Monday, January 28, 2013

Be Still...{Part 7 - Deepest Joy}

Does it seem strange that I am still living out my Advent (ure) leadings?  The ones that started with Joy to the World and this verse:

I'm sure the world has moved on at a much faster pace than I...on to New Year's resolutions and maybe even having fallen from them already!  I even have 4 of them myself - 4 that I was going to share, right after Advent...and still this final week of January...

I think I have been living them, and they are resolves that are sticking - forming and transforming - 

I wonder at what may have seemed a failure to my perfectionistic bent in years gone by...last year my One Word was "contemplate".  A character trait He is still weaving deep within...perhaps that is why I continue on with the Advent(ure)?  Because the point is that His Presence has come - to remain, to "be still" and KNOW that He IS God.

I kept this quote from the December meanderings:
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel shall come to thee O Israel“.The miracle of Christmas is more than proof of God’s existence.It’s the miracle we need: the experience of God’s presence. 
“…no good thing does He withhold…” Ps. 84:11
And the good things in life are not health but holiness, not the riches of this world but relationship with God, not our plans but His presence —
He doesn’t withhold Jesus from us. And no matter where we are, we can always have as much of Jesus as we want.
We can always have as much of God as we want.

 Ann Voskamp

The definition of joy is was a question that began when I discovered that this use of joy is only in three verses of Scripture - Nehemiah 8:10, I Chronicles 16:27 and Ezra 6:16.  Each of these passages has to do with a dedication of the house of God.

 chedvah: spelled in Hebrew (with very brief definitions):
 cheit - a (protecting) fence, an inner room
dalet - door
vav - a nail, peg (that holds or anchors)
hey - behold, breath of God

  And so I now have my own definition of joy:
So, simply said, true joy comes by first, life, new life, God's life (cheit), protected by God's presence... then comes the door (dalet), the entrance to that life, through Jesus... And it is when our earthly life is "hooked" or nailed together with God (vav), that our lives are made solid and secure... and our lives are infused with His breath (hey), His Presence within our hearts, my heart and my life can become the fragrance of His breath to others. 
True joy is when I become the temple of God.  The joy of the Lord is when I become His temple, His Spirit residing within...and that is the source of my strength as well...His Presence in me...

The pessimists say life is hard and won’t get better. The optimists say life is good or will be soon. But the believers say our hope is in Jesus whether life is hard or life is good, releasing the right to predict the future, holding on to God who comes to be with us now.                                                       A Thought about Pessimism and Optimism - by Emily at Chatting at the Sky 

Be Still... series:
Part 1 - Be Still
Part 2 - The Catalyst
Part 3 - Rumblings of the Silence Begin
Part 4 - Revelation Continues
Part 5 - A Nail that Holds and Anchors
Part 6 - Take a Breath, Breathe in God
Part 7 - Deepest Joy