Tuesday, January 29, 2013

If God Has the Heart...

"Obsessed people know that true joy doesn't depend on circumstances or environment; it is a gift the must be chosen and cultivated, a gift the ultimately comes from God." - Francis Chan, Crazy Love

For clarification purposes, 'obsessed' here is a good thing.  Chan defines it as "To have the mind excessively preoccupied with a single emotion or topic" - in this case, God.

2 Chronicles 15:12,15 - 12 They entered into the covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and soul... 15 All Judah rejoiced concerning the oath, for they had sworn with their whole heart and had sought Him earnestly, and He let them find Him.  So the Lord gave them rest on every side.

All of Judah rejoiced, in other words, they were joyful.  But why?

Because they had sworn this covenant or oath with their entire heart after seeking God earnestly.  'Earnestly' in the Hebrew is translated from two different words: kol meaning "all, the whole" and ratsown meaning "pleasure, delight...will" (Strong's H3605Strong's H7522).  This means that they searched after Him, not only with all of their heart, but with all of their pleasure, all of their delight, all of their will - they were obsessed. 

Because of this obsession, this covenant, God let them find Him and granted them rest...on every side.  Ultimately, He was the cause of their joy.  But they could not have truly rejoiced if they had not given all of their hearts: "Those only experience pleasure and comfort of [Christianity]...that are sincere and upright in it.  What is done in hypocrisy is a mere drudgery.  But, if God has the heart, we have the joy" (Henry).  

If we can truly let go of ourselves and give Him our all, our everything, He will provide true, unending joy.  As Francis Chan said, joy doesn't depend on circumstance or environment...ultimately God is responsible.  But if He doesn't have our heart, how can He affect our attitude?

I challenge you today to examine your attitude?  Is it a little rough?  Are you having a glass-half-empty kind of day?  Are you depressed and stuck in a rut?  Maybe what you need is to give Him all of you.  If He has your heart, you will have joy.  "We have a God who loves us more than we love our children or even ourselves - a God who sent His Son to die for us and who has prepared a place in eternity just for us" (The Dobson's, Night Light).  There is ALWAYS something to be joyful for!  God will get you there...you just have to give Him all of you.   

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