[x_custom_headline type=”left” level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″]Sometimes our Christian walk is like a bottle of salad dressing![/x_custom_headline]
Most salad dressings recommend that you shake the bottle well before using. And of course, the reason they do this is because of the way the contents separate in the bottle when it is not in use. So what exactly does this have to do with you and me as believers, you may be asking?
Well, recently I was preparing to minister at the church where I pastor on the subject of the necessity of maintaining your joy when you are in difficult times. And of course, as I was studying, I was meditating on the fact that the joy of the Lord is our strength (see Nehemiah 8:10). And as I pondered that for a few minutes, I also started thinking about the fact that the way to restore your joy is to rejoice. And often, you will have to rejoice by faith, because you won’t feel a single thing many times when you first begin to do this. But you do it to refill your joy level, because it’s God’s way of operating.
And this brought me to my next thought: The joy of the Lord is located down inside of you, but you have to rejoice to draw it up from where it has settled to the bottom. In other words, the joy of the Lord is inside of you, but you have to do some things the Bible says to do, and do them by faith, in order to stir up the joy that is in you. You have to shake the bottle.
[x_blockquote cite=”Psalm 5:11 KJV” type=”left”]“But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.”[/x_blockquote]
As I stated above, there are times when you begin to praise and worship the Lord and feel absolutely nothing. But press through that anyway. Because whether you feel anything or not, while you are rejoicing and praising God, you are shaking the bottle of your life, and stirring up the joy of the Lord within you that may have settled to the bottom of your heart.
Without the joy of the Lord, you and I aren’t going to make it in these last days. Because the joy of the Lord is a spiritual necessity, not a luxury.
[x_blockquote cite=”John 15:11 KJV” type=”left”]“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”[/x_blockquote]
Jesus gave us His Word so that we would have joy to the full. And He did this because He knows that we cannot live the abundant life, and arise and overcome what the devil is doing against our lives apart from being full of JOY!
So since Jesus is teaching us that the source of joy is found in His Word, there is a real good chance that you and I are not spending enough time in the Word. However, if you are, then His joy is within you and you just need to shake the bottle by spending time daily praising and rejoicing.
In the book of Isaiah, we discover more that we must know about the joy of the Lord, and why we must shake the bottle by rejoicing, and keep joy stirred up within us.
[x_blockquote cite=”Isaiah 12:2-3 KJV” type=”left”]“2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. 3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”[/x_blockquote]
Joy is the bucket that we use to draw out all that is contained in our salvation.
The Hebrew word for “salvation” in this verse actually means: Salvation, Deliverance, Health, Help, Welfare, Victory and Prosperity.
So then, your victory, and much, much more, is down in that well of salvation. And this is why the devil works so hard to steal your joy from you. If you have no joy, then you will not experience the victory and deliverance and prosperity that already belongs to you.
If Satan steals your joy, he has taken your access to the benefits of salvation. So you must live continually rejoicing in the Lord, whether you feel like it or not. You are simply shaking the bottle, getting all of the contents of joy that is already within you stirred up.
Choose to be a praiser and a worshipper. When you get to church, lift your hands and sing to the Lord with everything that is within you. Don’t hold back. Instead, shout for joy. Shake the bottle, and keep the joy of the Lord stirred up within you constantly.