“God celebrates. He invented delight, joy, and celebration.”1
This week’s spiritual discipline is “celebration”. When was the last time you actually celebrated something God has done on your behalf? When we celebrate, we become infused with joy.
God’s kind of joy.
Why We Can Celebrate –
It is a known truth that we can have troubles in this life, yet are still able to experience joy and peace that God provides.2 So what is this joy and excitement? Why is it so important? There are a few reasons why we can celebrate. Want a few to dwell on?
- He has given us life!3
- He has been orchestrated all the days of our lives.4
- Nothing escapes God’s attention, not even us.5
- He has come to seek and to save the lost.6
This is a short, but meaningful list, and I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet. Do you know that God is for you?7 This is why He has come. To redeem you. To be with you.8 This is the reason why we can celebrate. When we know why, we can really jump in and join God in His goodness and joy, by opening the door to an excited spirit that’s on fire for Him. When we choose to celebrate (joy, excitement, among other forms), we become closer to our Creator than we have ever been. It will build our faith and relationship with our Savior.
If we want to get closer to God, we need to start taking notice of His goodness and celebrate the work He is doing.
Its Benefits –
When we celebrate the truths found in God’s word, it will help us to draw closer to God and remember all the good things He has done for us. We will gain a spirit of celebration. Instead of a spirit of “woe-is-me”. The celebration doesn’t remove our circumstances. We will encounter things in our lives, hard things, but we need to remember the power of God – and just how mighty He is at work in our lives. We have so much to celebrate. Even David, as the king, just couldn’t contain his excitement for what God was doing in his midst.
“David danced before the Lord with all his might… So David and all the household of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.”9
We need this kind of joy. Where we can freely express our praise to the Father without fear or any concern for what others will do or say.10 We need to quit trying to swallow our deep desire to celebrate God’s work, and let the praises arise from our spirit. We need to remember the words of Apostle Paul, where God instructs to not grieve the Holy Spirit. It grieves the Holy Spirit when we are led to praise God, yet cease to give Him that authority in our lives.11
In Calhoun’s book, he notes that we need to “set [our] eyes on God as [we] celebrate, and forget how [we] look. God delights in all kinds of worship.”12 He’s right. We do need to place everything else aside, and make the spiritual discipline of celebration become a daily priority in our lives. Let’s celebrate what God is doing, like Moses and the Israelites did in Exodus 15!13
Where are you most prone to celebrate God? Alone? With others? In worship? In music? In nature?14
I encourage you to spend time in your spiritual-high-place, and just enjoy God’s sweet presence. Notice how He floods your spirit with joy, despite how things may be playing out in your life. Just enjoy Him. Express your joy to Him, and begin to ask how you can live a life of celebration. Unafraid celebration.
If you are accustomed to hiding your celebration, begin asking why. How has others’ disapproval affected how you express yourself in worship to God? The people closest to us, can lack understanding when we show expressions of celebration towards God. In 2 Samuel 6, David and his wife faced a disagreement as the result of her criticism of how he worshiped God.15 May we wisely remember that David is known as “a man after God’s own heart.”16 This is the kind of worship that pleases God.
A heart that praises God in the city streets oblivious to whose watching, is a heart that will praise Him in the quiet areas of their lives as well. It is a heart that seeks Him above all other pursuits. May we become people who lead our hearts into a deeper trusting relationship with our Redeemer, as we receive a flood of His Spirit’s presence in our lives.