- To find pleasure in something
- To have, experience or have the benefit of something good
(Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
Have you heard of Joyce Meyer?
She is a woman of God, who has a highly successful ministry, attracting both men and women. But my main reason for flagging her up to you today, is the marketing strapline for her daily broadcasts—Enjoying Every-Day Life.
One of my goals this year—which I’d like to be an ongoing goal for as long as I live—is to glorify God. Well since last month, I’ve expanded that goal to both glorifying and enjoying God.
As Christians, I sometimes feel we can take ourselves too seriously, or we can be negative and ungrateful. Even, I’m sorry to say, we can be a most miserable set of people.
I don’t say that to upset anyone, to criticise or condemn. I say it because that is what I’ve observed, what I have at times experienced through interaction with other Christians, and have sometimes seen in my own life, and so I point the finger at myself as well.
We are not all of us enjoying life. We are waiting for better times. Waiting for breakthroughs. Waiting for something-or-the-other!
Unfortunately, that wait can extend into years, decades and possibly for ever!
Why does this happen?
I believe it’s because we have unrealistic expectations! Because we have deluded ourselves or been deceived by the Enemy, into thinking that a good life, an enjoyable life is one devoid of problems; a life free from trials and tribulations, an idealistic life that is always self-gratifying.
We think this because we have a God for whom nothing is impossible. We think this because we believe and know he is a miracle-working God. We think this because we are aware that God loves us unconditionally and has declared that we are blessed.
So, if this is the case, why should we encounter defeat or difficulties? Why should we tolerate a situation where it seems God has allowed LIFE to kick away our carefully laid plans and cherished dreams? Why shouldn’t we expect the Godhead and the heavenly hosts of angels to come to our rescue the moment we cry out?
And whilst we wonder and take umbrage, or secretly sulk because our lives didn’t turn out to be the pretty, problem-free packages we’d ordered, or our prayers weren’t answered according to our schedule, or our undesirable circumstances magically and permanently resolved, we choose to forget that Jesus warned: “…in me you will have peace. In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33).
We choose to forget that Peter said: “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (1 Peter 4:12).
We choose to forget that Paul described his experience as a servant of God in the following terms: “…being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; being defamed, we entreat. We are made as the filth of the world, the off-scouring of all things until now” (1 Corinthians 12-13).
Perhaps being brought up on a diet of “happy ever after” fairy tales, or vicariously engaging with the ideal life of Hollywood movies, or emotionally subscribing to romantic scenarios in novels, became a contributing factor to our unrealistic expectations.
We conveniently forget that even in such stories, there are conflicts, or an adversary that needs to be overcome first—before the happy ending is revealed!
And as Christians, of course we’ve read about the destiny of God’s people. We’ve read about God’s promise of a bright, blissful future. We’ve even perhaps responded to an altar-call which promised: when you come to Jesus, everything will be all right!
Then, two months, two years, two decades down the line, we are still waiting for everything to be all right, for all our problems to magically disappear for ever, for life to become absolutely amazing, to be one unadulterated high of blessing and favour and success—but until that happens, we feel we can’t actually enjoy life as it is now, with all its fretful, stressful queries, concerns and frustrations.
We enjoy life’s ups but not its downs. We enjoy the highs of our relationship with God but not the lows. We respond to personal circumstances according to the dictates of our thoughts and emotions, rather than the directions of God’s Word. And so, in the final analysis, no—we are not enjoying every-day life!
Dear reader, please understand me. I am not advocating that we go around as a “happy-clappy” bunch of people pretending all is well, if clearly that’s not the case.
I am however, wanting to draw your attention to the fact that when you examine Jesus’ words to the seven churches in Revelation, he clearly indicates that the promise of a future destiny in the new heaven and the new earth, the promise of a pain-free, problem free life, will be the reward of those who overcome.
Now that word (overcome), tells us right there that we are bound to face circumstances where not everything-in-the-garden-will-be-green-and-rosy. And, if that were not the case, how will we learn to overcome? What challenge will there be to overcome?
Dear reader, even God’s dream of a wonderful, harmonious world in which he enjoys a rich relationship with set-apart individuals, who’d commit to him and lovingly obey him, was (and continues to be) thwarted again and again. Not just for a few years. Not just for several decades. But for centuries!
We see evidence of this thwarted dream again and again throughout the entire Bible. We see it with Adam and Eve. We see it with Sodom and Gomorrah and the antediluvian world.
