Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Joy of the Lord Being Your Strength!!

It's been an interesting week or so for both Pete and myself since the incredible Eastbourne Conference. Interesting being the operative word. The grace-hating spirit has really reared it's ugly head for us both at work and at home and it was a reminder to me of Rob's urging that we cannot jump from conference to conference for the spiritual highs and rely on that alone. We must walk continually - daily - in fellowship with the manifest Presence of God. I still haven't made up my mind yet about going to "Together on a Mission 2008". What's the point in being radical and planting radical churches if the glory of God and the manifest Presence of God doesn't accompany and overshadow what we do? So as yet Mark Driscoll still hasn't made my hit-list of must-hear speakers. In the past I used to go to conferences and seminars based on celebrity Christian speakers. As Rob Rufus said - we don't have that luxury anymore. The question is not - who's speaking but is God there in manifest power? Is that conference going to arm us to preach the Gospel not in Word only but power?

If the answer is - I'm not sure then should we be going? Could our money and our time be better well spent elsewhere? But I digress. Joy. Joy! The Bible says the joy of the Lord is our STRENGTH!! Why then did so many despise Toronto and the joy that it brought? Rob Rufus put me onto Heidi Baker but I must confess I haven't read or listened to much of her. So I was interested to see that she was speaking at a conference in Canada on God TV. Here's a clip:

Now if this awesome woman of God can speak at a conference and demonstrate the clear joy of the Lord and face trials such as her pastor's tongue and lips being cut out - then what chance would we have in facing similar trials WITHOUT that kind of joy? Rob Rufus said;

"The Church was never more in the will of God when they were no longer concious of themselves and were absolutely lost in the wonder of the knowledge and glory and bigness of God and the more sober the Church has got, the more out of the will of God they get and the less people get saved".

We need joy people! Pete and I spent a wonderful hour or so on the phone today speaking about grace and glory and Rob and every now and then joy would just consume us! In joy we can face any trial. In joy we can face any tribulation! I love Sam Storm's book; "The Singing God!". How do we get more joy? Get close to the One who is so so full of joy and at Who's hand is pleasures forevermore! I opened by talking about conferences. I want to sit under speakers like Rob or Heidi Baker who are so full of joy throughout all, that their delight in God is infectious!


lydia joy said...

I am all about JOY - just ask him for more....ask Him for laughter....spend time in His Presence, because it's there where there IS FULLNESS of JOY!!!

saintstephyers said...

I love Heidi Baker ... the joy in her voice! It just overflows - you cant make this up!