This morning, I woke up, drenched in anxiety; it burned in my stomach. Life is pretty peaceful right now, but a couple of recent situations have presented me with opportunities to overthink and scrutinize insecurities about life, about my relationship with The Lord, and basically get myself tied up in a mess that I feel I have to reason my way out of.
However, the other day, someone sang a prayer over me, proclaiming that The Lord was singing and rejoicing over me. I remembered this as I was getting ready, thinking about Zephaniah 3:17:
“The Lord your God is in your midst,
A victorious warrior.
He will exult over you with joy,
He will be quiet in His love,
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”
Suddenly, I felt The Lord speak this to me, “Lift up your eyes. Do you know that I am rejoicing over you? Will you allow yourself to be swept up into the reality of my joy over your life? Do you know how I exult in who you are and who you are becoming? I have no fear over your life, no fear at all in who you are, or my ability to finish the work I began in you. Today, I want you to join me in rejoicing over your life.”
In Nehemiah, he declares that the joy of The Lord is our strength. It is easy to feel that the best way to fix all of the wrong things I see in myself is to focus on them and just “try to do better.” Two observations contend with one another in me – one, I have a great desire to be close to The Lord, and two, I see everything that hinders me from that desire. My immediate response is to focus on it so that I can fix it. When my gaze is drawn to everything that is wrong and distorted, that which I am gazing upon becomes my resource. The product is shame, failure, despair – a never-ending cycle.
Instead, The Lord was calling me this morning to put my focus on Him again.
“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things” (Phil. 4:8).
It is here I catch a glimpse of my resource–the fullness of The Lord. And what I find is not only that He is strong, and good, and right, but He is delighting in me! Confidence and empowerment follow, and suddenly my joy multiplies.
I know that this is not just a message for me, but for anyone who is ardently seeking The Lord. Let us each know the confidence and the joy of The Lord over our lives today. Be blessed!