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Guess What I Heard

by Doug Cormeny on December 02, 2020

On December 1, 2020 our pastoral staff was praying together. We pray every Tuesday at noon. I heard something that day. I don’t claim to have any special connection with God other than the same connection all of us have who have decided to believe and follow Jesus Christ. But I often get nudges from God when I’m praying – and many times with other people. It could be solely because I’m more focused during those times and less distracted by the work of whatever busy-ness I’m doing at other times. I’m easily distracted. Anyone relate?

But the point of hearing something that you need to know is that experiencing God’s Holy Presence and being nudged towards what you need to hear “is a privilege open to every child of God” (thank you A.W. Tozer quote) and not for a select few who have special God access. If we’ve said yes to Jesus Christ then we already have special God access. And He in us.

That’s what Todd Hansen was talking about in his recent Blog. See Grapevine Gratitude. I won’t repeat all he most eloquently said – but God calls us to be “abiders”.

That part is true but that’s not what I sensed God nudging me towards.

I’ve been hanging out in John 15:1-17 this fall as we were preparing for the Worship Night that happened in November. For many years these verses have shaped and molded me as I’ve gained deeper levels of understanding; mostly that I need to stick to the basics and take it one day at a time.

Todd moved from abiding in his blog to one of the primary purposes of abiding which Jesus describes in verse 11: "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full."

What!? Really!? Well…..thank you, God. That’s what you want for us!?

Hang on. I still want to tell you what I heard. It’s pretty straightforward. But, as inherently self-centered human beings, unnatural.

 If it were just COVID crazy this year I think I would have been fine.

But…and I’m not looking for sympathy here…but it’s what happened…my wife had a fairly significant surgery earlier this year that came up unexpectedly. Unfortunately, the healing process and ability to regain her strength has lingered far beyond what was expected. I won’t lie. It’s not been fun. It’s been a stretch on our family this year while Momma, who is also our homeschool teacher, makes it happen and pushes on (and doing a great job at it I might add – I love you Angie). 

I don’t write this for you to feel sorry for us. That’s not the point.

I’m writing this because many of you reading this know what real trial means and need to know God’s love and caring grace right now. God will meet you in your circumstance. 

I’m writing this because many of you reading this know what real trial means and need to know God’s love and caring grace right now. God will meet you in your circumstance. 

What I heard…what I sensed God nudging me toward in that time of prayer was this….

That whatever the circumstances, we would wear joy well this season….to speak life on our…

  • Faces
  • Countenance
  • Keenly in our words
  • That joy would be on the tip of our tongues. 

Jesus is saying in this verse that we cannot have His joy without His life flowing through us. And the way to do that is to abide in Him. I like how Andrew Murray, the late 19th Century pastor said it. “All healthy life is a thing of joy and beauty; live undividedly the branch life; you will have His joy in full measure.” Our only hope to live a life of joy in the midst of hard circumstances is to live it with Christ’s life-giving sap flowing through us as a branch of the vine.

“All healthy life is a thing of joy and beauty; live undividedly the branch life; you will have His joy in full measure.” -Andrew Murray

That’s it. Told you it was pretty straightforward. (And refer back to Todd’s blog. He is the master of eloquence.) But as selfish human beings it’s something that sin has not made natural for us. We’ve been given something unbelievably unspeakable. The God of the universe actually wants our joy to be full. He knows it’s not easy. He knows life isn’t working out to our standards of perfection. But what do we have to complain about? He’s given us eternal life that he had no obligation to give us. But we got it, didn’t we? And not just that. He gave us an opportunity as grafted-in branches to experience the fullness of abiding in him as we work out practical ways to actually trust and obey Him. 

By the way…my wife is a trooper. She more naturally wears joy on her countenance than I do. She laughs and is joyful (although she does have other moments 

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