How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands. Psalm 112:1
One of my favorite quotes is from the movie Chariots of Fire. In the movie, Eric Liddell is having a conversation with his sister. She believes Eric is wasting his time training for the Olympics because she believes he is destined for the mission field. I love Eric’s response to his sister. He replied, “All I know is that God has made me fast and I feel His pleasure when I run.”
People spend years trying to figure out their purpose in life and when they finally discover the reason why God has made them, life starts to make sense and there is great joy that fills their heart. The interesting thing about Eric Liddell is that he did eventually end up on the mission field in China. This is a great reminder to us that God’s purpose for us is something that evolves from different seasons in our life. My purpose at 20 years old was a bit different than it is now in my 50’s. However, there is one thing that is always part of our purpose as we follow God, and that is to walk in the fear of the Lord. To walk in the fear of the Lord is to live our lives with a sense of deep awe and respect for God and His ways. The Psalmist reminds us that those who do so experience a great joy!
The big misnomer that so many people have about God is that they think He is about anything but joy. Some have nicknamed God the “Cosmic Kill Joy” but nothing could be further from the truth. The more that a person surrenders to the Lord and His ways, the more that he or she discovers that God’s ways make sense. The more that we follow His ways, the more joy that we experience because, in doing so, we discover our ultimate purpose to live as people in a vibrant relationship with God. There is an incredible joy in being who God has called you to be and doing what God has called you to do!