If you were the daughter of [earthly] royalty, would you still need to be reminded of your worth; or would the money, material pleasures and admonition of others bring sufficient joy?
If your earthly father gave you a sacred gift, would you need to be prompted to thank him, or would your gratitude come naturally?
Why do so many believers fail to recognize their royalty in Christ? As daughters of the King, why isn’t the most sacred gift of all, eternal life, our most valued treasure? You can say it is, but are you living as though it’s true?
What is joy worth to you?
It’s no surprise that most people, many of them believers, place too much value in worldly prestige and power, with little consideration for eternal outcomes. Their lack of confidence in Christ, causes them to seek the mere applause of men and attributes to an absence of true joy in their lives. It’s why we find ourselves scrolling through our social media feeds for a quick dopamine fix, where everyone compares their “highlight reels.” [insert eye-roll here] As much as the enemy would have you to believe these thoughts and behaviors are harmless, when we’re more concerned with our earthly status, than the perpetual condition of our heart, that is cause for serious concern.
One foot in the world…
If you have accepted Christ as your Savior and believe with your whole heart that He shed His blood on the cross to save you from your sins, but still find yourself more concerned with the world’s opinion of you, than Christ’s, your priorities are out of order and you make a mockery of His sacrifice. Lukewarm Christianity is all to prevalent among surface-deep believers these days. Living for Christ is not a part-time gig, whereas you straddle the threshold with one foot in the world and the other in Christ. You’re either all in, or you’re out. Otherwise, you may have secured your ticket to Heaven, but you’ll forgo peace in this life, if that describers your Christian walk. The same goes for God’s Word – you either believe all of it, or none of it, lest you be a “double-minded man.” James 1:8
Count it all joy
A full life in Christ brings everlasting joy. Even during times of trouble, the Bible says we are to count it all joy. [James 1:2-8] Still, when you focus on lack, be it within yourself, or material possessions it’s time to change your lens. Gratitude is an attitude, and losing sight of the Source of true joy [Jesus] and seeking to fulfill your emptiness with superficial desires that will only momentarily alleviate the ache, will undoubtedly leave you settling for temporal, circumstantial happiness at best.
Don’t get me wrong, with all that’s going on in the world, it’s easy to get distracted in our day-to-day lives and forget our royal roots. This is exactly why you have to be on guard. Satan isn’t going to sound an alarm and announce his undesirable presence. Nope. He’s going to slowly lead you away with distractions, disruptions, and a busy schedule to deceive you into believing that you don’t have time for God. Before you know it, you’re in a foothold, giving Satan a greater ability to make advancements in your life.
So, how do you do that? How do you exchange short-lived happiness and lukewarm Christianity for boundless joy and boldness in Christ? Here are 8 ways that will surely lead you to it:
- Spend time in God’s presence daily. He doesn’t deserve your leftovers. Carve out time in your schedule to spend with God, alone. Create a small space in your home where you can pray and/or meditate on God’s Word. Matthew 6:6 says, “But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” After you pray, be sure to take time to be silent and listen. Communication works both ways. If you get up and go about your day after you say, “Amen,” when does God get His chance to speak?
- Repent and ask forgiveness of your sins. The Holy Spirit can’t work in your life if you have un-confessed sin. Therefore, repent and ask forgiveness. Though, God’s forgiveness is not a license to return to your old ways. To repent of your sins is to turn away from them.
- Submit your life to Him. Letting go means giving to Him what you can’t change and embracing what you can. James 4:7-8 say this, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” It’s a constant battle between our flesh and our spirit. If you want to change your ways, you can’t go it alone.
- Remembrance: God became flesh in the form of Jesus, and unselfishly laid down His life in exchange for yours. Without Him, we would all be destined for eternal condemnation. If that doesn’t bring you joy, I don’t know what will! A tangible way to keep this in the forefront of your mind, remember, as you eat a meal [Jesus’ body] or drink from a cup [Jesus’ blood], His sacrifice for you.
- Accept what God says about you is true. Galatians 3:26 has this to say: “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith…” The grandeur of that verse makes everything else seem so trivial, doesn’t it? A child of God. You’re His daughter – behave as such.
- Include Jesus in the details of your life. Whether it’s a bad hair day or some monumental event, include Him. We expect the same from our children, don’t we? Jesus loves you and cares about every detail of your life. Even your hairs are numbered, my friend.
- This one ties in with #1 – get in His Word! God speaks to us in many ways. Though, His primary way of communicating to us is through His Word. This means you have to actually open your Bible and read it for yourself. No podcast, audio sermon, or YouTube video can replace the Good Book. No excuses. If you have trouble understanding scripture, I encourage you to invest in a study Bible. I use an ESV study Bible and a commentary to help me grasp context and the meaning behind the scripture. [I’ll link them down below]. Also, be sure to pray before, during and after you read, and ask God to reveal to you what He would have you to take away from your reading/study. This by far has been the BEST tool in maintaining joy in my life. As a result, as soon as my mind takes a left turn, the Holy Spirit is quick to help me recall God’s Word and apply it to my thoughts or situation.
- Be obedient. We reward our children when they’re obedient and dole out consequences when they’re not. As a child of God, you’re no exception. Obedience brings blessing and disobedience brings about conviction and chastisement. Choose to be obedient.
In conclusion, slow and steady wins the race. Similarly, quality is more important than quantity. Start with 10 minutes, preferably in the morning before you start your day. But if that’s not feasible, carve out time when it works for you. During that time, read a verse, and/or devotional for the first 5 minutes, then pray for 5. Do this each day, adding 5-10 minute increments as you can. Soon enough, you’ll begin to look forward to this slower start [or end] to your day and the joy [and peace] God brings to your life as a result.
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ESV Study Bible:
Moody’s Bible Commentary