What a prospect for a new year—fresh joy! Isaiah 29:19 declares, "The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord." The idea is that the humble will be filled with fresh joy from the Lord. With the prospect of a fresh year, I want that fresh joy! I'm assuming you do as well.
The meek, the humble ones, understand their complete need of God for everything and in everything. Their humility is honesty that leads to faith. Often beginning with brokenness over sin, the humble are honest about anything that grieves the Spirit. This involves owning or confessing specific sins with appropriate transparency to the proper extent. Remember, that work which Jesus accomplished to pay the penalty for sin is nothing God has called us to redo. In humility, we are to rely on it, reach out in faith, and take what He has graciously offered—the cleansing and clearing of the conscience.
But humility is more than walking in the light to restore fellowship with God. Humility understands the deviousness and the ultimate futility of the self-life.
Self-will can only hinder one's walk with God. Self-dependence saps power for victorious living. The humble are honest about the vanity of it all and see beyond the deception. They forgo taking the lead down paths of their choosing and yield instead to being led, drawn by the Spirit to embrace the will of their Lord. They forsake their strength and find through faith a power in Him that changes lives.
To exchange your will for the will of another takes humility. To exchange your strength for the strength of another takes humility. In both cases, this is a matter of faith—honesty that leads to faith. Brutal honesty about our insufficiency leads to God-dependence for His all-sufficiency. Here it is that honesty and faith move beyond walking in the light to walking in the Spirit.
This life of humble God-dependence allows you to be filled with God, filled with the Spirit. When you are filled, the fruit of the Spirit is...joy. The humble will be filled with fresh joy from the Lord, because the humble are restored to the joy of God's salvation. Since Christ Himself is our salvation, the humble are restored to unhindered fellowship with the Lord Jesus. The joy which flows is a matter of experiencing Jesus.
As we begin a new year, will we take hold of this wonderful promise? Let's get honest about anything that is grieving the Spirit. Let's reject all self-will and self-dependence and yield to the will and power of God. Let's let honesty lead us to faith. For the humble will be filled with fresh joy from the Lord.
John Van Gelderen is an evangelist and the president of Revival Focus Ministries, an organization for the cause of revival in hearts, homes, churches, and beyond, and for evangelizing. He blogs on experiencing Jesus at http://revivalfocus.org