In their excitement, people do some really over-the-top things at athletic events. Think about it:
- They make and raise huge signs (to be seen on TV?) – blocking the view for people behind them.
- They mysteriously show up in the same color or wear “costumes” to identify with their team (some better left to Halloween).
- They raise their hands together and do “the wave.”
- They show their support for their team with yells and mantras – “We will, we will Rock you!”
- They aren’t afraid to taunt the other team … or the refs.
- With passion for their team, they shell out money for symbols of their support (like giant foam fingers).
- They get crazy about their team … and nobody thinks they’re weird!
I wondered recently, why don’t Christians show similar excitement about Jesus?
In all fairness, we do sometimes.
In September I attended an Air 1 tour concert. The music and lights, the crowd’s enthusiasm … it wasn’t hard to be carried along in the musicians’ high praise to the Lord of Heaven!
People got into the music, their hands swaying back and forth overhead. (A Christian version of The Wave?) They shouted out responses at musicians’ cues. Many rushed to the lobby to purchase rainbow-colored lights (used like metronomes in the darkness, keeping in time with the beat). The excitement level in the auditorium was as high or higher than any ball game I’ve experienced!
I’m sure the room was filled with many kinds of people that night. Some were there just for the music. Some were there to experience an event. Others were there to worship, or hoping to connect with God in a new, fresh way.
It was a great, exciting night! But it was just one night. And I wondered the next day, how many are still excited to know the Lord as they go back home, or to school or work?
The Christian life isn’t a one-night, one-event, one-conference “high.”
The Christian life is joy filling the heart regardless of circumstances. It’s excitement about who Jesus is and what He has done for us. It’s faith and faithfulness, appreciating God’s goodness and grace. It’s abiding in Christ. It’s the outflow of the Spirit.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism says (answer #1) one of our main goals in life is to “enjoy” God forever. Maybe “enjoyment” is a better word than “excitement,” but anyone who’s been in love knows the two are linked.
Enjoying God doesn’t just happen. We have to know Him. We have to understand what He’s done for us. And to experience lasting joy, we have to hop on board with His plans for us.
Just as when we go to an athletic event, we have to “get excited” about Him and being on His team!
Here are some scriptures that speak to me about why I can enjoy God:
Psalm 16:5-11. . . . I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices. . . You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 144:15. Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall! Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!
Philippians 4:4. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
With that in mind, here are just 10 ways I’m nurturing my enjoyment of the Lord, which lead to greater excitement about Him.
- I seek His presence and read His love letter and guidebook (the Word).
- I spend time with others who love Him too, so we can enjoy Him together.
- I find new ways to appreciate Him – to praise and adore Him (singing, writing, etc.)
- I talk to Him about everything, because He is my Lord and my friend.
- I view my life as an adventure with Him, with opportunities to grow and serve.
- I cooperate with His work in my life, knowing I am becoming more like Jesus.
- I embrace the freedom I have through His grace and transformed thinking.
- I use the gifts He’s given me to make a difference in the world and for the Kingdom.
- I rejoice in His work in others’ lives, the progress I see as they trust Him and obey.
- I am amazed whenever I see His handiwork in creation.
How do you “enjoy” God? How do you build excitement in your life for Jesus and what He is doing in the world?
* I could not find the original source of the Viking Fan photo. If you know the source, please tell me so I can properly credit.
“Excited” Graphic adapted: Image courtesy of nenetus at FreeDigitalPhotos.net