Sabbath and rest are connected with sanctification: notes from Rick J.

These are my notes from part of Rick Joyner\’s talk at his advanced prophetic conference, on 5-8-21:

Sabbath and rest are connected with sanctification.

Legalism is not the answer to lawlessness.

The number one reason God\’s people stay in bondage is because they fail to enter God\’s rest.

The spirit of Babylon is confusion, confused speech.

The clearest sign that someone is free of Babylon is clear speech: telling it like it is.

Gathering around projects is not the same as gathering to the Lord.

2020 was a year to begin to enter the Lord\’s rest and seek God. (Psalm 23:2), (Hebrews 3:8-4:11)

One of the greatest demonstrations that we have entered God\’s rest is our lack of anxiety.

Resting in Him is trusting Him.

Anxiety is sin when it is rooted in pride: my ability to solve problems. My saying, \”I have to carry this.\”

Peter said:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

(1 Peter 5:6-7, English Standard Version)

The antidote to depression is being in God\’s presence:

Psalm 16:11

English Standard Version

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Return and Rest, Isaiah 30:15, Alexander MacLaren’s notes

For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said: “You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence. But you are not willing.”
-Isaiah 30:15

I believe that we need to return and rest.  I used to read this verse as, \”In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.\”  We do need to repent.  Repentance is turning away from sin, but the idea here, from the words chosen, is that repenting is returning; coming home to God.

We repent from and return to.  Repentance is returning.
The idea that Isaiah is speaking against, or the ailment for which he speaks the cure; is doing our own thing and not resting.  And this is a word for believers.
The believers were in trouble.  They needed deliverance.  God gave them a way.  And they said, \”no thanks.\”
How can this be and how might we be like this?
  • They and we are believers who won\’t repent.
    • Self-righteous.
    • Unbelieving believers.
    • We belong to God, but refuse to be transformed.
    • We are sheep without a shepherd, gone astray, to our own ways.
  • They and we would not rest.
    • We are busy building our houses, our lives, our selves.
    • We are burned out and need renewal.
    • We are stale and need refreshing.
    • We are dead and need reviving.
    • We don\’t hear God, because we won\’t stop and listen long enough.
    • We are frustrated that God won\’t help us build, when He want\’s us to let Him build.
  • They and we were constant talkers.
    • We have an opinion on everything.
    • We have lost that listening is loving.
    • We quietness is a sign of faith.
I want to repent and return to God.  I want to rest.  And I want to be quiet.
These are my notes from Alexander MacLaren\’s Isaiah commentary:

We depart from God by speculative thought or by anxious care, or by sin.
To ‘return’ is just to trust.
Note, too, that every want of confidence is a departure from God. We go away from Him not only by open sin, not only by denial of Him, but by forgetfulness, by want of faith.
‘Rest’ and ‘being quiet’ are treated here partly as consequences of faith.
See how confidence in God stills and quiets the soul.
Communion with Him brings peace and rest, inasmuch as all things are then possessed which we can desire. 
Trust in God brings rest from our own evil consciences.
It brings rest from our own plans and purposes.
Trust gives insight into the meaning of all this else unintelligible world.
Rest is not:
  • the absence of causes of disturbance.
  • the abnegation of forethought.
  • indolent passiveness.
Notice the duty of being thus quiet and resting.
How much we fail in this respect.
We have faith, but there seems some obstruction which stops it from flowing refreshingly through our lives.
We are bound to seek for its increased continuity and power in our hearts and lives.
Trust is the condition of being ‘saved.’
And not only so, but also trust is strength. God works for us; yes, but better than that, God works in us and fits us to work.
Stillness of soul, born of communion with God, makes us strong.
Stillness of soul, born of deliverance from our fears, makes us strong.
Trust, so shall we be at rest and safe. Being at rest and safe, we shall be strong. If we link ourselves with God by faith, God will flash into us His mysterious energy, and His strength will be made perfect in our weakness.

Whatever You Do

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.

So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free.

