“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Ne 8:10 NIV
Ever notice when you’re hungry, everything on the menu looks good? Similarly, when your soul is dissatisfied, sin looks tempting. That’s why you must always be spiritually self-aware and monitor your level of soul satisfaction. On the dashboard of your car are lights that tell you how hot the engine is running or when you’re about to run out of oil. They’re sometimes referred to as “idiot lights,” because only an idiot would ignore them. The main light on the dashboard of your heart is your “soul-satisfaction” light. That’s why in the Bible there are so many Scriptures that call us to joy: “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” “You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Ps 16:11 NIV). “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Isa 12:3 NIV). “Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (Jn 16:24 NIV). So, why do otherwise intelligent people keep getting snared? Because when we’re dissatisfied with our lives, we’re vulnerable to temptation. And the deeper our level of discontent, the more susceptible we are. We were made for soul satisfaction; we can’t live without it. And if we don’t find it in our relationship with God, we will look for it in all the wrong places. Paul says, “The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Ro 14:17 NIV). Note the words “joy in the Holy Spirit.” The secret to joy lies in Spirit-directed living—it always has, and it always will.