We see it with God’s own chosen people, the Children of Israel. We see it with the Pharisees, Scribes and Sadducees, who were meant to be waiting for the promised Messiah. And sadly, we see it at times in our own lives.
It is only when we come to the book of Revelation and read about the end of this present world, as we currently know it, that we’re given a prophetic picture of an era when God finally achieves his dream of a devoted, holy and worshipping community within the context of a happy, harmonious world, free from Satan’s diabolical influence.
Meanwhile, dear ones, God has chosen to enjoy us NOW as his children, as his heirs, as his precious Son’s disciples, even though we often fail to measure up to his ideal.
Now if God can do that for us, can we not do the same for him? Can we not use his precious spiritual resources, the benefits of our salvation package and the promise of a brighter future, of an eternal destiny in his glorious presence (where we’ll enjoy the beauty and perfection of his re-created world)—can we not use these factors to enjoy him NOW, enjoy the position to which we’ve been elevated, even enjoy our every-day lives regardless of the battles we face, knowing our victory is guaranteed, knowing our eternal destiny with Him is assured?
Should we not practice and consolidate an attitude of joy now, so we are in good stead for that time which is to come when Jesus himself will welcome us and usher us into his presence, where he will bid us to “…enter into the joy of your Lord”? (Matthew 25:21, 23).
Dear Women of Warfare followers and visitors, I’m convinced that this is God’s heart for you and for me and therefore this is my heart’s desire for you and for myself.
Let’s make a decision today that throughout this year and beyond, we will ENJOY our relationship with our Father-God and ENJOY life. Yes, let’s determine in our hearts to enjoy our redeemed status and enjoy the life for which Christ paid so very high a price.
And if you are looking for ideas on how to enjoy life more, check out the link.
With love and best wishes,
(aka Lady Cee) ♥♥
This Week’s Prayer Focus:
Let’s focus our thoughts on what God has done for us – not on those issues where we feel let down, or disappointed, or even sceptical towards God because he hasn’t come through with what we wanted, or has not chosen to act within our expected time-frame.
Let’s pray for one another that we will embrace a new attitude of gratitude… that we will reflect upon, remember and rejoice over the fact that Jesus willingly sacrificed his life for us, so we may enjoy an abundant and liberated life.
And, my dear friends, before entering the battlefield of prayer, please don’t forget to put on your spiritual armour.
As King David so accurately observed:
What is man that You are mindful of him
Or the son of man that You take care of him?
And I would add: Who am I that you should choose to adopt me, care for me and cherish a relationship with me? I am both humbled and grateful.
Father-God, my heart’s desire is to glorify you and to enjoy you in my every-day life.
I thank you for setting me apart for your service. I thank you for all that you’ve freely bestowed upon my life, so that I might enjoy the benefits and liberty of your kingdom.
Father-God, help me to focus on what you have done for me—not on what you haven’t! Help me to enjoy life as you meant me to enjoy it. And help me to honour you with the things I habitually say, think and do.
Lord God, may all those who examine me, see a good, great and gracious God who provides for, protects and promotes me. May I in turn, showcase a godly confidence and strength of character, as a result of me walking in the ‘Fear of the Lord’.
Cause me to maintain my confession of faith and to exhibit an uncompromising commitment to pursuing my destiny in Christ. By the enabling power of your Holy Spirit, touch me afresh, so I may experience an increasing fervour for the things pertaining to your kingdom.
Father God, send forth your precious Holy Spirit to embrace and comfort those amongst my visiting readers and also those within our individual spheres of influence, who are depressed or discouraged, who mourn for whatever reason, who are disillusioned with life.
Heal the hearts and hurts of those who’ve become embittered. Strengthen those who are emotionally or spiritually weak. Cause the joy of the Lord to become their source of strength. May inexplicable peace saturate their souls and may godly hope revive their dreams and expectations and act as a spiritual anchor for their souls.
I ask this in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.
© Carol Hind
Women of Warfare followers and visitors be blessed and enjoy this coming week!
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Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Each fortnight, I hope to introduce a new theme and prayer focus. Why not become a part of the WoW! community by participating in these prayers? Let’s pray for ourselves and for each other. Let’s obey God’s command to watch and pray for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18)
Please note, you do not have to be a blogger to join this praying community.
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CREDIT: The above CC0 Image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com