-1 Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 3:17, 23; James 2:12 (NLT)
There are three things in life: work, celebration, and rest.  If you have not rested, then your work will not be productive and enjoyable.  Also, if you do not rest, you lack the energy and fountain of vitality to celebrate.
You can’t celebrate and rest.
After work, we need rest; but we often celebrate after work, before we rest.  We celebrate while we are tired which is ok as long as we are aware of our tiredness.  If we are out of touch with our exhaustion, our celebration in tiredness will be less enjoyable.
But, if we acknowledge our exhaustion, but still want to celebrate, we can have a (lower energy) good time still.  The greatest celebrating comes after rest.  There is work and planning, then a pause for rest before celebrating for maximum enjoyment.
You can not celebrate and work.  
I remember an absurd advertisement for a workplace where they beckoned potential employees  to come work, “in a party-like atmosphere”.  People who celebrate while working (all day or night) are not productive and quickly lose their jobs.
You can not work and rest.  
The only people paid to sleep on the job are firemen who are on-duty while sleeping, ready to get up and go on a call, if need be.  Most of the rest of us will not be productive, if we sleep or rest while on the job, the whole time.
We need to rest well to work well and we need to rest well to celebrate well.  Life is harder without rest.  We can not rest while we work and the need for rest tempers our ability to celebrate.
Balance, rhythm, and wholeness.
Work is good and celebration is good, but a life of all work or all celebration is out of balance.  Rest is good and essential, but the life spent only resting is not good and we call that slothfulness or laziness.  The rhythm of life is work, rest, celebration, and rest.  Then, back to work.
Skipping any step will bring us out of balance and wholeness.  For example, if you go straight to celebration after work, then your ability to enjoyably celebrate is limited and you will need more rest after that limited celebration, and you will need to acknowledge your energy level to celebrate as limited.

I want to pause and acknowledge that my perspective is that of an introvert.  Extroverts do get energized by being around people.  But they also need their rest.

The limits issue means that as human beings, we have limits; and if we ignore them, we will be in trouble.  The person who comes home from work and grouches at their family or melts down in stress out of proportion to the stress at hand is in need of rest.  Substance abuse (over or under the counter) also is fueled by out of touch behavior that does not acknowledge one’s limits and need for rest.
People take their drug rather than getting rest and it ends up being unwholesome or destructive for them and the ones who love them.  People who neglect rest after celebration also pay a price in their work, in it being unproductive and less enjoyable.
“Whatever you do.”
I think that “whatever you do”, is an excellent motto in life, if the whatever is linked to the Lord.  Whether you raise the dead or take a nap, do it in the Lord.  Let your life be “in the” and “of the” Lord.
We do not have compartmentalized lives of acting one way here and another way there.  We want to be godly and walkers with Christ in the light and in the dark; when we are seen by others and when we are alone or anonymous.  At this place or that other place, we always want to walk in the light of the Lord’s sight.

Living In God’s House

How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord of Armies.
I long and yearn for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and flesh cry out for the living God.

Even a sparrow finds a home,
And a swallow, a nest for herself
Where she places her young—
Near your altars, Lord of Armies,
My King and my God.
How happy are those who reside in your house,
Who praise you continually.

Happy are the people whose strength is in you,
Whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
They make it a source of springwater;
Even the autumn rain will cover it with blessings.
They go from strength to strength;
Each appears before God in Zion.

Lord God of Armies, hear my prayer;
Listen, God of Jacob.Selah
Consider our shield, God;
Look on the face of your anointed one.

Better a day in your courts than a thousand anywhere else.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
Than live in the tents of wicked people.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield.
The Lord grants favor and honor;
He does not withhold the good from those who live with integrity.
Happy is the person who trusts in you,
Lord of Armies!

-Psalm 84
We are invited to live in God’s house now in this life.  Our desire to live with God is individual and communal.  We each have to decide for and want it.  And we live in God together.
God’s house is yellow.  God uses all colors, but yellow describes the place we get to live in with God.

For the Lord God is a sun and a shield.

