If I ever wondered if God was trying to speak to me- or rather, get through my hard head… today, was abundantly clear.
What was His message? Joy. Joy that transcends hard work, death, difficult circumstances, uncertainty… Joy that lifts off depression and weariness and strengthens the inner being. Joy that makes you smile when things are going wrong… Joy that brings laughter from tears. Do I like the concept of joy? Well… in truth, many times in my life, because of the things that I have suffered- I have felt a sense of hatred toward joy. Joyful people irritate me… Happy irritate me… Joyful families really get me down- because my family is never together. (We’re scattered around the world and my Mother is in Heaven.)
But despising joy will do nothing other than cause me to become my own worst enemy… Joy needs to be received. It needs to be embraced in the heart… It needs to be released. If it gets left out- we lose strength spiritually and emotionally- and we will not make it in life. I am starting to understand this… and I know that unless something changes in terms of HOW I go about getting joy- regularly- I WILL NOT make it in life.
The JOY of the LORD is OUR STRENGTH! It’s ALL we’re promised for that… so we need to take it to the bank and cash it.
This morning, I had the blessing of hearing my older brother (by 4 years) D.J. Moberley preach at his home church (Grace Church of Fredericksburg) on the topic of joy. I told him the night before that if he needed a prototype of someone to speak to- it was me. I was feeling so joy robbed and deprived of happiness. It’s as silly as the Summer heat and humidity getting me down… (Cares of this life and the deceitfulness of riches- to be sure.)
I knew that God would bring truth and conviction to my soul. And He did- in a clear, and powerful way.
Later, I went to hear my spiritual mom, mentor, boss, and friend Sharon Glasgow speak at Encounter Church of God. Guess what the topic may have been? Yep. It was on Joy.
Her message was almost completely the same as my brother’s- and this was not simply because they’re both good at articulating the word of God (theologically speaking). But, both of them have a deeper revelation- through experience AND more than that, the Holy Spirit had the reigns on both of their words. Thus, the two messages were so similar it was like hearing the Lord say the same thing to ME- only in slightly different ways.
Could I question if He wanted ME to hear this message today? Yep. I questioned it. And I realized how obvious that it was. Duh!! He set this whole thing up- for ME. Wow… does that sound selfish? No… not in light of the character and nature of our Heavenly Abba. When one of us are suffering- He will stop at NOTHING and pull out all of the stops to SHOW His care and love. And that’s just what He did.
After that, I stopped by my church to just say hi to friends as I thought they would be leaving- and traffic on both roads home was really backed up… Little did I know that God was still moving through His people and hovering over us like a cloud of grace, peace, and goodness. I felt His presence so strong that I started shouting “Halleluyah!! Halleluyah!!”
Wasn’t long before my Pastor’s wife came over, laid her hands on me and was praying… The tears came like sweet, healing rivers… So, to make another long story- long… I felt the deep love of the Heavenly Father. Knowing it and feeling it are totally different. We are supposed to live by faith- not feeling. But- love is tangible. And tonight- He wanted me to be able to tangibly receive His real love. Words can’t explain what happened today- or even why it was so important. But today, let it be marked that on August 2, 2015- Jesus gave me eyes to see His pursuit of my heart. How sweet it is to be loved by Him.
The point is- God cares. He sees. He will do ANYTHING to help us hear His voice and get us to a place of being able to receive from Him. He’ll even have you go to two different churches to hear the SAME message- all “by coincidence.”
Today, He was swirling around me. I’m sure it’ll take me ages to fully understand why. 🙂
(Photo credit: Blog.8faces.com)