Fullness of Joy

Dan Lenington on October 4, 2013

MP900448642[1]

A few days ago, we had just put our boys to bed, and I decided that I was worn out and wanted to relax for a while playing video games. However, I knew that It was time to pray for some individuals God had laid on my heart. Stubbornly, I ignored God's prompting and sat down to relax. After 20 minutes of resisting God's voice, I realized that I wasn't really having any fun anyway so turned it off and walked out to sit in the living room to pray. As soon as I sat down, God asked me if I thought He was ruining my fun. That made me stop and think. "Well," I thought, "in a way, maybe." He reminded me that He invented fun. He created all the good feelings we have when we have fun. An idea began forming in my mind. You see, up to this point, I had always thought of my time as part God's time and part my time. Once I give God His part, then I can use my part to do what I want. Now, however, I began to realize that God wants me to enjoy all parts of my time with Him. Psalm 16:11 says, "Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." The only place of true pleasure and joy is where God is. The only really fun time is when I'm hanging out with God. So why then do I not want to spend time with Him all the time? One reason is that I don't have a correct view of what spending time with Him really is. Its not just when I pray, read the Bible, or go to church. God wants me to include Him in everything I do during the day. I can enjoy walking through the woods with Him while praising Him for His beautiful creation. I can enjoy playing video games with Him as long as its a game His Spirit approves of. Then I can thank Him for it and fellowship with Him as I play it. I can take God along with me when I go fishing with my son. The three of us can enjoy God's creation while we appreciate the thrill of catching a fish. God created us with the capacity to feel that thrill. Thank Him for it. He created the satisfied feeling, the feeling of anticipation, the deep rich feeling, the quit content feeling and all the others. God knows how to have the most fun and joy of anyone. You see God created us to bring Him pleasure (Rev. 4:11), but when we are pleasing to Him, we will be enjoying ourselves most. This is what fellowship is all about. So the second reason why I don't want to spend time with Him all the time is that I am often not in true fellowship with Him when I do try to spend time with Him. 1 John 1:4-7 says, "And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have hear of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." Even one sin that I'm harboring will break my fellowship with God and destroy my joy in spending time with Him. This is true since He is light and can not fellowship with us when we are walking in darkness even a little. Thankfully, we can always confess and forsake that sin to return to fellowship and joy in His presence. So back to my situation, I realized that there are two reasons the fun things and fun feelings God created can be wrong costing me awesome fellowship with God. 1. If I take these fun things or feelings outside of God's protective boundaries. These boundaries are for our own good and ultimate enjoyment. Imagine enjoying skydiving without the restrictive harness of a parachute! Not so fun after all. 2. If I try to enjoy fun feelings or fun things without God. Lets say its a perfectly clean movie, activity, or book, but I decide to turn my brain off and tell God to let me do my own thing for a while without Him. Then, we have turned pleasure into an idol. Instead, we can enjoy a clean movie, activity, or book when we first let His Spirit approve it (to make sure it won't break our fellowship) then enjoy it at the right time with God thanking and fellowshipping with Him about it. God intended that all our time should be time in fellowship with Him so that we can experience full joy when we're praying, preaching, singing, reading, playing, or relaxing. Now thats what I call a fun filled schedule. God wanted me to enjoy prayer with Him first and then enjoy video games with Him afterwards. Now that wasn't so bad after all!