Become an Eye-Poker

Posted: March 8, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

Jesus was not the somber, serious, ultra religious and unrelatable figure that He is often portrayed. He was a friend to tax collectors( the lowest of the low j/k) and sinners, preferring their company to that of the religiously elite of his day. Although Jesus did leave us with a serious mandate; spreading His Gospel, He also left us with His joy. “These things I have spoken to you that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (Jn 15:11). I believe it is crucially important for all believers to make sure that we let nothing or no one steal our joy. I used to work in the construction industry (Iron worker), and despite all of the physical hardships the job entailed, we always knew how to have a good time. My “crew” laughed a lot, which was an effective tool we used to distract us from the fact we were walking thirty feet off the ground on a four-inch beam. I like to think Jesus and His motley crew of fishermen, tax collectors and such passed much of the day laughing and being joyful as well. The Bible says that Jesus was anointed with the oil of gladness more than His companions (Ps. 45:7). Why was that? In the presence of the Lord there is fulness of joy! Jesus- the human side of Jesus, spent His time in communion with the Father – of course He was full of joy. Jesus is no stranger to this human condition. “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 4:15). He walked among us and is familiar with the challenges of this world; therefore, He desires for us to have joy, and not just joy, but fullness of joy. If you think about it, Christians are the only ones who really have anything to be joyful about!

Unlike joy, happiness is an emotion that comes and goes, and is usually tied to circumstances. In order to make sure your emotional state doesn’t fluctuate on temporary circumstances, don’t focus your mind on earthly things. Instead, keep your mind stayed on the Rock which is Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a Christian, or what level of maturity you believe you have attained; everyone has equal opportunity to become depressed. How? By taking your eyes off of Jesus and magnifying your problems. This world is full of problems, and I bet we could all sit down and start a list of all the unfair or bad stuff that has happened to us, or all the things that are wrong with our spouses, bosses, in-laws etc. I seriously believe that anyone has the propensity to become severely depressed if they allow their mind to go there. This is why we are told to bring all of our thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ(2 Cor 10:5). Phil 4:8 tells us to meditate on things that are true, noble, just , pure, lovely, virtuous, or praiseworthy. We’d do good to keep an eternal perspective on life and endeavour to see things the way God sees them. Don’t stress about the teeny tiny dot on the never-ending timeline of your existence. Recognize an attack to steal your joy, and the source of the attack. So why does the enemy want to steal your joy?

Because the joy of the Lord is your strength! Joy is one of the strongest weapons we have against the depression and discouragement. It is also an offensive weapon to use against the devil. Too many Christians take a passive-reactive approach to life instead of an offensive-aggressive one. Some times it’s fun to stick your finger in the devil’s eye to remind him you have power over him. Let me explain: Pride is what caused Satan’s original sin; he wanted to be like the Most High God. The one thing reserved for God alone is worship, and the devil has always sought that. If he can’t be the one to receive worship, then he tries to turn others away from giving true worship to God. He does this by trying to keep you down/depressed. He’ll use the same old tactic he used with Eve by telling you that God is withholding something from you- you lack something. Your t.v. will confirm this message telling you that you must have X,Y, or Z to be happy – to be complete.  “In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,” and “we are complete in Him” (Col 2:9-10). We are in this world, but not of this world. Nothing in this world can compare to the excellence of the knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord. Our relationship with God is the most prized possession. The ability to enter into the Holy of Holies, the very presence of God, to come boldly to the throne of grace saying Abba Father- Daddy, Daddy – What on this stinkin’ cursed earth can compare with that? We lack nothing.

So every time we truly rejoice and praise and worship the Lord in the midst of trouble, you are basically twisting your finger in the devil’s eye. Keep giving God what the devil always desired- worship. Keep your focus where it belongs, and depression will never be named among you. Remember joy is a fruit of your born-again spirit, not something you must obtain. You can, at all times, remain full of joy. We must never let ourselves get too focused on the daily grind, and let the cares of this world choke out the Word in our lives. In the presence of the Lord there is fullness of joy- can anything that doesn’t belong in you or on you (depression or sickness) remain in His mighty presence?

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