Joy is Found 4 Steps Back
- 2015 Sep 07
I started running around a little.
Seeing other people.
Jumping in with them only to realize I shouldn't be doing it.
Well, it is actually not as bad as it sounds, but it is actually still really bad. You see, I got online and started looking at all the people doing more than me. I started looking at how God is using them, gifting them and providing for them.
I saw their glow - and my mediocrity.
Their gifts - and my struggles.
Their smiles - and my sadness.
Like an album of poised perfection, as they radiated - all my faults were punctuated. Facebook seemed to exclaim, "Your really not that special."
I hate it when it does that, don't you? It can be an obnoxious friend. It's shiny albums so often lead to dirty shame.
They have that? I wanted that too.
They went there? Why not me God?
They accomplished that? I will never.
Tsunamis in motion cannot be stopped; the hand of a human man doesn't have the strength to hold them back. The thoughts roll in and they seem to take us down.
The stuff I have? It's cruddy.
My clothes? They're ugly.
My summer trips? They are small fry.
My status. It's average.
How do I stop feeling this way God?
I don't want to live like a pauper amidst your riches.
I don't want to live thinking you won't pull through,
when you already have.
I don't want to live coveting,
when your life-injection power is found in praying.
How do I flip the switch of my hungry soul
to access the power of your nourishing being?
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully-grown brings forth death. James 1:14-15
God's truth: By the time we have gotten to sin,
we have arrived too late.
The holiness party is long gone;
it was found 4 steps back.
Here is how it works:
1. We have a desire. I want more happiness and more riches and more recognition.
2. It tempts us. Kelly, don't you deserve more happiness, more riches and more recognition?
3. It lures us. Look at them. See what they have. See what you don't.
4. It gives birth to sin. Covet! Envy! Judge! Be prideful!
5. It leads to death. Take what should be yours, at any cost. Put to death the temple within.
We beat sin not at the point of sin (#4), but at the point of disbelief (#1).
What is the impetus to your disbelief?
What little whispers coerce dissatisfaction in your life?
For me, it's the whisper that I deserve to be happy, like really happy, slideshow-picture-perfect happy, glow-in-the-eye happy, arms-wrapped-around-each-other-so-tight-your-shoulders-get-smooshed happy.
MapQuest better send me there! A straight shot and no accidents please! That would throw off my happy meter.
It's the whisper that small beginnings don't count.
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin...” Zech. 4:10
Even the disciples started as fisherman so they could understand the words, "Be fishers of men."
David started by first being faithful to sheep.
The tiny amount of loaves and fish were only the beginning of God's miracle.
God rejoices in the motion of faith-reliant beginnings.
It's the whisper (and quite an embarrassing one) that I need you to love me. I kind of want that - for you to see all of me and say "Oh, wow, that girl, that gal, Kelly, she has it. I want to be her friend. I want to know her."
Jesus died open handed and he calls us to
open the hands of our desires, our longings and our hopes to him.
The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing. Prov. 10:28
Then I see what is really in my hands - nothing.
And who entirely fills them - Him.
Deal with sin and be delivered from pain.
Run to him like a prodigal child runs to a long-lost daddy.
Be shocked by radiant truth that liberates needy hearts.
Suck in his gift of always-love that never runs out as I open my heart.
When we find God, we find what our heart was always searching for.
I want that. Do you?
It is called joy - feeling-ruling, comparison-busting, overpowering joy.
It sees Him, who hands out his best.
Eye on the prize, it knows who is active and adorned.
It envisions the heavenly banquet table of camaraderie waiting.
It sits in a place of hardship with a smile of gratitude.
It often grows from pain (earthly crosses and nails water it).
It's unlike any album on Facebook.
It is unlike any heart that seeks a new and shiny
bridegroom or idol online.
It is unlike anything we could scavenge up on earth.
It's joy in the all-consuming presence of the one who consumes our deepest longings. It's atypical, absolute and anesthetizing.
It's fruit that keeps on satiating and replenishing our soul's ravage hunger. It keeps us going.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Ja. 1:2--3