When Did the Skipping Stop?

We often see children skipping as they play and move about.  This lightly jumping movement is an outward sign of joyfulness and exuberance in children and an action rarely seen in adults.  An adult not skipping has much to do with the limitations of an aging body or even the stigma of it being childish.  But, the same enthusiasm that drives children to skip is necessary for a Christian.  As adults, we must be joyous if we are to become part of God’s Family.

In the book of Psalms we get a picture of a servant of God whose heart was full of joy for God.  David exemplified this attitude in song, “Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises” (Psalm 98:4).  He also entreated those who know God to live and breathe with this same attitude, “Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:11). Because, as David was well aware, God’s Character is the essence of joyfulness, “Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound!  They walk, O LORD, in the light of Your countenance” (Psalm 89:15).

Why is this world so quickly falling into ruin?  Because joyfulness of the Truth has been replaced by satisfaction in lies.  Happiness is false and fleeting at best, if man seeks it without God.  The true joy of God, manifest in the brightness of His chosen people (see Matthew 5:16), holds back the darkness of Satan’s deceit. “Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joy and gladness of heart, for the abundance of everything, therefore you shall serve your enemies, whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in need of everything; and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you” (Deuteronomy 28:47-48).

The gauntlet is before our feet!  If we refuse to take it up, the light within us will extinguish.  As God’s people, we must stay committed to shining our lights with ever increasing brightness, especially as the world around us grows darker.  We must, as Paul stated to the Church at Philippi, “…become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ…” (Philippians 2:15-16).

At his greatest times, King David cared little for the cares of this world. He focused intently on the Joy found in serving the Eternal.  “Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, ‘How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!’ So David said to Michal, ‘It was before the LORD, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel. Therefore I will play music before the LORD’” (2 Samuel 6:20-21).  As we examine our hearts during this Passover season, let’s not forget the joy we felt as new babes in Christ.  It’s that excitement for God’s Truth that will enable us to finish this race.

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