Thursday, March 07, 2013

Supernatural Joy

Joy is the very nature of our God. His entire being is Joy and we as His children are recipients and inheritors of this supernatural Joy!! Yet it is a choice we must make. The Psalmist says "This is the day the Lord has made, I will be glad and rejoice in it". Rejoicing is an act of worship that gives us access to His very character of Joy. Rejoicing and thanksgiving attracts the very presence of God. 2nd Chronicles 20 tells us the story of King Jehoshaphat who is brought the news of a large army of Moabites and Ammonites coming down to attack his kingdom. 2 Chronicles verse 4 says "He is afraid". However his fear does not drive him to remain in the place of insecurity and depression but instead he resolves to inquire and seek the face of God. He reminds God of His promises, that the enemy has come to displace His children from the land and that He gave them in the first place. As soon as he does that the Bible records God's answer to his prayer. Here is the account from 2nd Chronicles.

4 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly. 15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’” 18 Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. 19 Then some Levites from the Kohathites and Korahites stood up and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with a very loud voice. 20 Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” 21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his[c] holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.” 22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 23 The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. 24 When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. 25 So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing[d] and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. 26 On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the Lord. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah[e] to this day.

Notice verse 21 King Jehoshaphat "appoints" people  and encourages the people to sing and praise. As the army goes out Praise worshippers are at the helm  worshipping and singing praises to the Lord. This act releases the move of God.  The Lord sets ambushes among the Moabites and Ammonites and the result is without a fight the children of Israel come away with a huge plunder of treasures. More importantly there was a multiplication of rejoicing and the Joy of the Lord in the camp. 

Rejoicing in the Lord results in the multiplication of Joy. The act of worshipping Him (again rejoicing) is a gateway to enter into the Joy of the Lord. When this happens it attracts heaven's resources to work for you, allows God's presence to change things through the Kairos moments and creates chaos in the enemy's camp. In the book of Nehemiah or Ezra when the book of law is read...the children of Israel are downcast and saddened in the realization that they are so far away from the perfect law of the Lord. However Nehemiah and Ezra had priests run up and down the congregation urging/encouraging them to rejoice and celebrate because they as a people were acceptable to God and were moving in the direction of seeking His face. This very moment was not to recoil and be depressed but to celebrate and rejoice. 

So let us resolve as Paul urges us to do in Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I say it again: "Rejoice!"

Shalom & Blessings,

Sam Kurien