All it takes is a few words. Just a few, skimmed over and paid little attention. And then one day, those few words come off the page dressed in neon lights, making my head tilt sideways.
“The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’
At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.” – Luke 10:17-21
Today I saw words I had been missing,
“The seventy-two returned with joy”
and something in me ached. It ached because I realized that I can’t remember the last time I had returned with joy from discovering His power in ministry. And I think it ached because I hadn’t realized that I missed it, this joy.
“Jesus, full of joy…”
He wasn’t disappointed in them because they missed the point. Instead, He traded stories with them. They saw demons submit to them, He saw Satan fall from heaven.
They didn’t return all excited only to get a rebuke. He didn’t burst their bubble of excitement, but He did remind them that there was something far better than demons in submission, something really worth celebrating. Don’t settle for rejoicing over demons. Not when your name is in the book of life.
He wasn’t against them, shaking His head because they had it all wrong. He was
Full. Of. Joy.
Somehow, I missed that.
It doesn’t really matter to me right now why He was joy full. Just the picture of Jesus, smiling, laughing (because people full of joy do those things) with His disciples…that picture makes my heart happy. Joy full, even. And I’ve missed that.
Here is what I didn’t miss. Not today…
“…through the Holy Spirit…”
I won’t get joy full by trying harder. It can’t be worked up, or manufactured.
Joy won’t come from things, from circumstances, or from other people.
In my search to know more of the Holy Spirit, I am taking note…