is hard to fight pleasure. All of us are hopelessly trapped in the pursuit of pleasure, that is the way we are wired. Who made us like that? Of course it is the Lord, the fountain and source of all pleasure. So don’t be shocked when you are caught off guard by the Lord. The greatest of all pleasures comes as the greatest surprise, you haven’t really lived until you are surprised by joy.