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The Joy of the Lord

The joy of the Lord is a wonderful thing. When He brings this to us, we will feel a happiness, a fearlessness, and a purpose which cannot be matched. But while He does bring His great joy to us, He has to do things to us, which bring us to the joy, rather than the other way around. This is because we contain many things which get in the way.

I was reminded of this two years ago at Christmastime, when I helped stock a mission store. The people of the store do a magnificent work, and at this time of year they help a great many people have both what they need and also some happy things that they want. And we had a very nice large supply of clothes, household items, et cetera, there was no lack. But there was one category of item which we had, which we could not give out: almost all of the handmade toys. Quite a few people from different organizations, had made toys for the children, often clearly taking quite a lot of time and effort in the making. The inexperienced helpers, like me, were going to include them in the general distribution like everything else. But the people who understood the situation said no. They said, "Would you like to be the kid on Christmas who got nothing but that?"

This gave me serious pause, and not a little upset. The Lord told me to shut my mouth and keep doing what I did understand. After another hour or so, He cleared me up a bit.

We all, all of us human beings who are not the Lord, contain much within us which we might describe as "soul gunk". It exists much like viruses in a computer, or dirt in a mechanical clock, or the stinky black stuff in old used motor oil. This gunk of the soul is knowledge, solidified thoughts, which keep us from joy of many, many good sorts. The children for whom we were working, even young ones, contain much of this. Even if they didn't have a gunk problem about a gift such as we were told to discard, their parents almost certainly would, and would contaminate the children with first reaction. Even if the parents realized their error and reversed it quickly, damage would be done, the moment probably lost, and at least much of the good we were working for, for that family, would be harmed.

But the gunk problem ranges terribly far, and terribly wide. It is not just concerning gifts on Christmastime; it has many, many forms. It is the thoughts by which we think that someone of a different skin complexion, or body shape, must behave in ways which are not helpful. It is why some people feel that anyone who carries a cross on a golden chain, or doesn't carry a cross on a golden chain, is probably evil and hypocrite, or probably good and helpful. And it is also thoughts by which we cannot receive joy of the Lord.

Let us take myself as an example. In the above scene, I found myself unhappy, not experiencing the joy of the Lord's good, because I believed in the democratic ethic of the demon-enslaved ancient Greeks, who taught that every human being's efforts are equal to every other's. In that theory, there is nothing better, and nothing worse, there is only human, and human is always good. But the theory is and has always been false. For instance, almost every human being can talk, but there is talk which is good, which does good things and helps people live and do more good, and there is talk which is evil, which does bad things and helps people die and do more evil. The same goes for everything else a human being can do. So that day, the Lord did a bit more purging of that filthy democratic ethic, and gave me more of His truth, and brought me a bit closer to Him, and I felt more of His great and wonderful joy.

Jonathan Brickman
Please do email me!

© 2017 Jonathan E. Brickman

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