Heb. 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
It’s funny how we tend to associate things like; passion, desire, joy, with only natural , earthly experiences. The natural man cannot comprehend or relate to spiritual reality. Their only concept of passion or pleasure involves the five natural senses. We have to taste, see, smell, hear, or feel things, that’s all most people can relate to. That is the amazing thing about spiritual awakenings, the senses of our spirit man are awakened and we become suddenly aware of the spiritual world. Our ability to perceive things in the Spirit are awakened by the touch of God. Suddenly we can see, hear, taste, feel and even smell the things of the Spirit. John Wright Follette wrote a poem called Identification that describes this passion an awakened soul has for The Lord.
“I am a flame born of celestial fire
I bear a name, Insatiable Desire.
I wear in heart an image all divine,
Past human art, not traced by mortal line.
I hear God call to taste His heavenly powers
I give my all to burn life’s single hour.
So let me burn through fetters that would bind;
Thus will I learn and freedom will I find.
I shall return to Love’s eternal fire,
There shall I burn – a satisfied desire.”
Once you experience these feelings yourself, suddenly you see similar experiences all over the Bible. You see King David dancing with total abandon before the ark of the covenant in the streets of Jerusalem. David was tasting the sweetness of God’s presence, dancing was his spontaneous response to this incredible joy. Then of course there are the words of the Apostle Paul written from his prison in Rome. Phil. 3:7-8 ¶ “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” This letter to the church in Philippi is often called the epistle of joy. Paul had tasted a joy that transcended all earthly conditions, even a prison cell. Finally there is the greatest of all examples of the pursuit of joy in God. Jesus Himself endured the shame and the pain of the cross “for the joy set before Him”. He had tasted the joy of the Father’s presence from eternity, He anticipated the celebration of joy with the redeemed as He faced His death on the cross. He realized that there was a joy that was far superior to the shame and suffering of the cross. Like James taught us, count it all joy when you fall into various kinds of trouble. The day is coming when we will be a celestial fire, burning in His presence, a satisfied desire.