Before we get too far removed from all those vacation voices, the beachy bliss, the freedom of fun in the summer months, I'd like to tell you about the visual the Lord gave me to show my heart and soul what true surrender does for me and yes, even for Him!
A couple years ago in August we were at Bethany Beach, Delaware with our daughter and son-in-law and their three amazing boys. It was a hot one . . . NO, a scorcher! Try a 96 degree one! So we went on the beach early, and the two older boys jumped right in.
Now I'm a beach lover...and I love the ocean water. But I'm hardly a daredevil. So I enjoyed vicariously the freedom of the boys' fun as they jumped into the waves.
The thing that most struck me about all the beach fun was little Eli. He was actually "flinging" himself bodily into the waves . . . abandoning himself to the uncertainty and the scary thrill of the surf.
As I nervously awaited his appearance above each swallowing wave, I was amazed at the look on his little emerging face. First, a bit of sputtering but then . . . sheer joy! JOY!
The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart in that very moment.
That's what abandonment will produce in you, Jan, as you fling yourself into Me . . . every moment of every day, no matter the waves and surf of your circumstances.
As I meditated on this truth, the realization came to my mind that my abandonment to the Lord gives HIM great joy also. Yes, HIM!
Back to the beach with Eli. I couldn't help but feel the same thrilling joy as I watched his sweet little face fill with exhilaration. How could I not?
The Scripture says that
. . . the joy of the Lord is your strength.
So the Lord's joy . . . the joy that He "feels" is what strengthens us for whatever we face, whatever wave comes our way. And His joyful presence empowers us with Himself.
After all, the fruit of the SPIRIT is . . . joy! HIS joy!
And again, Jesus said that He has spoken His life-giving words . . .
. . . so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!
John 15:10 NLT
I love the benediction at the end of the book of Jude:
Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.
All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.
Jude 24-25 NLT
One day we children of God will each have great joy to go into our Father's presence. But also Jesus Himself will be elated to usher us into His Father's presence. Can you just picture His amazing face filled with indescribable joy as HE Himself walks us into the Throne room...we who have been kept by His power faultless for that day? Amazing!
So brothers and sisters, fling yourself today into that indwelling Ocean of God and be filled with the Lord's own joy . . . your strength!
Brothers and sisters, . . . I urge you to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God, a sacred offering that brings Him pleasure; this is your reasonable, essential worship.
Romans 12:1 VOICE