Waves of Joy

It has been a while since I have had the chance to post some of my thoughts. The last month of settling into our new home has brought a host of challenges, decisions, and work. I’ve managed to keep up with The God Journey podcasts because I greatly enjoy those conversations. We just posted Episode 900 today about Vengeance, Mercy, and Justice. I never tire of what we learn as we explore the journey of Living Loved. The rest of the time, I’ve been handling a bit of correspondence and conversations as well as unpacking, discarding, and preparing a place for Sara and me in this next season of our lives. It is all going so incredibly well, though taking up far more time than I would have hoped. More on that next week, if time allows.

Catching up on some emails today, I ran into this one, which asks some questions that might interest others. This is from a friend in Hawaii:

I do have a few questions about your book, He Loves Me. In chapter 22, you write: “If you’ve ever known that glory, either just sitting in his presence communing with him or having just seen him use you to reveal himself to someone else, you know what I’m talking about. At such moments it seems time itself stands still. Waves of joy sweep across us, and it is so incredible that you feel if you were made just for that one moment, your life would have had a wealth of meaning. ‘I was made for this.’ And you were.”

How important is it for the daughter or son of Abba to experience what you call “waves of joy”…given that is a huge part of our design in Him? 

I never try to focus on a single “experience” as something essential or even something to seek. Walking with him manifests his glory in our lives in various ways, and how we sense them depends a lot on our personality. I don’t even know how each interprets “waves of joy,” and it may be very different from what those words mean to me. “Waves of joy” is the feeling I get when I’m at rest and enjoying his work in me, and it comes without me trying to manufacture it.

It is distracting for any of us to try to pursue an experience. Even the focus on doing so can quickly become a distraction. That sentence was for those who have experienced it, not to discourage people who haven’t. Instead of getting people focused on any specific manifestation, I try to help them recognize Father’s presence in the experiences they are already having. Surely he is making himself known to all of us in whatever way suits us best, though much of his work goes unrecognized by those distracted by the shiny things in the world or the darker corners of their hearts. I want to help people recognize him, however he is making himself known, not getting them focused on hoping he works in a specific way.

How is it that we settle for not living with as much joy as Papa, Jesus, and the Spirit are longing for in our lives? Your last chapter, “Living Loved,” is great and speaks to this, but I was wondering if you have any other insights.

There are lots of reasons for this. Lots of worldly distractions. Lots of unresolved pain that makes us try to self-medicate. Lots of disappointed expectations that God didn’t meet, even like the “experiences” above. However, I think it is also because we haven’t learned how to engage Father, Son, and Spirit as they make themselves known. It’s been easier to force people into religious performance, but those who have tried it grow discouraged because it doesn’t work.

Learning to live inside Father’s joy is to give up control of life as we want it to be and find God in the chaos of real life and how he is making himself known. Following him is the ultimate loss of control, and religious performance is the ultimate attempt to control God. A lot of people get discouraged and sadly give up.

Giving up the notion that we can control the relationship we have with God is a critical step in all of our journeys. He is the initiator; we are the responders. That’s because he knows best about everything, especially how to engage each of us and invite us to be at home with him.


10 thoughts on “Waves of Joy”

  1. Pingback: Waves of Joy | Lifestream – The Faith Herald

  2. Giving up the notion that we control the relationship we have with God is a critical step in all of our journeys. He is the initiator; we are the responders.

    Following him is the ultimate loss of control, and religious performance is the ultimate attempt to control God.

    Those two comments are what I need to hear again and again and again.

  3. Giving up the illusion of control sounds familiar, Wayne. For me the path to that is the preparedness to realise my powerlessness to establish control (which is an illusion and a lie anyway) and become the poor in spirit …. for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. I guess Jesus made that choice to to become like us so as you say we’re following him into the intimate life with the father. It’s just so helpful to hear of others on the same journey into living freely and lightly.

  4. Mary-Ann McKerchar

    I have battled most of my life to hold on to God’s love for me. It has been very difficult, but when it is worst, I re-read “He loves Me”.

    1. Finding a Christian book that serves continuously on the journey as this one does is like finding diamonds in the dust. I guess it also reveals a passionate love for the Father.

    2. Hi Mary-Ann. Thanks for commenting here. I’m sorry holding on to that love has been difficult for you, and also blessed to hear that my book helps in those times. I pray that God will show you that even though we may lose sight of that love, his love never loses hold of us. Resting in that is a revelation in the heart that we cannot control. It’s God’s gift to you and I pray you’ll be able to recognize that love inside you, strong enough to hold through any conflict or trouble.

      1. Mary-Ann McKerchar

        Thank you very much, Wayne! When you lose your dad to another family as a child, it can be very difficult to get the father picture, but I am holding on!

        1. Yes, it can. I’m so sorry your father did that to you. Do you know why that hurts so deeply? It’s because you were created for a better Father than any of our earthly fathers could ever be. We are all broken and flawed, but he is the one that knows perfect love and how to love you perfectly. If the Father image doesn’t work for you, go with a husband or best friend. Find anyone who has loved you well in your life, and let them be the image God can fit into to invite your heart into his peace. I know this isn’t easy. My heart breaks for what you’ve been through, but even still I know his love is deeper, wider, and more real than anything else in the cosmos.

          1. Mary-Ann McKerchar

            Thank you, Wayne, for the encouraging words! 😊♥️God bless you!

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I cannot describe in words how much I am blessed, encouraged, uplifted and comforted by hearing the two of you on this podcast. You speak into my life regularly in ways you can’t even imagine. So grateful for The God Journey!

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