The Gift of the Father – Heaven’s Joy
During my first visit to Lesotho Africa, the guide from World Vision drove our team of pastors to a remote village on a dusty and very bumpy road. As our vehicle crested a hill and descended down toward a cinder block building, I couldn’t help but notice an unusual sound which I had never heard before. I wondered if what we heard was a good or a bad noise. Obviously the guide must have seen our puzzled faces as he explained that the ladies from the village make that sound when they are extremely happy! “That sound” has become one of my favorite delights while in Africa. Obviously it is hard to explain on paper; you will just have to come to Africa to hear it for yourself. Over my many visits the women have tried to teach me but you need to have a really gifted tongue that moves back and forth at top speed to pull it off and I have come to realize that this is not one of my spiritual gifts.
When you hear “that sound” you know for a fact that something special is happening. Whether a baby is being adopted at Beautiful Gate Care Center or during a worship service when the drum begins to beat and Lesotho people proclaim their love for Jesus. The twilling of tongues in Africa is always a sure sign that something good is happening and blessings will follow.
In the same way when the Gift of the Father, the Holy Spirit, flows down upon His children there are signs revealing His glorious presence and one of those signs is Joy! I love how Peter describes this Joy from Heaven:
“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”
1 Peter 1:8
This joy cannot be explained, it comes from another world and it blows our world away. Read the book of Acts and you will find this “inexpressible and glorious joy” all over the place. The disciples experienced joy in prayer meetings, prisons and persecution. The crazy thing about Heaven’s Joy is it is contagious, when the neighbors see this joy they want to know what “you’re drinking?” (Acts 2), which opens the door to share Jesus!
I think the early church’s greatest tool in sharing the Father’s love to a lost world was that they were filled with a supernatural joy. What if followers of Christ continued to taste Heaven’s Joy? Think about the impact this would have on a joyless world! The apostle Peter shares the tools to open up the floodgates of heaven simply stated: “love Him” and “believe in Him.” Those who direct their passion towards a Father God they have not seen and YET walk a life of believing trust in Jesus WILL FIND themselves drenched in the Joy from Heaven.
Just like in Africa when the women do their twilling as a sign of happiness to verbally express a blessing, when we overflow with Heaven’s Joy it is a sign our Good Father’s Kingdom has been poured into our hearts to be a blessing to the world. “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit!” Romans 14:17.
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