August 9: “Getting My Joy Back”

8 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Ezra 8:21–9:15
1 Corinthians 5:1-13
Psalm 31:1-8
Proverbs 21:1-2

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

Proverbs 21:2 (NLT): “People may be right in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their heart.”

Reflections from Scripture:

All too often, the average Christian can shake their head in affirmation with the lyrics of an old Keith Green song:

“My eyes are dry,
My faith is old,
My heart is hard,
My prayers are cold.
And I know how I ought to be,
Alive to You and dead to me.”

All too often, we could easily lament our spiritual declension. However, we typically don’t. Instead, we usually go on about our business, assuming that things are alright between God and us. 

Yet, there is no compelling desire to remain in unbroken prayer with the Lord. No joy within us causes us to “sing and make melody to the Lord in our hearts” (Ephesians 5:19). There remain shattered relationships that we don’t seek to mend. Our Bibles collect dust throughout the week. We get very little out of the worship services at our local church.

And we wonder what’s wrong. 

Or, worse yet, we assume that this is what the Christian life is supposed to look like, and we don’t realize that something is wrong.

Well, it’s entirely possible that if this is our experience, we need to do a little soul searching. We need to invite the Holy Spirit to do some soul searching within us.

Because, more than likely, there are hidden sins in the corners of our minds and hearts that are blocking us from experiencing the power and joy of God’s presence. Satan wants for nothing more than for those unconfessed, un-dealt-with sins to remain unresolved.

So we desperately need help with this. We lack the ability to do a personal, deep, soul-cleaning.

Proverbs 21:2 (NLT): “People may be right in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their heart.”

Do you desire more of God? Do you want more joy than you presently have? Do you want God to have free reign in you so that He can do God-things through you?

Essentially, do you want revival?

Then, don’t assume that simply because your ways seem right to you that everything is OK. Instead, ask the Lord to search your heart and listen to what He will say.

Hints:

  • Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and reveal any area that needs attention/confession.
  • Spend reflective time in God’s Word, constantly comparing yourself to the standard in Scripture. (Consider journaling your journey.)
  • Ask a close friend(s) to help you on this journey by pointing out areas of concern that they have noticed. Give them permission to ask you some tough questions that will make you very uncomfortable but will work toward a deep, soul-cleaning. Be ready to confess (agree with God about your sin). Also, repent (turn from the disobedience with the intention of not doing it again) of anything that comes up.
  • You may also need to spend some time with a pastor or Christian counselor who has the skill to ask probing questions and help you deal with unresolved issues that are hindering your fellowship with God.

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, I want to enjoy You. I want to live in such a way that I can experience You each moment of my day. So, whatever it takes, help me get to a place where I am spiritually cleaned out and restfully available to You. I pray this in Your Name, Amen.


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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