Written By Guest Writer: Bethel Aklilu
Prior to King Josiah’s reformations, the kingdom of Judah had a long history of idol worship to foreign gods, which included child sacrifices. The Prophet Zephaniah prophesied judgement on Judah and its neighboring countries, but also prophesied hope for the remnant of Judah who sought the Lord. As adopted sons and daughters of the new covenant, this hope now extends to the followers of Jesus Christ.
The promise Zephaniah declares is birthed out of fellowship with God, but let’s get something straight. God is not insecure or in need of your company. He is self-sufficient and completely content all by Himself. However, He chooses to extend fellowship with you through the sacrifice of Christ and everyday encounters because He loves you and you were made for love.
His Joy Is Powerful
In Hebrews 12:2 we are reminded that
The joy of being seated at the right hand of the Father and reuniting mankind with God was so unimaginably great, that it allowed Christ to endure the cross. His joy is not comparable to sunshine and rainbows or the diluted versions of joy that most of us experience. The joy of the Lord is intrinsically powerful, to such a great degree that Christ was able to withstand the full wrath of God. Furthermore, as children of God, we have access this powerful joy [that] will be our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
His Joy Is Undignified
He genuinely enjoys having fellowship with you and rejoices over you more than you would believe. God doesn’t express His joy in a reserved and solemn way, but showers us with gladness and loud singing. He is unreserved and unashamed of His love for us and I find that truth amazing.
It can be difficult to see God that way, especially if we’ve been taught otherwise. Don’t get me wrong, God is holy, righteous and deserves to be revered and honored, but simultaneously there is a part of Him that is full of wonder, whimsy and joy. The joyful and fun nature of God does not negate His holy and regal nature; they coexist.
A great mirrored example of what God’s expression of joy looks like is King David, a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22). When the ark of the Lord (which hosted the presence of God) was being brought to Jerusalem, King David rejoiced. He manifested his joy by dancing in the streets half naked, which is pretty unorthodox for royalty to do. His wife was ashamed and embarrassed, but King David didn’t care about his image because being close to God was worth his greatest expression of joy. He even emphasized that “[he] will be even more undignified than this”(2 Samuel 6:22).
Like King David, God’s expression of joy isn’t confined by boundaries, but is uncontained and dare I say, undignified.
Fellowship has been His dream before the foundations of the earth. When we are aligned with God’s master dream, I can imagine that His heart bubbles with joy.
I once heard that “as you are singing to Him, He’s singing over you”. We were not made to worship idols, but to worship the one true God with our lives. The added bonus is that He joins in by singing loudly over us, creating the best duet ever imagined.
[In] His presence there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). His joy is contagious and has the capacity to strengthen you wherever you are in life.
Let Him quiet you with His love and incline your ear to hear the melodies and songs He’s singing just for you.