As I continue to study and read about joy, I agree on many different levels that obedience is right there with joy. Trust me, from the struggles I have been through and life I led away from Christ, obedience is SO important.
For example, my life..as a young girl of 17..if I had just been obedient and listened to my parents, my life would have been so much easier. So less painful. To this day, because of my choices in life and disobedience, I live with baggage. Not my kids. Trust me, they are my blessings God gave me amidst a storm. The baggage I mean, is the hurt and pain. The abandonment. The lies. The addictions. It all took it's toll on me physically and mentally. Making my life more of a struggle today then it would have been if I had just been obedient. God has a plan. There is a special reason He asks certain things of us. To live a certain way. Times I know if I had just been obedient...I would have had more joy in my heart. When, times I wasn't, I suffered the consequences. As I have journeyed with my Lord, it's been rocky, but as daily, I learn to be more obedient with Him, I am finding more and more joy in my life. His reward has been so abundant in so many ways, I can't even begin to share them all with you. As a parent, because of His help, I learned to be a better parent. The connection with my kids, more then I ever desired. To learn to be obedient even when it's hard. For me that's sharing Gods word every day as He has asked of me. It's hard at times. I get selfish. I pray for God to help me to share to someone about His love, and I begrudge it at times when it happens. A phone call one morning. I looked down. Sighed. Really didn't want to get on the phone right now. But I felt God tapping on my shoulder..so I answered. I got to share with them about God. They needed words of encouragement. I was disappointed in myself and the chance I almost missed not answering that phone call. Obedience. I found joy in witnessing to them. If I hadn't been obedient, I would have missed that chance. A verse I was given this morning shares what joy you will find in this.
I hope, also, that you find the joy in obedience today as I have.
It's a daily journey and don't be disheartened when you fail, because it will happen. God is a gracious God and forgiving God. A patient God. A loving God. He will help you along the way. Like me, tapping you on the shoulder to remind you what your role is here on this earth. His plan is far better then we could ever dream. Trust and obey..for there's no other way..to be happy in Jesus.
But to trust and obey.
So be very careful how you live. Do not live like people who aren’t wise. Live like people who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity. The days are evil. So don’t be foolish. Instead, understand what the Lord wants.
Don’t fill yourself up with wine. Getting drunk will lead to wild living. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Speak to each other with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord. Always give thanks to God the Father for everything. Give thanks to him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.