Revelation 7 – 11:51 am – 12/8/15
I do not mind that people make fun of me; I am the first to make fun of myself; I am also the first to admit that I can be the most pitiful and asinine of all God’s creation. I am also aware of all of my oddities, and I believe I am reflection of God’s sense of humor. I do not mind being the source of people’s amusement; after all, the prefix of my name is “Joy” – a fruit of God’s Spirit – and the suffix of my name is “Elle” – which is traced back to Greek and Hebrew roots meaning “sun ray” or “God is my oath.” Therefore, the essence of my name can mean “the joy of God,” “God’s sun ray of joy,” or “the oath of God is my joy.” And this – I take very seriously. I also understand that many people think I take things all too serious – especially my walk with Jesus Christ. If they had walked the path I walked for 40 years in the wilderness, perhaps they could better understand why I take the Word of God so seriously. Like the Israelites, I too almost died in the wilderness during my years of wandering. Unlike some who might not have seriously battled specific sins that could result an immediate death, I walked closely with evil for many years of my life; it almost killed me. I take evil seriously, and I avoid it at all costs because I understand what it means to be in direct conflict with God’s nature. I realize that my convictions sometimes upset people and cause them to somewhat keep me at a distance. This has caused me great disappointment at times in my life because I, like most people, want people to genuinely like me. But I was not put on this earth for man’s approval. I am seeking a higher prize, and I am running a serious race. I do not care to be swept away by things that have no value. I have enjoyed many worldly things in my life: including man’s approval, great riches, big homes, nice cars, and popularity. These things brought me no lasting joy and no real satisfaction. The only real joy and satisfaction I have ever found is in the revelation of Jesus Christ and abiding in His Word. I am learning that this is a difficult task, as loving Jesus Christ with all of my heart requires me to love those who do not really love me, who in fact, make fun of me and say all manner of evil against me. But I am learning to let God be the source of my love for others. I am learning to allow Him to love people through me. I am learning the meaning of true love, and I believe these types of circumstances are, in fact, tests – where God allows me to be shaken in order to learn another aspect of His nature and to choose to grow more fruits of His Spirit in my life. I am a work in progress. I am learning how to walk in love, how to be patient, and how to suffer long with people. This is a difficult process for me because I do not like seeing the people I love open spiritual doors in their lives that I know could lead them astray. I understand that most people really do not want to understand more about these doors they have opened in their lives, and while I continue to learn how to persevere in all humility, patience, and long-suffering, I will also not water down God’s Truth for man’s approval. If my convictions upset people, then perhaps, this is what they are supposed to do. Next time I do or say something that is offensive to you, or causes you to think I am too serious, then perhaps you should ask me why I believe the way I do. I will be more than happy to give you my testimony and explain why I take God’s Word as seriously as I do. For now, I am going to keep on being my same old silly self – laugh with me – laugh at me – don’t take me too serious at all – but take the message of Jesus Christ very seriously, after all – He died for you!