Whoops of Joy


By Ashley Denton
November/December 2012

IGNORANCE + ARROGANCE = MISERY
A RECIPE FOR MISERY FROM ROMANS 1 &
A REMEDY THROUGH WORSHIP IN THE WILDERNESS

When people deny God’s existence and rebel against submitting to life on God’s terms, the result is misery. The Apostle Paul lays out this simple principle in a “So you want it your way, fine, here ya go” kind of way:


The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20)

One of the reasons why I love wilderness leadership so much is that by taking people out into God’s creation, I know that I am leading people into an opportunity to experience freedom through exposure. We leave the city pridefully thinking we are the stuff. Yet after a short time in the wilderness, we are faced with our fragility, and those who are wise enough start begging their Maker for forgiveness and freedom from themselves. God has made his existence and character plain to us, and the design of His Creation wins every argument against any prideful arrogant soul. Those who are wise, when confronted with the message of the wilderness, agree to their need for the antidote of grace, and bow their knee to their Maker.

WILDERNESS OFFERS CREATIVITY THAT PUTS TO SHAME THE LYRICISTS OF OUR DAY

David was a young worshipful shepherd boy who was shaped by the wilderness. Instead of coiling in on himself in humanistic pride, David opened his heart in belief and worship toward the maker of the wilderness that continually awed his soul. And not only was he a humble shepherd, but he could also bust out a darn good rhyme—he puts to shame the shallow lyricists of our day:

"For the director of music. A psalm of David.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world."
(Psalm 19:1-4)

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WILDERNESS + WORSHIP = WHOOPS OF JOY

The Bible shows us the simple path toward joy. This path is worship. Time after time we see throughout the Scripture that the wide open spaces of God’s glorious Creation are meant to be cathedrals for worship. Listen to these grace-filled words about the spacious places God has made:

"He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food."  (Job 36:16)

"He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me." (Psalm 18:19)

"You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place." (Psalm 31:8)

 

 

 

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