God’s house is a place of sunshine.  A color that describes God’s house is yellow.  God’s place we dwell in is a place of joy, warmth, inspiration and vitality.  Cheerful, happiness, strengthening, friendly and creative; are words that describe the atmosphere of God’s house we get to live in now.
The more time that we spend inside God’s house, the more that our minds are renewed into the mind of Christ.  The more time we spend at God’s place, the more we are aware of our identities.  The more time we spend in God’s house, the more energy we have for life, because awake or asleep, God’s place is a place of rest.
When we spend time inside God’s house, we learn to see.  We get clarity about what we see.  We understand what we see better now, through the truth of Christ.
Spending time in God’s house is renewing.  Restoration happens in God’s place where we get to spend time.  It is a safe place to turn our lives around and get back to becoming the person we have been destined to be.
We get to grow up in the safe space of God’s place, while at the same time, becoming like a child.  No matter what our age is, our youth is renewed in God’s dwelling place.  We get to become wise and child-like at the same time.
God’s house is a place of learning.  Inspiration and curiosity are in the air in God’s space.  Creativity is bubbling in the atmosphere of God’s house and imparted to those who spend time there.
The ability to communicate truth and life is imparted to people who spend time living with God.  Discovery is given to those who dwell with God.  That is the ability to look at things and discover things previously unknown.
Decision makers learn how to become wise rulers in the house of God, in the the light imparted by living with God.
Enthusiasm, confidence and optimism are imparted in the presence of God.
Being with God is a sunny place, full of warmth and happiness.
Frankincense, one of the gifts brought to Jesus, is yellowish in color.  In essential oil therapy, Frankincense is said to offer a variety of health benefits like relieving stress and anxiety, reducing pain and inflammation, boosting immunity and potentially helping fight cancer.
Yellow is the brightest color.  It is the most visible color.  It is the first visible color.  Yellow is the color of seeing.
Yellow is the color of gold.  Golden means of great value.
Yellow the color of one of the twelve foundation stones of the new Jerusalem (Rev. 21:19).  And the glory of God, which some people think is yellow in color, like sunshine; will be the light source in the new Jerusalem (Re. 21:23).
Healing light from God (“The sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays”) is the promise for those who revere and fear God (Malachi 4:2).  
Living in God’s house is like the, “Yellow Submarine” song.

Silent Night, Holy Night

Be angry and do not sin; on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still.

