By Patrick Hawthorne
Joy unspeakable and full of glory – We desire it, we seek it…we want it. Yet, in this overly brain stimulating high energy information packed world in which we live, it often will elude us. Ah, but I found the secret to once again obtaining joy. It is called, “Turn it off.”
A few weeks ago, while spiritually preparing myself for my churches yearly Freedom Crusade, I elected to exchange my news listening commute to work for extra prayer time. I must admit, the first few days found me reaching for the buttons of my satellite radio as I attempted to turn up the volume. I was a news listening junky seeking my daily fix. Yet, by day five with no distractions from the radio, I felt something odd…something strange. I felt joy returning to my life.
One week carried into two, two to three, and now I’m working on a month with no national news, no news commentaries, and no political insinuations from either this side or that side. Yes, I still listen to local news to stay abreast of world situations, but no longer am I drawn into the thoughts of news commentators who, for the most part, only spew negativity; even those with religious views.
Now, I have stepped it up further. I frequently visited a couple of blog sites that claimed to be apologetic in nature. Yet, the more I read the more I began to resent their increasing negativity for anything that did not align with their personal beliefs. While reading their posts, the Holy Spirit would gently whisper in my spirit, “They know of me, yet they do not know me.” That is the absolute truth. They know of God, but have no relationship with a Heavenly Father. Now don’t be alarmed if you have not seen me around your site lately…I’ve been a little busy lately. The sites I’m referring to, I rarely correspond with the authors.
So, what is the result of this little venture, other than joy? Well, if joy were all I received, that would be wonderful. However, another benefit has become evident…a benefit I would not trade for the world. I’m hearing from my Heavenly Father throughout the day. I find myself walking down the halls at work praying. I find a song in my heart constantly.
Right now, as I type this article the song, “The Great I Am,” is running through my thoughts. I’m a peace…I’m at joy. I’m not in fear or in dread about what is happening in this world even though tragedy seems to be a daily item on the menu. When I don’t have a song in my heart, I have Scripture running through my mind. It is wonderful! I’m not getting angry when people cut me off in traffic or say negative things around me. I am finally learning to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. I am finally learning what it means to walk in the supernatural peace given to us by Jesus. It is a free gift, but we still have to be willing to receive it.
If you have been struggling with your joy, do yourself a favor. Begin to turn off those things that are within your control to turn off and allow the Holy Spirit to fill your heart with a new song. Then, those things beyond your control to turn off will become less significant. Be blessed and have a really good day.