There’s an old kids’ song that says, “Joy is the flag flown high from the castle of my heart.” It ends with “…because the King is in residence there.” I love the imagery, don’t you? Flags, of course, can be used as “symbols or signals.” It fits with the song, doesn’t it? But no matter the reason, each flag is unique, an inspirational combination of colors and patterns that marks its identity.
As Pastor Sean told us on Sunday, we all have come up against “joy busters” – those things that pull our flag of joy down off its pole. He listed unrealistic or unsatisfied expectations, unresolved conflict, and unconfessed sin. The reality is it’s easy to become entrapped and focused on what isn’t working well in our lives, isn’t it? Replacing false narratives with God’s Word takes time and intentionality. But there’s good news – the Holy Spirit is our Helper!
In the 5th chapter of Galatians the Apostle Paul talks about the battle that wages war in us: the sinful nature vs. the Spirit of God. Those who “live in the Spirit keep in step with the Spirit,” he says (Gal 5:25). Easier said than done, right? But he also points out the “fruit of the Spirit” (vs. 22) – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. They are part of our new identity in Christ, a manifestation of His character in us. Bearing fruit that reflects God’s character is something we do because of what Christ has done for us.
What symbol is on your flag today? If it’s not joy, is the King in residence or are you fighting for control of the castle? Our enemy is cunning, and he’s shrewd. But he’s no match for “the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony (Rev. 12:11). Confess victory today, my friend, over whatever joy buster is at your gate! And don’t miss the chance “to leap and spin around with pleasure.”