Monday, September 27, 2010
Today’s Topic: Where’s the Joy?
Today’s Text: Isaiah 16:9 The shouts of joy over your ripened fruit and over your harvests have been stilled. Joy and gladness are taken away from the orchards; no one sings or shouts in the vineyards; no one treads out wine at the presses, for I have put an end to the shouting.
Yesterday was such a gorgeous day, and this week promises the same kind of weather. There will be time this week to harvest the rest of the garden, winterize the camper, clean the garage for the winter storage season, mow the lawn, and maybe, just maybe, play some golf.
However, I wonder why I am so satisfied to sit and do nothing when there is so much to be done. There are days when I wonder why life is so mundane. Why do the things that used to bring joy seem simply average and at times even meaningless?
At first I chalked it up to old age and tiredness. But then I read this verse this morning. In context, Isaiah is writing about the nation of Moab, but in application he writes about me…and you.
The more the Moabites became comfortable and proud of their position, the less they depended upon God. They had not yet learned that joy comes only from the Lord. It is a fruit of the Spirit of God abiding within us. It can only be experienced if the Holy Spirit is filling us. He cannot fill us if we are filled with ourselves. So the loss of joy is the direct result of the choice we make to focus on self.
But I needed that ouch. You may have also needed it. Take some time, as I will today, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the parts of your life and heart where He is not involved, or where His involvement is being restricted by your self-involvement. Then repent of those things and invite Him to fill you. The Joy of the Lord will return and you will be strong again.