• Dr. Dan Haifley

Joy comes from cleaning up

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit with me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation...” Psalms 51:10-12

It is said of John Wesley in his later years that he was so full of joy that it was a pleasure to be around him. This is the same John Wesley that was so disciplined in his devotions that people began to say that his religion was a system of methods. Later, folks who would follow his teaching came to be called Methodists for this very reason.

Wesley’s life style seems to be at odds with the free– thinking society we live in today. Discipline does not seem to be the way to achieve joy. Isn’t discipline kind of like legalism? Freedom to do whatever I want is supposed to be the way to happiness.

There is a truth taught in the letter to the Ephesian church (Eph. 4:19) that a complete lack of self control leads to a lack of feeling. “Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness….” That big word that starts with an “l” actually means “no boundaries.” When someone has no boundaries they lose their feeling,

John Wesley, actually, discovered the timeless truth that walking close to God is freedom and does produce joy. David asked God to create in him a clean heart and restore his joy. A clean heart and joy go hand in hand.

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