For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Have you noticed as we have reflected on joy for the last forty days that the “joy” that manifests itself as a fruit of the spirit is a kind of joy that differs from the world’s version of joy?
One interesting thing about scripture is that it always sets our expectations for what a word means in the world’s vernacular to the side and invites us to experience a newer and deeper meaning.
Just as many in the world derive great pleasure from eating and drinking, we see that this variety of “joy” in the world is really just self-indulgence and produces no real benefit to our lives or to the lives of others. It’s taking pleasure where it can be found, acknowledging that tomorrow we may pay a price.
But when we pursue the fruits of the spirit and re-define what our lives should be focused on, we find ourselves making different choices and walking down paths that might not make sense to other people. We may go against the grain and we might not always even know the reason why. We may opt for the more difficult choice-one littered with obstacles-because we feel God’s leading.
Have you ever had a time when you KNEW for sure you were at the center of God’s will? What joy did you possess at that moment? Imagine having that joy daily. It’s possible when we set aside the world’s definitions of success and happiness and inviite God into our daily choices.
“For a day in your courts is better than a thousand.”
All the Best in 2013!