Joy and Obedience
Prayer: Lord, I can have a kind of pseudo happiness or joy without you but it doesn’t last. I can even achieve this with using by addictive behaviours, but it never satisfies more than a short time. Help me learn to focus on You and know real joy in You. I know that to have real joy in You my life needs to align with Your Word. Only You in me can do this. Thank you!
Recap week 1: God delights in me: He celebrates when I turn to him, and seek Him
Recap week 2: There is possible purpose and hope in suffering as I turn to God and recognize that He is in control and bringing glory to Christ is the goal and prize.
Recap week 3: God longs to delight in me especially as I turn to Him and recognize that He has paid all the price for my rebellion in Christ Jesus. A new path linked with a deep joy is now possible!
Recap week 4: God is constant and knows me intimately.
Recap week 5: God has a purpose in suffering and gives a way for you have joy in spite of your struggles.
Bible: 1 Chronicles 29: 9, 17:
The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly. . . I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.
Ponder: This passage is found in the Old Testament and it is linked with giving to the work of God, in this case the building of the temple. The leaders and the people had great joy in giving to this work both willingly and honestly. They also took great joy in seeing how each other gave to God. Their focus was on God, not keeping back for themselves. They also gave to God freely.
Action: Think through places in your life where you are holding back, where you are not giving freely, where you know you are not obeying. This can come in many forms; maybe you are holding back your willingness to trust God in your finances, so you keep on saying, “just one more time! Then I’ll stop” in your struggle to let go of gambling. Maybe it is the feeling itself, the pseudo joy, euphoria that is stopping you give yourself wholeheartedly to God. Write down some of these moments on a piece of paper, confessing each one to God and asking for His help to overcome.
Remember: If you know Christ as Lord and Saviour, He has completely broken the power of sin, guilt and shame in your life. If you do not yet know Him, then your struggle is greater and change comes by sheer willpower and it is not lasting, it has worth only for this life. Consider crying out to Abba, Father, the God, who loves you and created you, for His help. He sent His Son to die in your place so that you can walk in freedom. He longs to help you! He wants you to know the grace and freedom that can only be found in Christ.
End of Day: Thank God for the freedom to obey He has already given you in Christ Jesus! Pray for the strength and courage to take joy in this freedom without your addictive habits. Read the daily passage again, going to sleep with Scripture on your mind.
Journaling: Write down:
Either a prayer of longing for this freedom
Or a prayer reflecting the grace and freedom He has already given you.