• Pastor Joel Cooper

An Irresistible Delight

What do you think about most of the time? I ask that because just as they say, “You are what you eat” you surely are what you think or as it says in Scripture, “As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” So, then what we are and what we have become is something that has been nurtured by our thinking over time, and therein lies our real nemesis. The struggle for many a sincere believer to come to a place of meaningful devotion and to rise above the fray toward God is often thwarted by learned habits of thinking. These are thoughts that have a logic all their own fitted to this world’s ideologies: Thoughts that are fixated on fear, vanity, hostility, fantasy and even revenge toward any who would challenge one’s happiness and security. Such mulling and thinking stages a coup d’état against any attempt to reign in one’s thoughts, leaving the mind surrendered and exhausted to this mindless plunder. In short, a mind unhinged becomes a perilous abyss and scripture echo’s this experience with truth, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death”. Romans 8:6

In sharp contrast we are reminded that, “…to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” Simple isn’t it, yet I find that too often this seems to mock my attempts to overcome and to set my mind on this life and peace and so thwarts my attempts at prayer. Yes, I can accurately analyze the “whys” and understand the logic of our cultural conditioning, but my aim here is entirely practical. How can God’s children overcome to find communion with their heavenly Father a way of life and a delight?

The more I pondered the intensity of our world’s influence, it’s paralyzing effects on my spiritual aspirations creating spiritual defeat, the more it began to heighten my realization that God has already provided an overwhelming provision for victory. This provision is not one that is fitted to the rhythms of our lives, but rather it is a conscious and intensive offensive that commits to moment-by-moment recall and meditation in the Word of God accompanied by prayer.

Yes, surprisingly, that which you were always taught, but treated it lightly and inconsequently, was because the world of Christendom was comfortable and tolerant. Jesus addressed this concern when He exhorted His disciples to abide in Him. He certainly never implied that if or when they had the time, if it was convenient or if this works for them, they really need to follow. This intensive effort is what the natural mind will never tolerate, the determination to seek, practice and immerse oneself in the “living and abiding Word of God”, yet it is your lifeline because it alone reveals Christ Who is your life!

Additionally, you will discover that the more you indulge in the pursuit of Him Who alone is worthy, the more you find yourselves compelled and drawn into a vortex of praise to God.

Do you realize that this is the intended purpose of all created things? Do you realize that all creation will forever and ever give uninterrupted praise and glory to Him “Who dwells in unapproachable light!”

Consider the Psalmist in chapter 148 as he multiplies praises from the heavens, angels, sun, moon, stars, the earth and all the way to the bottom of the sea! Yes, as it is written, praise Him in the sanctuary, the sanctuary of your heart where one discovers that such praise further cultivates an irresistible delight!

It's being drawn into this consuming worship of God triggered through the Word and all nature itself that opens your heart to prayer that satisfies the longing He has placed in your heart. Only then does it make sense when Scripture implores you to pray without ceasing because the glory of God revealed through the Word of God has created such a momentum that it opens and delights the heart while empowering and inspiring its thoughts.

To sum it up, the more we are confronted with a world of sin and rebellion the more we are sobered, convinced, motivated and given every reason to be invested in what we always thought was true but now are willing to prove it so. This was Paul’s intent when he wrote to the Philippians, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS.” What things? The excellence of your God and savior Jesus Christ! Think about them all the time and practice them and “the God of peace will be with you.” God can grant no greater delight for you then enjoy His presence. “At thy right had there are pleasures forevermore.” Ps 16:11

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