"Limp in -- leap out"Nehemiah 8:1-12
"... the joy of the Lord is your strength." (v.10)
Joy is part of a Christian's armor. Jealousy, for example, can quickly find a lodging place in a heart which is unsatisfied. The joy of Jesus banishes all that. This particular fruit of the Spirit secures us from the sins which can so easily beset us. Brimming joy, for example, helps to cancel out any envy that may arise within us. Instead, our souls long to share the treasures that we ourselves have found.
Joy keeps us alert and alive spiritually. Disease germs, we are told, penetrate most easily into a body debilitated by despondency. So do the termites of the spirit. They enter without ceremony and eat away the health of the soul. Joy gives them no room. It immunizes the spirit against attack. Joy is not just the bloom of health; it is its protection also. Remember, you are made for joy and if there is not joy in your life, then there is something wrong: joy is being blocked. Clear away the blocks and joy comes automatically.
If you are conscious that you lack this deep abiding joy, then look within. Ask yourself: how close am I to God? What steps do I need to take to deepen my relationship with Him? Give yourself to Him fully. If He is to transfer to you His total joy, then He must have the total you. A garage has a sign: "Limp in -- leap out." That's what will happen to you when you surrender yourself fully to Him. You will limp in and leap out. God is not withholding Himself and you must not withhold yourself. Where the two meet, joy is inevitable.
O Father, forgive me that I go bumping through life on the broken springs of pleasure when I ought to be cruising in joy. I submit my life to You today for spiritual repairs. I limp in -- help me to leap out. Amen.
By: Selwyn Hughes