Focus: Ultimate joy
1 Timothy 1:17 (NKJV) Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
God doesn’t really have a birthday. Jesus—the Son of God—who was once born as a baby and lived on earth, does, but God is eternal. He has always ‘been’. He was never born and He will never die.
Since God doesn’t have a birthday, maybe that’s one of the reasons He loves it when we give Him gifts.
To God, a gift could be a devoted moment of heartfelt purity. It could be a song you sing to Him that is for no one else’s ears but His. It could be time spent dialoging with Him about what His grace and mercy have done for you.
The gifts we give to God are different from the gifts we give to anyone else.
It’s not likely God will be surprised by any gift we give Him. He knows everything, and everything we give Him is something He already gave to us. But He loves it when we give back to Him with gratitude, for all He has given us.
God doesn’t need anything. He owns it all and everything that exists was made by Him. If there was anything He wanted, He could make it all by Himself, yet He loves it when we choose to surrender whatever we hold dear into His hands.
Surrender is a sweet, sweet gift. It’s a gift that has a definite beginning, but it’s one that is ongoing and meant to be given again and again—every day for the rest of our lives.
Each day, we’re something more than we were the day before. We grow—so there’s more to give. There was a lot to give God yesterday, but today there’s even more.
Some days, we might wake up in the morning and not feel like giving anything to anybody. We might not think we have anything to give to God, and even if we did, we just don’t feel like giving.
Those are the days that He watches us even more intently than usual, to see what we will do. Will we speak to Him? Will we sing Him a little song? Will we tell Him we love Him, even though we don’t feel like talking?
Imagine His joy when He knows we’re thinking about something we could give Him—some grateful thoughts, a few thankful words, a simple song of praise.
Think about His pleasure, when in spite of our grumpiness, we open our mouth and tell Him some private things we wouldn’t tell anyone else, but Him. As we talk to Him, our grumpiness starts to go away. We feel the tightness going out of our muscles and we start to relax.
The more we talk to God the closer He leans toward us—not wanting to miss a single thing we have to say. Something about the way He leans toward us changes the air around us. We feel ‘lighter’…brighter…not so grumpy.
With the air feeling like that, we breathe deeper. We breathe Him in and we breathe ourselves out. He comes in and we go out. We let ‘His air’ fill our lungs and our brain with more of Him…and we feel better.
It’s a beautiful exchange.
God loves moments like those. Moments that are quiet and thoughtful—just filled with Him and the sound of Him coming into us and ourselves ‘going out’. Simple moments, unhurried and filled with surrender.
Everyday we live, God gives us the gift of ‘life’. When we choose to ‘take’ what He has given, it makes Him happy. When we take our gift of life and give it back to God by spending time doing things with HIm, He is very, very happy.
Everything else in our world can be falling apart, but when we close ourselves away with God and just breathe Him in, we can forget about all of the things that aren’t so great, for as long as we want…because when He leans toward us, what we feel in the air is joy. He is joy. So when we breathe Him in—we are filled with ultimate joy. His joy.
Declaration: I will find new strength by celebrating God’s life in me.
All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee as of the date they were written and posted. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog. This material will be published as a book in 2014, by the grace of God. To subscribe to New Strength, select ‘follow’ in the upper left corner of this page.
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