It was 11:15. Yes, at night. And I was already in bed.
And the Spirit rose up and poured out such a wonderful piece of prose and praise to the Father and Son – a psalm, actually – that I went into the kitchen to write it down.
“From Your seat in the highest heavens, O Lord,
To the darkest alleyway of deception and corruption –
You bring Light.
There is none that quenches Your Fire, Your Light, Your Victory.
Fire is in Your heart; yes, fire and compassion, grace and love.
You are my great Champion.
You walk with me, You lead me into the halls of faith and greatness,
Also into the pathway of wretched despair and defilement.
No, not for destruction.
Rather, You bring Light.
You are the great Transformer.
You are the great Lover.
You are the great Warrior.
You are the great I Am.
You Are – so I can be.
So I can share the fire in Your heart. So I can feel Your great compassion. So I can extend Your incomparable grace. So I can conquer in Your Name, and by Your Love.
There is no deception that deceives You.
There is no corruption that corrupts You.
You bring Light.”
We all need moments like that, with Him. He desires us to seek and embrace Him, so that He may reveal depths and mysteries and release joy and wholeness and transformation.
Joy. Jesus described us corporately in saying we would be recognized in this world “by your love,” not our joy. But as I read through Scripture, I am certain that joy plays a uniquely significant role not only in our lives, but also in our ability to walk with Him and partner in the implementation of His plans, sharing and being strengthened by His Goodness.
After the wall around Jerusalem was rebuilt, Nehemiah and his chief priest, Ezra, encouraged the crowd of Israelites by saying, “Do not be grieved; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Neh. 8:10, NASB)
Paul stated to the Romans, “…the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17, NASB) He later expressed to them, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:13, NASB)
Of Jesus, the writer of Hebrews records, “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross.” (Heb. 12:2, NASB) And Jesus’ prayer to the Father, “But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves.” (John 17:13, NASB)
Abounding in hope. Strength. Endurance. An intrinsic component of the Spirit at work in us, for “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…” (Galatians 5:22, NASB)
And I find it interesting that Paul ministered to the Corinthians who appear to have been experiencing a lack of joy, for he described himself and his companions as being “workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm.” (2 Cor. 1:24, NASB)
Interesting…to be able to stand firm in faith, and yet be lacking in joy. Dictionaries are actually not very helpful in separating “joy” from emotional descriptions such as bliss, gaiety, delight. But Merriam-webster.com did offer this: “A source or cause of delight.”
A source. Now we’re getting somewhere less moved by quick-running extremes of the moment. If I substitute that phrase for Jesus’ single word, His statement would read, “…these things I speak in the world so that they may have My source or cause of delight made full in themselves.” And that phrase sounds quite similar to Jesus’ statement to His disciples while at the well that “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” (John 4:32, NASB)
Paul’s statements would read, “…will fill you with all source or cause of delight and peace in the Holy Spirit…”; “may the God of hope fill you with all source or cause of delight and peace in believing…”; and, “workers with you for your source or cause of delight…”
Let me return to Jesus’ petition, “…that they may have Mysource or cause of delight made full in themselves.”
Jesus continued His prayer, “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world…As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world…the glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected (into one) unity, so that the world may (continually know) that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” (John 17:15,16,22,23, parens contain inserted footnotes, NASB)
His food. His joy. Our great privilege to release a jubilant outcry from the spiritual to the earthly realm.
Go ahead….sit with Him and write a psalm…You may discover it to be food you did not know about….