-Psalm 4:4
The Psalms are the Bible’s book of prayers.  The Psalms teach us that God listens and we need to learn listening.  And the Psalms ask us to be brutally honest with God.
These are three things I have learned recently about the Psalms, the Psalms of David particularly.
Blessed rest and sweet sleep are connected to not sinning in our anger, open-hearted hurt process, living ‘honest to God’, and being in union with God, no matter what.
Psalm 4 has some advice about silence and anger.  When we are angry, we want to vent it out and a common way of venting is with words.
First of all, anger is not taboo.  We are allowed to be angry.  But be angry and do not sin.
Things like being abusive or destructive, being vengeful or vituperative, and just punishing others because you are angry, is wrong.  Anger is a secondary emotion.  We get angry when we suffer a loss.
Beneath the anger is hurt and sadness that needs expression and processing: grief.  The ungrieved losses that give rise to anger become bitterness.  The anger at your loss is understandable, but you must take the time to feel the pain and suffer your loss, feeling it and grieving it; in order to heal and not add sin to your loss.
The person who does not do this instead takes on the role of being forever angry.  That becomes their identity.  Instead of being for something, whether it is that they want to make something better, in a role or a job, they instead are the angry person, that is against something.  
We constantly have reason to be and opportunities to become angry, because we constantly face losses and infractions upon our will or plans.  But, we must learn how to have healthy angry, to be angry but not to sin.
For nice, Christian people, this might be hard.  The nice, Christian person’s ‘anger problem’ is not yelling or rage, but sadness and passivity.  The hurts of life that give rise to anger are suppressed into an inner sadness.
Silence is really what I want to share about.  It is a discipline of your self, to remain silent.  God is listening, but am I listening?
Go ahead and be angry, but also reflect on your loss and let it go.  In the silence, let the hurt that is beneath the anger, come up and out.
What I see is a discipline of taking your hurt self, your self who has suffered a loss or injustice, to God.  And the deepest and most profound and mature thing you can do is to take your self to the cross.  Bring yourself to Christ to be crucified with him (Galatians 2:20).
That thing you lost or you do not have that you want.  What was taken from you or that you think is yours that you do not yet possess.  You hurt about that and want God to give it to you.
You want breakthrough or breakout.  But, what God wants to give you right now is break-in.  God wants you and Him to be together right now in whatever space or place you are in.  That thing or situation you desire and hurt over so much that you’ve got all this anger about not having it.  And some of it even gets directed at God.
But you know God is good and God loves you and is a good Father.  So, you feel confused and you go back and forth, blaming yourself and consider blaming others who have blocked you or held you back.  And this whole thing you are in has affected your sleep.
Your worries and thoughts are keeping you up at night.  You sleep, but you don’t sleep well and you don’t wake up refreshed.
God wants to be with you where you are at right now.  Jesus wants to have table fellowship with you and communion (Revelation 3:20).
I have learned recently that the Psalms of David teach us that God listens and we need to listen better.  I have also learned that the one thing God wants, that God requires of me, it to be honest with Him, brutally honest.
And that is what Psalm 4:4 is about: being honest to God.  Sit on your bed or couch and be silent.  Let God speak and let the words of your heart well up, in silence and find their way into communion with God.
Go for the highest aim, the highest road; which is union with God.  And then let everything else in your life fall into place.  God is listening, so speak honestly; from a cultivation of your own listening to the inner regions of your heart.
Have no thing, no thought, no obstacle of resentment, disappointment, fear, judgement or hopelessness that would block your union with God, your papa.  Come as you are and sit in his lap.  Laugh, cry, snug and hug; be loved and let your destiny as his child be formed in you.
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Are You Going To Carry That Weight?

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

-Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)
Are you burned out on religion?  That is the exquisite way that Eugene Peterson translated Matthew 11:28.  Religion means working, getting tired from working and telling others to get to work.  Jesus view and style is that what we do comes out of and through rest.  Resting is not about unplugging from work, but plugging into the one who loves you.
We are ‘saved unto good works’, but we don’t work to be saved.  The work we do was God’s idea and it flows out of our relationship, in Christ:

“Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”
-Ephesians 2:8-10 (MSG)

There is an old song called , “He is our peace”.  Besides the title, I always remember the key line, “Cast all your cares on Him, for he cares for you.”  That comes from 1 Peter 5:7, where Peter quotes or echoes Psalm 55:22, that says, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” (HCSB)
It is also notable that believers do stumble and fall, but God has our hand and helps us get back up.  The falling is like tripping, misstepping or losing or way or our ballance.  Some translations say, “Though he may stumble, he will not fall”, while others have, “Though he fall, he is not overwhelmed” (Ps. 37:24, NIV, HCSB).
We all have dreams, from God and challenges, God allows.  We want to and rightly so need to take responsibility for how we unpack and navigate these, as stewards.  But we don’t carry the whole weight of it.

With the vision and with the obstacles, comes gifts of grace, gifts from God.  It is not just about seeing and then doing the vision or encountering and overcoming the obstacles.  It is about unpacking the treasure that God endowed you with to participate in and be a developer of that vision.  And as each obstacle comes into play, you will discover gifts or grace from God to counter the obstacles. 

We partner with God because we are a covenant people.  We are not people who are under a contract, where each side is bound to do this or that.  In our covenant with God, we give ourselves to God and God gives himself to us.

More from Ephesians 2, from The Message:

“But don’t take any of this for granted. It was only yesterday that you outsiders to God’s ways had no idea of any of this, didn’t know the first thing about the way God works, hadn’t the faintest idea of Christ. You knew nothing of that rich history of God’s covenants and promises in Israel, hadn’t a clue about what God was doing in the world at large. Now because of Christ—dying that death, shedding that blood—you who were once out of it altogether are in on everything.” (Eph. 2:11-13)

Inside the covenant, there is no selfishness.  Each party gives for the mutual benefit.  We are new covenant people.
God has made a covenant to save us through Christ.  And we get to give ourselves to God and live in the covenant, in Christ.  God does all the heavy lifting and we get to participate as junior partners or king’s kids.

