But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Everything is fighting for your worship. Many secular people do not like the idea of anybody telling them they worship something, but christians will usually admit that this is a centerpiece of their life, to the extent that they know to. The truth is that in the full sense of the word, everybody worships. We give our hearts, mind, and devotion, towards something. We may not always be singing while we do it, but that is just one aspect of worship.
We worship time. We worship the comfort of circumstances, the security that money brings, or the validation that any number of relationships bring. We submit to it. If it controls our emotions, and if it controls our peace, then we worship it. A good test to see if you have an idol in your life is to ask yourself honestly how would you react if you lost it.
We are prone to worship everything but God ever since Genesis 3 and the infamous Garden of Eden account. It is easy to worship what we see, and that was the appeal of physical statutes, idols, all throughout the Bible. God doesn’t accept that type of hollow worship though. He only accepts worship that comes through faith. Without faith in Christ, everything you do is sin (Rom. 14:23).
It is so easy to worship what you see. We have eyes right, why not let our security come from what they see, instead of belief in someone we can’t? Living by faith defies our sensibilities. Faith requires more than that. Real faith requires the object of our faith to be really capable of delivering.
Lets examine some of the things we worship. Do not most of those things change all the time? If you worship your time, either overtly or subtly, then whenever someone or something interrupts your schedule then you are angry. Whenever the dollars in your bank account are not the amount you determine to be sufficient, you worry. Those are just a few examples. We both know that the list could go on and on.
I think there is more depth to us as people than that. I think that the realization of the absence of joy in our life is an indicator you were made for it. If a car does not go until you put gas in it, you would determine that it needs gas and would fill your tank up. Why do we give ourselves a lower standard?
Maybe faith is what we were designed to have. Maybe what was really lost in the garden was more than just our place in an earthly paradise, but our trust in God. Maybe without trust work becomes toil, and pleasures become pain (Gen. 3:19).
Maybe there is a way to live above those circumstances. I believe we can. As a matter of fact, God invites us to see our lives from a higher perspective, and call us to him, where from his vantage point, everything but him diminishes in size (Rev. 4:1).
When we can learn to trust God despite our circumstances, we lose the sadistic grip of those false idols. We can have joy despite circumstances because our joy comes from him, not situations that can change in a moment’s notice, or without. If our joy comes by God’s Spirit, then you have learned to trust him.
If your circumstances aren’t naturally giving you joy, then consider it an invitation for supernatural joy. Its a joy that proceeds from above your circumstances and allows you to have joy in the midst of adversity. You will look foolish to those that only worship what their eyes see, but to the ones that are looking for real joy too, they will see it, and they will know that the possibility for them to live above their circumstances is there.
If you want joy to live above your situation, then learn to trust God. He has already made a good start in initiating that trusting relationship by sending his son to die on a cross so that you can have access to him, and the joy that he has as well (1 Corinthians 15:3).
When you trust in that work, then you can trust that his presence is enough, even when you cannot see your way out or forward through your circumstances. Your circumstances will change and you can bank on that, but with faith being the channel through which your worship occurs, then your joy does not have to.
Living Above Your Circumstances: Article by Chase O'Dell- Founder of Bridgeway Ministries