There is something transporting about being out in the wild. Suddenly, no matter what is going on in your life, you are surrounded by bright mountain peaks, flowers in all kinds of smashing colors, or an unrelenting sun beaming bright slits of light through a sea of billowing clouds.
A reasonable question for nature might be: Could you stop being so happy all the time??
As it turns out, it certainly cannot. All of it has been brought into being by someone who is decidedly cheerful and always overflowing with joy. And it’s a joy which is sourced from deep within. There is no circumstance or power anywhere on earth or heaven which can quench the joy which characterizes our Lord. In fact, even when He was on His way to face death itself on the cross, it was “the joy set before Him” which empowered Him to endure it all (Heb 12:2). During that arduous climb up Calvary, His heart was turned toward the reality of life and fullness He had with His Father….a life He was about to give to us (John 17:26).
His joy is exceedingly powerful.
Our Lord has promised us that His joy is not something that only He enjoys. Instead, He tells us that when we remain in Him, “My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11) And since He has made us full “participators in the divine nature,” (2 Peter 1:4) this means that anything that is His nature is now our nature. He has utterly filled us with Himself.
THE WEAPON OF WORSHIP
Reality is that daily life does not easily lend itself to joy. Apart from the life and character of Jesus, the constant pain and pressure we face in the world automatically leads to a mindset of confusion and negativity. However, as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, this no longer has to be our reality.
Because of our faith in Him, when we enter even the most overtowering of circumstances, we have a birthright which gives us the ability to walk “over the top of them” with joy. The Israelites got some good practice in this when they faced a sea of warriors from many different armies (2 Chron 20). Even though they were clearly outnumbered, with joy they declared to the Lord, “Power and might are in your hand so that no one can stand against You.” (v 6) And so the Lord told them not to worry about fighting at all, but instead TO SHOUT AND SING. (……What?!)
Sure enough when they entered the battleground and began shouting David’s poetry and songs from Hillsong and Mercy Me, the opposing armies turned against one another and completely destroyed themselves. The Israelites had been free to bask in the true strength and glory of heaven and use THIS as their weapon against their circumstances.
And just like this, worship is the tool the Lord has given us to enter into the experience of His joy at any time. In any difficult situation we are given a choice: to focus on the weight of the circumstances OR to declare through worship that we are still, as always, seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realms and have all of His resources at our disposal.
Worship is one of the most exciting acts of faith.
From the ascended vantage point of worship and rejoicing, all of our situations look a bit different. It is far easier to sense the Lord’s heart and direction for our circumstances when we have first cleared the cobwebs of anxiety and confusion and instead filled our minds with His truth. Perhaps this is why the Lord has asked us to make worship and rejoicing our entire everyday lifestyle:
“Rejoice ALWAYS” 1 Thess 5:16
“And you are to rejoice before the Lord your God in everything you put your hand to.” (Deut 12:18, 16:11)
This means we are free (and even required!) to burst into some accapella on a regular basis. And for times (like business meetings) when off-key accapella is less appropriate, we have an inward place of worship which we can enter at any time. He is always there to meet us in that place.