The new covenant (Matt. 26:26-9, Mark 14:23-4, Luke 22:20, 1 Cor. 11:23-6, Heb 7:20-2, 8:6-13, 9:11-17, 12:22-13-21) supersedes the old one and Christians are now a part of Zion, which has always been believers out of all the nations (Psalm 87).

When we stress or worry, struggle and strive; we might be carrying the weight that is God’s to carry.  We live in the paradox of receiving promises and permission from God, in love; but we don’t have the power or the wherewithal to make it happen.

Please forgive me, for cherry picking verses (versitous), but here are some verses:

  • His yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matt. 11:30).
  • His grace is sufficient for you: strength is made perfect in weakness (1 Cor. 12:9).
  • God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5).
  • I will be with you (Judges 6:16).
Are you going to carry that weight?  Time to get low and get the yoke of Christ on.  Time to cast your cares on Him.
God does give us responsibility.  We are stewards of what he gives us.  And we need to be good at stewardship, because that is faith and faithfulness, which God wants from us and it is only natural to be faithful to the person who is faithful to us and to whom we put our faith in.
This question of, “Are you going to carry that weight”, cuts two ways.  We need to not strive or worry and take on what is not ours to carry.  And we need to take responsibility to pick up and carry what is ours.
We also must bear the responsibility for our own development.  Jesus is still asking crippled people if they would like to be made well.  He is still handing out talents and watching to see what we do with them.
So, as I consider the weight, I think about his yoke that is easy and his burden that is light and the resting in him from which my life is supposed to flow, by his design.  And I also think about the responsibility of stewarding what he gives me.
The weight I want to carry is the weight of the yoke of Christ, that is easy, compared to other yokes, and light.  I want to live from rest.  I want to rest in Christ and let him live through me.

New Day Old Way

Why have You forgotten us forever,
abandoned us for our entire lives?
Lord, restore us to Yourself, so we may return;
renew our days as in former times,
unless You have completely rejected us
and are intensely angry with us.

The instruction of the Lord is perfect,
renewing one’s life;
the testimony of the Lord is trustworthy,
making the inexperienced wise.

-Lamentations 5:20-22, Psalm 19:7
The new day of today, of this season, is not all happy.  Many believers want a good new day, but feel like it is a bad new day.  Many believers believe or live like God has forgotten us.
Since I was a kid, and it was going on before I was born; many Christians have been very negative about what is going on in the world, and made their focus that the end was near.  That message is still here and probably still popular, although (I hope) less so.
Most all of us could be less negative towards everything and adopt the Biblical way of negativity called lament.  Lament sees the reality of things: no rose-colored glasses and no denial.  But lament also sees God, even if lament’s eyes are very clouded with tears.
Lamentations is a whole book dedicated to lament.  In Lamentations 5:21, Jeremiah asks God to give his people a new day.  And the context of the whole chapter and the whole book, is that things are bad, very bad.
Things are bad today too.  We need to have a new day of restoration to God.  We need renewal, as a people.
The other thought or thing I want to share, is in the second quoted scripture above.  No matter what you are going through or facing, God’s Word is perfect for you.  What God says, in the Bible:
  • Renews you
  • Is trustworthy
  • Gives you wisdom for living
What the Bible says defines our lives and refines our lives.
I have a stack of books to read, but I would much prefer reading the Bible.  When I have struggles or emotional pain, I want to think about what the Bible tells me.  
I think about the Bible, about what the Bible says, as I live out my life.  A challenging situation comes up and it goes up against the Word that I have in me.  This happens every day and all of the time.
Most of us are struggling with something or a number of things or situations.  I would say to us that most definitely, the answer to our troubles is in the Word.  Yes, God is our answer and God is our savior, redeemer, healer, deliverer and protector.
But there is a word for us in the word.  Many good words.  In fact, there are so many that I  can not count them.
But, sometimes, the word you need in the word is hard to find.  And we might pray and not hear anything or feel abandoned.
Circle back to lament.  Do not judge God.  Be very angry, but do not sin.
Lay on your bed or couch and be silent.  Learn the weapon of rest.  Most all of us, at least every Christian I know, over 90%; could use more rest.
Rest is not laziness, being a couch potato or selfish.  Rest is about renewal in God.  
Dare to go on a retreat, for 1 hour, 1 day or 1 week.  Try a sabbatical, if you have never had one.  “What’s that?”, I can hear people say.
To sum up, and these are some things I want to say, that I maybe did not make clear:
  • We are not in denial about how bad things are, in this new day
  • We lament, which is an honest cry to God and to others about the rotten state of affairs
  • But we know God is good and merciful, so we cry out for renewal of our days
  • Find your word in God’s word
  • Get wisdom and life through the Bible
  • Become a person of the book
  • When you face challenges in life, let the Word in you go up against it
  • Let God’s Word define you
  • Don’t think you have to read the word to be accepted
  • Cultivate love for the person who inspired the Word
  • Have your verses that you think about and then add more
  • Find your own style and rhythm of reading, listening and thinking about the Word
  • Be honest with God 
  • Let God teach you
  • See the good and the bad and God in the midst of it 

