Monday, October 10, 2011

"The Fruit of Prayer" Part 7

7 -
 Prayer and Delight
    We all have people with whom we enjoy spending time, people whose presence and voices are sweet to us.
     Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ know that God Himself should be the person with whom we most desire to commune.
     "In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11).
    Only in God is "fullness of joy."  Only in His presence are "pleasures forevermore."  This we believe, although our response to the truth does not always match our conviction.  At times we may seem distracted, neglectful, or even unaware of the true joy and pleasure of our hearts.  "I watch, and as a sparrow alone upon the housetop" (Psalm 102:7).
    How can our response grow in acknowledgement of our Lord, along with the devotion, faith and awareness of the singular place He occupies in our hearts?  First, bemoaning our fickle response does little to effectively motivate and empower us.  Directing our attention away from ourselves and unto the Lord actually has far greater effect in turning our hearts toward their true Home.
    "The prayer of the upright is His delight" (Proverbs 15:8).
    Rather than our joy and pleasure motivating more consistent fellowship with Him, attention to His "delight" most empowers our own delight in Him.  As the Apostle John wrote, "We love Him because He first loved us" (I John 4:19).  This spiritual dynamic of His love for us fostering our love for Him continues, and will continue, throughout a lifetime and eternity.  Thus, knowing that our Heavenly Father enjoys time with us, as it were, floods our hearts with overwhelming gratitude and the desire to respond in kind.
    How an infinite God, perfectly fulfilled in Himself and without need, could find joy and pleasure in creatures such as ourselves, we will never completely understand.  We just know that He does because His Word assures us that "the Lord taketh pleasure in His people" (Psalm 149:4).  Each of us occupies a place in God's heart wherein the potential exists for causing Him delight.  Amazing, truly and wonderfully amazing!  I can think of no more sublime thought.  Nor can I imagine any understanding that more causes desire deep in our spirits to approach our Heavenly Father in loving devotion and communication.  Indeed, His is a heart that has known much grief and sorrow from the human race, including ourselves.  If, therefore, we can bring Him pleasure, then let us do so!  Let us come to our Father in the remembrance that our hearts and voices so bless Him that He gave His beloved Son to a cross of terrible agony in order to make possible our access to His presence.  Therein we will find fullness of joy and pleasure forevermore, first in God, and then in ourselves.
"When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek."
(Psalm 27:8)

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