Fullness of JOY

Months ago I went out with a guy that I was interested in. He chose the perfect venue – Top Golf. It’s got food, games, and a set up for good conversation. It was going to be my first time doing the “golf thing,” so I was a little nervous. He picked me up. We talked for a good amount of time before we even got out of the car. This was super comforting. When we went in I gathered that he was a regular because they already had his name on their roster. Now, I am a very competitive person. I HATE to lose! It’s just NOT in my DNA. I loathe it so much, that if I’m not sure that I’m going to win, I WON’T PLAY. Therefore, on this date I had to decide that I was going to be confident enough to laugh at myself. Also, I think men have some sort of complex that stipulates that they are more likely to go for a girl who needs them and where he can be their hero. I thought I’d do pretty well. But, I SUCKED – at golf. I swung and MISSED ALL NIGHT. It was thoroughly embarrassing and he never called me again (LOL)… My father has been telling me that I was going to love golf for years. After this night, I wasn’t so sure. However, I blamed my Dad. He’s been playing for years and never once has he taken me to a mere golf range! So, when we planned a group outing at Top Golf in a few weeks, I became determined to not look like a fool again… Last week, my Dad took me to Top Golf. He taught me enough for me to be able to actually hit the ball. It was so cool to hear the clear “tock,” the sound that comes off the ball when you make contact. Then my Dad totally redeemed himself because this week he surprised me with personal golf lessons from a PGA instructor. He’s a Korean man, who’s English is a bit broken, but I noticed that I could understand everything he was explaining. The first thing he did was ask me a question. He asked, “Why do you want to play?” Then he proceeded to answer his own question by saying – “Because you want to play with Dad, right?!” I decided that he was right and I intentionally concentrated on my lesson. After my lesson I understood that if I was going to be good at golf, I was going to have to practice – on my own… I believe JOY is the same. I am learning that I MUST stockpile JOY, especially when JOY is not God’s priority.

Remember, although it may not be His priority, JOY IS the Lord’s plan and it’s mentioned over and over in His word. JOY is the definition of 1/3 of the Kingdom of God (Romans 14:17) and the second of the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Last week I wrote that JOY is a command (1 Thessalonians 5:16). How in the hamfat can you fulfill a command to always have JOY when life is sometimes riddled with pain and disappointment? Another part of breaking the JOY code is stockpiling it by enforcing and applying the scripture in Psalm 16:11 which says: You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Here’s the butNaked question: What is your capacity for the Presence of God? If all you spend is 15 minutes/day in the presence of God, how do you expect to sustain JOY when your life SUCKS butt? According to this verse, a deep deficit of JOY exposes our need and deep deficit of our capacity for Christ’s presence. Christ’s presence is the power to execute holiness and strength when life is difficult. He provides us with grace to possess JOY no matter what. But, if we treat Christ like a fricken bellhop, He becomes a last-minute afterthought or Savior. Instead, we need to respect Him as Lord in that we consult him before we make every decision – EVERY DECISION. Therefore, JOY takes discipline. In the same way as my new and growing love for golf, if we are going to win in our lives, we must practice being sustained by the Presence of Christ which promises to deliver fullness of JOY.

Tune in next week for a butNaked video.

I’m Tifiny and iambutNaked…