Joyful Living

My heart and soul explode with joy- full of glory!
Even my body will rest confident and secure.
-Psalm 16:9 (TPT)

What can I do to cultivate joy in my life?  What actions on my part bring me to a place where joy is birthed and flows out of my life?  What is the source of authentic joy from God?

Have you ever experienced joy, but part of you did not?  That part is like a Christmas light on a string that is burned out.  The electricity passed by it, but not through it.  The electricity touched it, but does not light it up, because it is broken.

Many people have broken places inside.  They experience joy or exhilaration and happiness, but there is a dead place that might be touched but not penetrated.

When we have unprocessed feelings, we can become blocked.  And our soul or our liver does not function properly.  Because of this, we can not experience the joy in life that God wants us to have.

Most of our inside parts of our bodies are hidden from our consciousness, until they cause us pain.  I have no idea if we ever feel our liver, like how we feel our stomachs or feel our intestines or feel our gall bladder.  But even though we do not see it or feel it, our liver is doing it’s job or hindered in doing it’s job, giving us benefits or problems.

The word rendered soul: “My heart and soul explode with joy” carries with it, the meaning of ‘liver’.  We are very comfortable with saying, “My heart broke”, or “My heart bursts with love”; and we are not referring to our vital organ that pumps blood, but to our emotional experience.  But, we do not say any such thing using the word liver, and yet it is also symbolic of something, to the ancient, eastern mind.

The liver is considered the “general” or “the chief of staff”, in charge of vision and strategy.  From the liver, come the drives of ambition and creativity.  The liver is the processor of our anger, which is normal and is a secondary emotion.

We get angry when we have a loss or when we are afraid or when we lose control.  When we have a backlog of life events that we need to release our anger over, then we end up with seething anger that is out of proportion with slights or offenses in our present lives or irritability.  And all of this might be happening inside us and possibly, unconscious.

Unprocessed or unreleased anger causes headaches and a life that lacks drive or ambition.  A sick liver, metaphorically speaking (like a ‘broken heart’) results in a life that can not flow in the joy that Psalm 16 describes.

All of this is important, because God wants us to be able to live in joy.  Many people want this joy, but can not keep it going, because they have brokenness, dysfunction or blockage in their souls.  And the soul and the liver are metaphorically connected.

From a life that has a clean and clear soul, comes creativity, drive and ambition.  God wants you to create things.  God wants you to have the ambition to walk into your dreams.  God wants to see you driven to live the life that you have been destined to live.

This is all about your destiny, your inheritance and the gifts that God wants to give you.  This is not about works or ‘if I do this, then God will do that’.  This is just about walking on the path of love and blessing that releases explosive joy into and out of your heart and soul, for your blessing and to the glory of God.

