Excerpt below from Joy Like a Fountain…How to have JOY no matter what life brings your way! – a Bible study project based on the book of Philippians.
God’s Presence & Knowing our Identity in Christ
Performing for God & Comparison
Jesus didn’t perform or walk this earth for the purpose of entertaining, even with all His miraculous signs. Jesus brought God’s presence in the flesh and God’s power to free the captives.
God is not calling us to perform for Him. God is calling us to be empowered by Him.
When we freely worship and live in His presence…
…we are filled with His presence,
…we are filled with His power, and
…we are free from performing for God and for others.
…We are free to be as joyful as a child in His presence.
…We are free to be who our Father God created us to be in Christ, incomparable in our unique identity in Christ.
Loving the presence of God:
Very young children love being in the presence of their parents. This brings them joy.
As lovers of our Father God, we should love being in His presence. This is loving and worshiping God as our good, good Father, for who He is, and not for what He can do.
We should never need God to perform for us in order for us to love Him as well.
A Prayer for more Joy like a Fountain in God’s presence – no matter what life brings our way!
Father God, fill me with the joy of Your presence as I worship in spirit and truth – from a place of genuine authenticity freely before You. Thank You for loving me as Your child unconditionally.
Free me from a spirit of performing in order to earn Your love. Remind me that nothing I have done or ever will do compares to the perfect and sinless sacrificial death of the Son of God on the cross covering my sin. I thank You, Lord, that the price You paid trumps all my works and attempts to earn grace and Your resurrection power gives me the power to live joyfully.
Help me worship and serve You and others out of the overflow of Your love filling my heart.
Through the hills and valleys of life, help me to remember to come and sit in Your lap, “Abba Father” and to be reminded that You created me uniquely for such a time as this.
Forgive me when I compare myself, my gifts, or what You have called me to do or not do with others. As I feast on Your truth, free me from lies and ground me in my identity in Christ. Help me to see the sufferings I experience in this life as an opportunity to grow more intimate with You and to encounter Your great faithfulness.
May all I go through equip me to share the power to live victoriously with others, all for Your glory. Amen.
Because of You, I know the path of life, as I taste the fullness of joy in Your presence. At Your right side I experience divine pleasures forevermore!
Psalm 16:11 The Passion Translation
My beloved ones, don’t ever limit your joy or fail to rejoice in the wonderful experience of knowing our Lord Jesus! I don’t mind repeating what I’ve already written you because it protects you— beware of those religious hypocrites who teach that you should be circumcised to please God. For we have already experienced “heart-circumcision,” and we worship God in the power and freedom of the Holy Spirit, not in laws and religious duties. We are those who boast in what Jesus Christ has done, and not in what we can accomplish in our own strength. It’s true that I once relied on all that I had become. I had a reason to boast and impress people with my accomplishments—more than others—for my pedigree was impeccable. I was born a true Hebrew of the heritage of Israel as the son of a Jewish man from the tribe of Benjamin. I was circumcised eight days after my birth and was raised in the strict tradition of Orthodox Judaism, living a separated and devout life as a Pharisee. And concerning the righteousness of the Torah, no one surpassed me; I was without a peer. Furthermore, as a fiery defender of the truth, I persecuted the messianic believers with religious zeal. Yet all of the accomplishments that I once took credit for, I’ve now forsaken them and I regard it all as nothing compared to the delight of experiencing Jesus Christ as my Lord! To truly know him meant letting go of everything from my past and throwing all my boasting on the garbage heap. It’s all like a pile of manure to me now, so that I may be enriched in the reality of knowing Jesus Christ and embrace him as Lord in all of his greatness. My passion is to be consumed with him and not cling to my own “righteousness” based in keeping the written Law. My only “righteousness” will be his, based on the faithfulness of Jesus Christ—the very righteousness that comes from God. And I continually long to know the wonders of Jesus and to experience the overflowing power of his resurrection working in me. I will be one with him in his sufferings and become like him in his death. Only then will I be able to experience complete oneness with him in his resurrection from the realm of death.
Philippians 3:1-11 The Passion Translation
Final note: Comparing ourselves with others not only tends to be a joy killer, but 2 Corinthians 12:12 specifically states, “comparing themselves among themselves they are not wise.” Break free from comparison and live joyfully!