Margaritaville, Bourbon Street, and Surprised by Joy
Thou shalt call his name Jesus.
We have been having worship services all this week. For the rest of the world it is Mardi Gras week; not for us. At Victory Fellowship, it is our Winter Worship Experience. We have been having saturation services and participating in our live worship recording called Heavenward. Nothing beats a service given over to extended worship, it is actually as close as we could ever come to heaven this side of the rapture.
I have come to the conclusion that all of us spend our lives in the pursuit of joy. For some, their version of joy is being lost in margaritaville. Others may think their pleasures would be complete at the strip joints on Bourbon Street. Still others search for their version of joy with another trip to the beach or a quick get away to the Smokey Mountains. For me, I have been surprised by finding joy in my life in the most unexpected of all places. My joy has been made full as I have discovered the pleasures of God lost in worshipping our amazing God. Actually this experience of worship has caused me to redefine worship, I call it the act of enjoying God. Here is a quote of a fellow worshipper by the name of Charles Spurgeon.
“But if there be one name sweeter than another in the believer’s ear, it is the name of Jesus. Jesus! it is the name which moves the harps of heaven to melody. Jesus! the life of all our joys. If there be one name more charming, more precious than another, it is this name. It is woven into the very warp and woof of our psalmody. Many of our hymns begin with it, and scarcely any, that are good for anything, end without it. It is the sum total of all delights. It is the music with which the bells of heaven ring; a song in a word; an ocean for comprehension, although a drop for brevity; a matchless oratorio in two syllables; a gathering up of the hallelujahs of eternity in five letters. Jesus, I love thy charming name”
Spurgeon is describing a harmony that comes to those who have found their joy in God. They have put down their strife, anger, and depression; they have taken up the songs of joy that have brought harmony and completion to their lives. Have you ever been surprised by joy? Joy seems for most to be “somewhere over the rainbow”, something we wish for, but never actually receive. You may think your joy will be found when you win the lottery, catch the prized fish, or finally get that Harley you have always wanted. For the bowler it the perfect score, the golfer looks for the elusive hole in one, or the hunter that prize buck. What a surprise when you discover the greatest of all joys is found in worship!! Who would have ever dreamed to look there, the most unexpected of places, extreme joy found in the Presence of God.