With that in mind, let’s look at what David says, before he says that he is exploding with joy and has become full of glory.  And I am excited to see how The Passion Translation translates David’s words.

Lord, I have chosen you alone as my inheritance.
  You are my prize, my pleasure, and my portion.
  I leave my destiny and its timing in your hands.
Your pleasant path leads me to pleasant places.
  I’m overwhelmed by the privileges
  that come from following you,
  for you have given me the best!
The way you counsel and correct me makes me praise you more,
  for your whispers in the night give me wisdom,
  showing me what to do next.
Because you are close to me and always available,
  my confidence will never be shaken,
  for I experience your wrap-around presence every moment.
My heart and my soul explode with joy- full of glory!
  Even my body will rest confident and secure. (Ps. 16:5-9)

  1. Inheritance
    • David chose God alone as his inheritance.  Whatever your earthly inheritance, take the stance, like David, of making God your inheritance.  Be so radical as to say, “You alone are my inheritance”.  Money is not evil, but “the love of money is the root of all evil”.  Do not love or lust for money.  Do not put love of money over love for God.  Always see God first and pattern the rest of your life after and under your love for, allegiance to and worship of God.  
    • Money or fame or power are never to be what drives the believer’s life or is the central organizing principle.  Loving God is the bedrock that we build our lives on.  Upon that, we live in contentment.  Joy is given beyond measure to those who make God their inheritance.
    • Since Adam and Eve’s fall, we have all lost the inheritance that God has had for us.  Our inheritance is restored in Christ.  We have to partner with God to receive our inheritances.  It is not automatic.  
    • We have to go after it.  We have to have passionate desire for it.  We have to pursue it to find it and receive it.  
    • God is restoring our inheritances to us.  We live in the paradox of going after our destinies but leaving the timing and the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘how’ of it with God.
  2. Walking with God
    • God’s pleasant path leads to pleasant places.   The key to a joyful life is to walk with God every day and all the time.  Loving God, being loved by God and then loving your neighbor is really what life is all about.
  3. Living in thankfulness
    • When we practice a life of walking with God, we also are thankful.  We learn that God is good and we are continually thankful.  Every day is thanksgiving and every meal is thanksgiving.  We learn that being thankful cultivates the presence of God in our lives.  
    • This is because thankfulness aligns ourselves with the truth of God.  Thanklessness is actually a sin.  And when we are not thankful, we shut out God and are making a statement that we do not believe in God.  
    • In matters about God and in matters of faith, their is no neutral, passive middle ground.  If we are passive or inactive about thanking God, it really means we are ungrateful and not thankful and do not believe.  To be continually overwhelmed with thankfulness is the normal Christian life.
    • If you are not taken aback at God’s generosity, you do not know him and you must not be walking with him and have not made him your sole source in life.  It is hard to be thankful if we have not already seen God as our inheritance and have begun to walk with him every day and in every way.
  4. Being counseled and corrected by God results in more praise
    • When we are secure in our relationship with God, then we can receive counsel and even correction from him and let it have its good and transformational effect on our lives.  When we are secure in God’s love, we learn to hear his voice at all times and are attentive to him.  When we securely walk with God, we can hear him say, “you are wrong”, or “don’t do that”, and feel no shame or badness, but only Father’s love.  
    • Having God be your father, your mentor, your guidance and your teacher of wisdom and your transformational teacher will cause you to praise him even more.  The child of God lives in a life of continual thankfulness and praise towards God.  We are already praising, worshiping and living in thankfulness when we come together with other believers.
  5. Explosive joy comes from a secure life in the Father’s love
    • Believers know God loves them and that is the bedrock of their lives.  Knowing God loves me gives me confidence in life.  All of my anger, from hurts, losses and fears is filtered by my soul that is in God’s hands; because I have given it to him and he has me.
    • I have nothing to fear, because God loves me.  I am secure in Father’s love.  I have no need to be offended or unforgiving, because I know I am loved.
    • I can take my life that I do not understand, and give it to God as an offering.  I can walk with God through the halls of my heart and soul, opening the doors to the rooms with pain inside, hurt or loss.  I can give everything that holds me back, known and unknown, to God, my redeemer.
    • I can say that God is my portion in this life.  I can say that God is my all and all.  I can say, “He loves me”.

