What gives the Christian a joyful spirit? What brings us to that place where peace and joy permeate everything we do? Isaiah provides us with a clue. He tells us that a joyful spirit comes from being right with God. Some things steal our joy, and then we do things that make us lose our joy. We need to prevent the latter and be on guard for the former.
“Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ “If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. The LORD will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.”
The Jews were attending church, learning scripture, and even fasting, but nothing was happening. It was because their actions were contrary to God’s Word. They were going through the spiritual motions of following Jesus, expecting big things, and couldn’t figure out why nothing was happening. God looked at all of it and told them their heart was not in it.
Take Away the Yoke
Do you ever feel like your prayers are going nowhere? How do we pray in such a way that God not only hears our prayers but answers them? Isaiah gives us a clue. We need to remove the yoke of sin, drop the finger pointing, and speaking wickedness of others. As Christians, our actions can block the move of God in our lives and prevent a joyful spirit.
A Joyful Spirit
When we pray and fast, we must humble ourselves and come before God with a bowed heart, which means submitted. We can’t go with demands or a haughty spirit. When we come to Him with the correct posture, He will give us a joyful spirit. We will call out to the Lord, and He will answer. True spiritual strength will replace weakness, and fruit will grow because we will be like a well-watered garden.