So now with a new perspective, years later, I need to start a study of redemption from Genesis to Revelation all over again. Come to find out that my friend Steve Wilson has been teaching a class on Redemption at EMIC all the Wednesdays services of most of March and April 2013. As I work on Wed nights with the Youth Group I miss adult service those days. I'm downloading those now to start listening as I begin my own study of redemption.
The Lord moved me last night to re-watch the last 30 minutes of "The Passion of the Christ"
Also, last night at EMIC (04/10/2013) Dan Maclean taught on "Knowing God Intimately" as he does twice a year at EMIC. It's never the same message twice, because how could you exhaust that subject? He is teaching on the idea that if you know HIM intimately all your other priorities fall in line. When Knowing Him isn't your number one priority things get mottled.
That then brings me to the reason I started this post. I wrote my friend and he took valuable time out of his day to craft a well thought through response. It's worth preserving here for myself and sharing with others. It goes as follows. The Following is a paraphrase of this interaction I had recently that I need to preserve for future review, and re-review.
I posed this question to my friend Olivier, a profoundly wise man of God:
"If the Joy of the Lord is my strength... How do I cultivate Joy?"
"I am sure you have an idea... what is it?"
"Actually I have no solid idea. I've been dealing with discouragement, negative attitudes, and depression MOST of my life. I can put on a good show at work and church but I think I have more temporal happiness than enduring Joy. I'd imagine that praise has something do with it?"Oliver Replied:
"You can't praise unless you have a reason. Otherwise praise is just a ritual or tactic to get your Father to do something. You praise because of what you remember He did. And therefore, you praise because of what you know He can do and Wills-to do. The reason for being up and down, besides the fact that there is an insane devil who doesn't leave us alone, is because we sometimes overlook the word "constantly" when our Lord tells us to constantly be prayed up, on our guard. Why? Because our flesh constantly acts up and the devil constantly acts up.
Also the main thing is MEDITATE. We are not changed because of the knowledge we get. We are changed because we let that knowledge invade our hearts. Head knowledge can't help.
Remember that we became born again and believers not because we assented or agreed with the truth that was proclaimed. But we were radically changed by that knowledge that was proclaimed to us because we believe in our heart. It is a heart issue and not a head issue... and the heart is changed or affected by meditating, staying on, pondering on The Word.
"The Joy of the Lord is my strength"; that is; "The Word of the Lord is my strength."
Jeremiah 15:16 says that the prophet found and ate our Lord's Words and they were to him the Joy and rejoicing of his heart. We are temporally happy because we remain in the realm of the mind. Joy is found in the realm of the heart. The Word, remembering who He is, what He does, what He's done, how great His Wisdom is... pondering on these things is what strengthens our hearts and makes it be full of Joy.
Our Heart knows Him and leaps of Joy and hearing His voice. Our head on the other hand needs to be educated. The flesh and the enemy want to keep us in the realm of the mind; hence our ups and downs. Because we eventually operate like the world relying on circumstances to either make us feel well or feel sad.
Peace and Joy are connected as well as the other facets of the Fruit of the Spirit. My reason to mention "Peace" is because we rejoice when everything is well and we know we are protected. Well, when we meditate on the Word we realize He is with us and for us. Love springs forth, peace lands on us like a silk sheet and we can't help but rejoice.
My point is that if is no joy there isn't peace either. We can't talk about one without talking about the other. When we come to that realization we then ought to tell ourselves: "How can we be without peace?!"
We can (be without peace) if we doubt that He is with us and has our best interest in mind. We can if we think that we are on our own having to fend for ourselves. Where there is no joy, there is no peace either. However we know that we have peace with Him. Our heart must ponder on that truth.
Why? Because depression is linked to condemnation! We condemn ourselves when we live in the realm of the mind and believe that we are messed up, don't do enough, don't achieve enough... that is where the enemy wants us and if we let him we start getting depressed.
No matter how below level we live, our Lord does not condemn us. The devil does, but not Him. Because He LOVES us unconditionally If our good works didn't save us, they cannot sustain us. What sustains us is the understanding, the meditating, on His Love and Power toward us so we can do better and better, step by step, glory to glory. Knowing that it is His love and power in us, the understanding of it, that prospers us day by day. Basking in this, in this understanding, is what swells our heart, keeps it in peace, and makes it rejoice.
Hope that helps my brother... O.
Have questions about anything I said here? Want to share your story? Comment Below!
I call you empowered 2 prosper with good success!
N2 Good SuccessDarrell G. Wolfe
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