THE CELEBRATORY GOD

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

// Zephaniah 3:17

What does the Lord feel about you? How might you characterize His heart toward you? Is he sad, angry, and ashamed of you? Or does He smile at the thought of you, humming a tune that reminds Him of you? See, there’s a proverb that states, “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). We have two platforms of thinking in our lives: there’s the thinking we do with our heads, oriented toward logic; and then there’s heart-level thinking, much deeper and profound, oriented toward identity.

Our sense of identity corresponds to who we think ourselves to be. It’s like a tree: the trunk of our thought-life arises through our wills; the branches, with limbs and leaves and fruit, express our mental thinking; but the roots of this ‘identity tree’ are in our hearts. The trouble is that our lives are more like an orchard than just a singular tree, so we get a mix of different fruit trees growing in our lives, and not all of them are good. And most of the good trees are probably still immature.

So, what is the solution? Jesus is the Gardener in our hearts and He hums and sings to our orchard of heart-thoughts. He lives within us and rejoices over us, He quiets our hearts with His love, and belts out tunes very loudly in celebration of us. So, what if our day-in-day-out negative feelings about ourselves are like listening, consistently, to the wrong tune  a depressing, hopeless song of despair. What if it’s like having Kurt Cobain trapped in our orchard of life  and we are listening to him, instead of Pharrell Williams singing “Happy” in the other corner?

What if both the enemy and Jesus sing to us, about us, and we have a daily choice to make?  Whose song is on your heart’s iTunes playlist, on repeat? Maybe it’s time to delete some old stuff and to create a new playlist.


// Samuel Nicolosi