Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Giddy With Joy in His Strength

The king shall have joy in Your strength, O LORD;
And in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!
You have given him his heart’s desire,
And have not withheld the request of his lips.
(Psalm 21:1-2)
In the first line of this psalm, consider the relationship between joy and strength:
The king shall have joy in Your strength, O LORD.
Now, compare it with Nehemiah 8:10:
The joy of the LORD is your strength.
Here we discover a wonderful reciprocal truth:
The joy of the LORD is your strength; the strength of the LORD is your joy!
[It is like what we saw in an earlier blog: Ordained Strength, Perfected Praise.]

The strength of the Lord is His power, the ability of God to do great and mighty things. We might think of the joy of the Lord as His goodness, His kindness — the willingness of God to show favor to His people and bless them. It is His will, His pleasure, His delight to do so. When I realize that God is ready, willing and able to bless me and show me good, that fills me with joy and gives me strength to keep going.

So who is this king who has joy in the Lord? Since David is the psalmwriter here, he is first talking about himself, but in the third person.

Second, it can apply equally well to any king who turns and trusts in the Lord; the strength of the Lord will be their joy and the joy of the Lord will be their strength. Now, the truth of Creation is that you and I were made to be kings of the earth; we were created in the image of God to represent God on the earth (see Kings of the World).

Ultimately, it applies to King Jesus Himself, who came to restore His kingdom, His domain, to righteousness. He came preaching that the kingdom of God is now here, demonstrating its power and presence by healing signs and miracles of deliverance. He taught us to pray, “Kingdom of God, come! Will of God be done on earth as it is in heaven!” After His death, burial and resurrection, He ascended to His throne at the right hand of the Father, where He rules and reigns forever. God also raised us up with Him, in the Spirit, and has seated us in Him in that place of ruling and reigning. His kingship restores our kingship.
And in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!
The word for “salvation” here is yeshuah, the name form of which is Yeshua, the Hebrew name for Jesus. Salvation, kingship and all the fullness of divinity and humanity are embodied in Jesus. No wonder there is gladness and joy for every king who understands this.
You have given him his heart’s desire,
And have not withheld the request of his lips.
God grants the heart’s desire of all who delight in Him (Psalm 37:4, see You Become Like What You Delight In). He did it for David. He certainly does it for Jesus; and He will do it for you, too. Jesus said,
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:12-14)

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. (John 15:16)

Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:23-24)
The Father does not deny the Son, and the Son has authorized all those who belong to Him to ask in His name. The assurance is that those who ask in His name will receive what they ask.

Now, asking in Jesus’ name is not about tacking on “in Jesus’ name” to the end of your prayers. It is not some kind of magic talisman. Nor is it about asking Jesus to pray to the Father for you. For He said,
In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say that I shall pray the Father for you; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. (John 16:26-27)
By His blood, shed on the cross, Jesus has reconciled to the Father all those who believe in Him. We do not need to ask Jesus; we can ask the Father directly, in the name of Jesus. That means we come to Him on the basis of what Jesus has done for us. To ask in Jesus’ name means to ask as Jesus would ask on our behalf. When we ask the Father in Jesus’ name, He has promised, “You will receive, that your joy may be full.” That brings us back around to the beginning of Psalm 21:
The king shall have joy in Your strength, O LORD;
And in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!
The word for “joy” means to be lighthearted and glad. The word for “rejoice” refers to giddy joy, one that whirls and twirls and spins with delight. That is fullness of joy.

Take your place of kingship in Jesus. Let the strength of the Lord be your joy, and the joy of the Lord be your strength. Delight in Him and ask of Him freely, in Jesus’ name. He will not withhold the request of your lips, but will give you your heart’s desire—that your joy may be full.