Almost incredibly, I was in the midst of composing a blog last week and thought it to be deleted. ("Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid") I assumed it was not the "appointed time for it. After abandoning it for a while, I came upon it today. I felt to just take a portion of it and concentrate on JOY for the time being.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice
A few years ago, the Lord caused me to understand that his instructions are not "suggestions" or "recommendations". In a time of casual private prayer, and I say casual prayer because I was not praying about something that I thought I was overly concerned about - I sensed Him adamantly reply, "I said keep your joy!" I was shocked at the firmness I sensed from Him. I found myself saying, Yes Lord! Im sorry, Lord! Later as I thought about the situation, I thought, Wow! I didnt know it was that serious."
He was referring to a word of knowledge that he had sent to me during a previous time of interceding for someone. I was unaware of any unnecessary concern, only thought it good to ask for intercessors to stand with me on her behalf during the altar time at church. During prayer for the individual, the word came through an intercessor that God was also concerned about me and that I should keep my joy.
Two lessons from this. One that only just now occurs to me.
1) When we go to the Father in prayer (especially with elders agreeing) He takes it very seriously!
Maybe that's why he says fervent prayer avails much, huh?
2) As He listens to our request, He sees the heart of the requestor. He is concerned for the one who intercedes as well as the one who is being prayed for. He knows any repercussions from the devil you might have to deal with as you standing in the gap for the oppressed. Even when you don't sense any chance of it diminishing, He knows the dangers of your losing your joy!
"The Joy the the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10