So the last blog I mentioned having joy and joy that may be FULL.
So here is that scripture I referred to.
10.If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Do you notice the words ‘if you keep my commandments’? I can honestly say that in my heart of the deepest depression, I thought I was keeping the commandments of the Lord. But during self-examination I saw first hand where I was not. As I completely rooted out disobedience in my life in one area, I would then have to root out another area.
It is very clear that obedience to the Lord leads to life to the full!
So let’s look at the commandment…. Thou shalt not kill.
This is a big one, what many would consider the biggest, even though not one sin is bigger than another. But you know what, I dealt with this one!
I would say to myself. I have not killed anyone! But is it not true that God looks at the condition of the heart? In my heart was I a murderer? To put it simply, yes I was.
I was so angry and hurt by an individual that was in our life for a season, I would have murdered them if it was not a sin, if I could get away with it, and the majority of the world would completely understand how I could, and may even justify such a thing for me.
Now I was walking around blindly thinking that I was not a murderer, yet in my heart the same darkness was there. Yes I could not ever act on it, but that desire drove me farther away from joy.
I had to recognize it for what it was; rebellion, hatred, bitterness, anger, unforgiveness and despair.
It does not matter the heinous act this individual had committed against our family. I could not focus on what I felt they deserved. I had to let it go.
How did I do this? Well, it was two-fold. One, I had to imagine this individual as a little child facing the same kind of terror that formed them into what they had become in adulthood. I had to recognize that they were empty, without a relationship with the Lord.
Two, I had to recognize that God loves ALL. And even though He loves all, ALL have sinned. This individual continuing in their life of sin, I know the word says vengeance is mine saith the Lord. I had to recognize that God was in control of this individual. He would be held accountable for his actions. I did not have to ‘do’ anything. I did not have to hold on to anything. I could let it go and it was okay, actually healthy to do so.
Be aware my friends there may be times in your life that you think you are blameless in a certain obedience to the Lord, but the very root of it is still there, zapping the joy from you.
Let’s look at some of the commandments to obey…
Love the Lord with all your heart.
Seek first the kingdom of God.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
How about the 10 commandments ???
I am not bringing these things to attention to condemn. But to make us more aware. To open our eyes to areas that we may have strongholds holding us back from fullness of joy. And to be very real with you, that I am human, I have struggled, I have hated…and I have repented and turned away from that grief and heartache. The Joy has returned. This was the start but each day there was another lesson in the journey