These are some of what cultivates a life of joyful living.  This is some of what I can do to have joy.  This is part of how joy can explosively and gloriously permeate your whole life.

Living Today In My Future House With God Forever

I will live in Your tent forever and take refuge under the shelter of Your wings.  Selah

-Psalm 61:4
Living forever with God, beginning now.  Being sheltered under Gods care.  This is what I need.  And this is my ambition.
This is what I desire.  This is the one thing.  This is my request.  I want to abide in God.  
I want to dwell where God lives.  I want to go there and live there.  That is where my home is.
God’s dwelling place is my refuge.  God’s house is my safe-house.  His place is my bomb-shelter.
God’s house is sanctuary for me.  That is where I always want to Go.  
God’s house is my north-star.  His presence and place is where I am always wanting to go.
Wherever I am on earth, I point myself toward where God is.
My trust is in God.  God’s care of me.  God watching over me.
I am protected from everything by God.  I trust in the secret place of God’s wings.
God hides me and I am hidden in God.  I am under God’s protective care.
In my misfortune, in my time of banishment, I ask God to let me live in the house of God.
People have rejected me.  People have not noticed me.  But God sees me.
I ask God to let me live in the house of God, now and forever.
In this forlorn place, this dry place, this desert place; I set my will to live with God now and forever.
I am making my loss into gain by declaring that living with God is my goal in life.
My desire is to find God’s house, in my life time.  I want to go to God’s living place and visit.  This is the journey that I am on.
My purpose in life is to find God and be protected by Him.  
I desire to worship God, with other people and by myself.  I desire to worship God inside a structure I can see and also in God’s invisible structure.  
I desire to be a worshiper wherever I am.  
I will be restored to worship and prayer with people, in visible structures.  But today, in this distant, obscure and hidden place; I worship God.  I wholeheartedly commit my life to God, seeing my future in God’s house forever.

Resting In God For Salvation and Glory

My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock. My refuge is in God.

-Psalm 62:7
Do you have high hopes for the new year ahead?  I do.  Are you worried about being disappointed, again?  I know that feeling.
I am thinking about the high hopes I have in God.   Our salvation and our glory rests on God.  God is the place where I rest.
We know that salvation is not just an event, but a process and a life in God.  A number of translations have the word ‘deliverance’ rather than ‘salvation’, because they both mean the same thing.

Jesus saves.  Jesus delivers us for eternity, in time.  Jesus is saving us through good times and in times of loss.

All of our lives, we are discovering that we depend on God.  We are working out that dependency.   Our only hope is in God.
We are utterly dependent on God, but at the same time, we are all given responsibility to do something with what God gives us.  We are all accountable to God for what we do with what we have.
The God that we relate to and serve is the plural God.  God is not a force, but persons, three persons.  God is knowable and is three persons.  And God can and does choose how God will show up and manifest to us in our lives.
Our personal glory depends on God.

Glory means fame, attractiveness, success, favor, honor or exaltation.  

Many people who have glory or have been made glorious by God are not famous.  Many people who are not considered attractive have glory that is very attractive.  
There is glory in the world, that is not from God.  I want the glory that comes from God.  As an author or an artist or a person who does anything, so that includes everything; I think we should have the view or experience of doing whatever it is that you do, for an audience of one.
Some of us have platforms, where we are seen by tens, hundreds or thousands of people.  A few get seen by millions.  But, we never get to be ‘the great man’ or ‘the great woman’.
God is always the great God of each one of us, no matter how glorious or honored or attractive or successful we become.
My significance rests on God.  
In the midst of our lives, God’s glory comes to us and upon us.  We discover or unpack the glory that is like treasure we carry within our lives.
We give the glory back to God, the King, as a gift or offering.

Whatever happens in the year ahead, our salvation and our glory depends on God.  My salvation and my glory rests on God.  How I go through the adventure and become who I am meant to be rests on God.

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