Joy, joy, joy…

Meditating on Psalm 81 this morning… some highlights:

  • “Sing for joy to God our strength” (v1)
  • “I removed the burden from their shoulders” (v6)
  • “In your distress you called and I answered you” (v7)
  • “Open wide your mouth and I will fill it” (v10)
  • With honey from the rock I would satisfy you” (v16)

God removes burdens; He feeds and satisfies; He answers us when we call.  JUBILANT CELEBRATION comes from there, and only there; and how could it not?  Joy is fundamentally impossible to avoid under such knowledge.

This morning I am reminded of a few things:

  • That Lewis was surely right when he said that “Joy is the serious business of heaven”
  • That this joy is possible because Jesus wants to shoulder every heavy burden of mine and replace it with the light and easy yoke that is Himself
  • That fruit of every kind (ministry, acts of mercy to the poor, evangelism, etc) is a byproduct of me focusing on my first call, which is to love and delight in God above all things and as my only real Good, and that every time I go wrong on this point, I will inevitably wind up in the depressing rut of legalism.  Doxology is my central vocation… everything else is what gets thrown off of me when I do that well, and I had better not get those two backwards.
  • That the Westminster catechism was surely right when it said that “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever…” and that it is never wrong or selfish for me to throw myself at doing what I was created to do in the first place.
  • That Piper for sure gets it right thus when he says that “God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him”, which makes me think of St Irenaeus who said “The glory of God is man fully alive”, which is not some individualistic, hedonistic, self-help blather, but rather is an affirmation that when human beings are fully alive in and satisfied in God (and they are only such when they are beholding the face of God), they throw off and make manifest God’s glory… As St Paul said, we are called to live “to the praise of his glory”
  • As such, my task is never more and never less than joyfully being a son in my Father’s house
  • That in order to enter the kingdom, I must become as a child
  • And that wherever and whenever I am feeling burdened, stressed, depressed, or worried, I can be sure that I have forgotten all of the above.

To “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind, and all your strength…” this is the Alpha and Omega of Christian spirituality, and the fountainhead of all good works.

May my greatest delight be in you Lord God.

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