This may come as a surprise to you, but true joy is not about you. Let me say that again. Real, genuine joy is self-forgetfulness. There are so many people trying to find joy in so many things, people, and places in an effort to ultimately please and satisfy their own need to be happy. Yet, happiness and joy are not the same thing. Happiness is a conditional state of emotion based on the current circumstances of your life where joy is based on the permanent work of the Cross of Jesus Christ. As believers, “our focus is the crucified and risen Christ and the incomparable excellencies of his person and work” (David Mathis).
So how do we get to a place of self-forgetfulness? Brace yourself because I don’t want to give you too many surprises at once. The most important means of grace and our greatest weapon in the fight for joy is corporate worship. It combines all three principles together: his word, prayer, and fellowship. There are just somethings that God gives only in meeting together with other believers! I’m sure you and I catch a glimpse of heaven’s bliss when we study alone or worship in our own quiet place. However, we were made to worship Jesus, together.
A great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and people and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to the our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Rev. 7:9-10)
Heaven will be beyond what we can think or imagine it to be, and the closest thing and the closest taste to what it would look like is to come together with the gathered church and adore our King. Understand though that worship is bigger than services and gatherings, it is a way of life. And its not necessarily and emotion we seek to obtain. True worshippers worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). John Piper states this, “In the moment of authentic emotion, the calculation vanishes and we are taken above the reasoning work of the mind and we experience feeling without reference to logical or practical implications.”
In the next post I will discuss five benefits of corporate worship and what those things that God gives only in a gathered meeting. I don’t know about you, but I sure do want to experience a taste of heaven here on earth while I’m here. Take a moment to look at this video by the worship team Jesus Culture. It captures at the essence of what this post is about. Be Blessed! Be Revealed!