Serve The LORD With Gladness

As a Christian, when is your life most fulfilling? I’m sure each individual will give a different answer. Each individual is at different points in their lives after all. Over the course of my walk with Christ I’ve experienced times of joy and times of sadness and I’ve observed in other believers times of joy and sadness. For those in Christ, when do we rejoice the most? When are we disappointed?

Common language used by Christian camp counselors today is the “Jesus high” feeling students get during youth camp or conferences. I’m more for saying “On Fire for the Lord” personally, but what is the meaning for the evangelist using such terminology? Referring to the zeal one may feel during camp they urge people to not lose such zeal. Zeal may spike while students or adults are immersed in the Word daily and surrounded by other believers, but the moment they get home this zeal often fades quickly. Have you noticed this trait that correlates with zeal that I’ve noticed? It’s joy! I myself am most joyful when I am on fire for the Lord! All Christians that I’ve met are the same way. When we are most joyful is when we are walking closely with our Lord and Savior. When I was a freshman in High school I was turning away from my sinful habits and I was immersed in the Word daily, was in prayer constantly, and rejoicing always. I’m sure I struggled, but I really can’t recall a time I was stuck in a rut back then. Now obviously, this is when we are most active in kingdom building. Our zeal floods over to other believers and those on their “Jesus high” are the ones leading the charge for evangelism and growing in knowledge and faith. The next question is, when do encounter the most sadness or disappointment?

When we lose our zeal it is not because Jesus is walking away from us, rather it is our deliberate walking away from Him. We grow the most disappointed, and the most complacent in our faith when we turn away from Christ and turn instead to the world and its sins. This here is the problem, the American Church places so much emphasis on sin that we have translated the battle against evil to be the battle against internal sin. Now, don’t get me wrong, that is surely a huge part of it! How can we be effective warriors for Christ if we are turning to sin and away from Him? However, this is the trap. Rather than brushing ourselves off and moving from the mistakes we’ve made, or make presently, we instead go to battle against our weaknesses. Here’s what I mean. We allow ourselves to become so bogged down and down trodden by our mistakes that we don’t allow Christ to make a new creation in us. How can the Holy Spirit move if we allow ourselves to constantly say “woe is me, I’m a failure, I’m useless for the kingdom.” We begin to focus so much attention on this weak spot in our lives that we stop going out living for the Lord and wrestle with this sin instead. What does God want us to do about our sin? Wallow in self-guilt for falling prey to sin nature within us? Certainly not!

He will again have compassion on us;
He will tread our iniquities under foot.
Yes, You will cast all our sins
Into the depths of the sea. – Micah 7:19 (NASB)

“For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,

and I will remember their sins no more.” – Hebrews 8:12 (ESV)

God wants us to repent and return to Him! He surely does not want us running away thinking we have completely severed our relationship with Him. He is the Great shepherd who watches over the flock, He does not abandon a single sheep to the wolves. David understood this, each time he sinned he was quick to RUN BACK! He didn’t run away and say “God, I can’t return to You until I deal with this problem.” We could spend all of eternity trying to rid ourselves of sin and it would never happen. If we tried to cleanse ourselves before coming to God, before going to Church in fellowship and before doing the work of the kingdom, then nothing would get done. We are humans, born into this world with sin nature we will stumble and we will fall. Don’t take lightly commiting sin, that is not the point I’m trying to make. However, don’t allow the sin in your life to take control of your objectives.

What is repentance? The changing of the mind, direction, and desire. When God tells us to repent He is calling us to change our mind and to not commit sin this is true. In addition to that, He calls us to change direction, to turn from the world and back to Him, to walk closely with Him. Furthermore, He wants our desires to be doing His will and completing the work He has set before us. The Father wants us to grow in zeal, to rejoice in His work. Even when we fall He wants us to get up and continue the fight. You know what happens when we stop focusing so much on our weak spots and start focusing on making our next move for Christ? Our weak spots bolster and we become less tempted. The Holy Spirit makes a new creation in us. Satan would love for us to fight sin all day long, he knows we can’t win on our own. If we are so occupied trying to cleanse ourselves, then he has done his job in preventing kingdom growth. On the otherhand, if we move to the offensive and begin evangelizing, even when are aware of our faults, then we will start to see a change in our lives. Zeal sky rockets and all you can think of is serving the Lord. I know without doubt that God would much rather see His flawed servants fighting evil by making disciples and being the hands and feet of Jesus, then hear another promise to “never do this again.” 

Serve the Lord with gladness, resist sin, but continue the race should you fall.

 

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. – Psalm 100 (KJV)

I would’ve used a different background, but good song!

 

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