“The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Lk 10:17-20)
More than ten weeks ago I fell and broke my ankle. For all this time I could not attend the services in the church. I had to stay indoors and wait for my healing. I thank God that the Holy Spirit stayed with me day and night. He did not allow me to become bitter during this trial of faith. The Holy Spirit healed not only my body, but also, my soul and my spirit. One of the greatest lessons for me to learn is this: I can live without church but I cannot live without Jesus, my Savior and my Lord. This difficult lesson was needed because, by the grace of God, as a pastor, I had achieved a level of success in ministry. But there was a danger in this success. The flesh can become proud and take interest in the visible success of ministry, more than taking delight in the simple holy love for the Lord. What I am saying is this: you must love the Lord Jesus, His Person, more than you love serving Him in the ministry! Selah!
The Lord Jesus Christ sent seventy two of His disciples to do ministry in His name. They preached the Gospel, healed the sick and delivered the oppressed. They came back very excited with their success in ministry. It was the submission of the demons at the hearing of the name of Jesus that excited them the most. But the Lord did not join them in their joy. Why? Is happiness for successful ministry wrong? No! But the Lord desires that we should not miss our priorities. We should always remember the joy of our salvation; that our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Our joy should always be linked with our salvation and a promise of living eternally in heaven with Jesus! To be eternally one with Christ, the Hope of Glory, should be the root of all joy! This joy should not be replaced with another joy that comes from successful ministry, which is secondary!
Just like in marriage: the husband wants his wife to be happy just because they were once in love and they got married. This joy should be the foundation of their marriage. Other joys will follow later: having children, working together or buying a house. All these achievements should not replace the primary joy of just being happy one with another. The Lord told them that he saw the devil fall down from heaven. The devil became infatuated with his power and stopped loving God. He tempts us with doing the same. This is a warning to always examine the source of our joy as believers.
Please search your heart! If like Job, you lose all blessings and gifts, you lose your health, your money, your marriage, your privilege of going to church and doing ministry… if you lose all these… will you still be happy, just because of Jesus? Is Jesus truly enough for you? When you remember that Jesus died to save your soul is that enough to worship Him? These are very serious questions that most people do not ask on Facebook. But Facebook or not, you still need to examine your faith and the source of your joys.
This is my testimony, my treasure that I have re-discovered during this painful trial of faith: My Lord and my Savior Jesus Christ is enough for me! He is my true joy, my heavenly Bridegroom and my exceedingly high reward! In His presence nothing else matters! Singing: ‘Take the world but give me Jesus! I am satisfied! I am satisfied!’