Kingdom of Joy

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 
Romans 14:17, ESV

People continually are trying to find fulfillment and pleasure. Some work hard in their careers to find a sense of fulfillment and delight. Others pursue hobbies and entertainment. Still others indulge in worldly, sinful activities. Yet, how many say, I will find my fulfillment and my pleasure in God and His church. Is this at the top of the career-minded person’s list of pleasure? Is finding delight in God on the top of the thrill seeker’s bucket list? Even the religious–do they have a longing for absolute satisfaction in God or are they seeking a sense of identity by the dogma they know and the religious checkboxes marked on their rites and ritual list?

Paul teaches us plainly here we should cease our striving and enter into the Kingdom way of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Thrills and delights at the ballgame are considered to be normal. Getting excited, showing emotion, and having a good time in any area of life other than church seems to be approved by others. But to tell someone they can have more delight and joy in the Holy Spirit elicits strange looks and religious vomit. Laughter and dancing in the presence of the Lord is frowned upon. Why would a joyful God expect those He loves to find greater joy outside of Him. Seems that this would break the first and greatest commandment to love God first. If we love Him more than any other, our greatest delight is in Him more than any other.

Joy in God is more than finding some sense of self awareness in meditation. Joy in God is more than feeling accomplished by attending a church service or special religious event. Joy in God is more than even finding a temporary happiness from a good sermon. Joy in God is pure and the zenith of all joys. It brings delight, laughter, enjoyment, liberty, peace, dancing, shouting, clapping, lifting of hands, singing of songs, declaring His greatness, and much more. Heaven is not a quiet place–but is filled with the sounds of joy and delight in God. Today, you can delight in God more than any other–more than entertainment, more than a good movie, more than another concert, more than a good book, more than a party, more than another drink, more than another relationship, more than another career. Delight in God will leave you changed! If you have a view that heaven, delight in God and religion is nothing more than fat cherubs sitting on clouds playing harps while the saints sit in white robes telling “war stories” from their life on earth, you have missed Biblical Christianity. It’s time to delight in God!

God is the highest good of the reasonable creature. The enjoyment of him is our proper; and is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Better than fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of any, or all earthly friends. These are but shadows; but the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean. (Jonathan Edwards)

Today, it’s time to jump into the ocean of His joy! No longer do you need to attempt pleasure at “drops in the bucket,” but dive into the ocean of His fullness. You won’t be disappointed!

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