Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Fullness of Joy

What is your beloved more than another beloved,
    O most beautiful among women?
What is your beloved more than another beloved,
    that you thus adjure us?
Song of Solomon 5:9

The world asks Christians this same question every day. "What is your God more than any other god? Who are you to say your god is better then mine? What is it about your God that makes you so sure He is the only one?" Believers better be prepared to answer this question just as the bride-to-be in the Song of Solomon was. She replies, "My beloved is radiant and ruddy, distinguished among ten thousand" (Song of Solomon 5:10).

That there is no other god like our God is fundamental to Christianity. but we no longer extol God's glories in our churches. Our sermons focus more on the duties of man than the glories of God. We shy away from reveling in God's beauty for fear that it sounds too spiritual or too mystic. Or perhaps we have simply fallen out of love with God altogether. Perhaps we have lost our sense of awe at who He is. When spending time meditating on His Word or communing with Him in prayer feels like drudgery to you, you know you're in trouble.

To enter into God's presence, to gaze on His beauty, to study His wisdom, to gain knowledge of the divine, these are the greatest gifts a human could dare hope to receive. This isn't drudgery. This is the very fullness of joy!
You make known to me the path of life;
   in your presence there is fullness of joy;   at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11- emphasis added)

You may find some measure of happiness or even joy apart from God in this world, but fullness of joy is found nowhere else but in His presence. There is joy unspeakable in the private prayer time spent in the presence of God. There are tears of joy, heart-bursting hope, doubt-smashing faith, clarity of thinking and the boldness to persevere even when all seems lost- these are all found in God's presence alone.

When we lose sight of this, we can no longer satisfactorily answer the world's question "What is your God more than any other god?" But more than this, we have lost our own way. When we cease to see God as that which will make us supremely happy, we start to turn to lesser gods for our happiness. As the prophet Jeremiah said, "my people have... forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water" Jeremiah 2:13.

Turn back to God and find fullness of joy in Him alone. I promise you He is the only place you will find it.

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