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"Prep for Joy!"

A couple of weeks ago, just as I was about to dash out the door for our Sunday services, I heard the Lord say, "Prep for Joy!" As I was in a hurry, I mentally tucked the phrase away and headed to church. Since that time, I have pondered, prayed and listened in to the Lord's heart on this unusual statement and am sharing with you what I have heard.

I believe an unexplainable JOY is being released and continues to be released for those who are willing to step in and receive what God is pouring out in this hour. There is an intentionality about stepping into the things that Father has prepared for us, and this is no different. We are to intentionally step into JOY in this season. Part of that intentionality has to do with setting our hearts to be expectant and open to receive.

Tears and laughter will flow at the same time as therapeutic JOY washes away the trauma from the present and former seasons. "Therapeutic" in the Free Dictionary means, "Having or exhibiting healing powers...". We know that laughter is healing to us in many ways. Proverbs 17:22 says, "A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones."

As we embrace and receive His outpouring of JOY, we will find it is like medicine to our body, soul, and spirit. We sometimes think of medicine as difficult to take, or unpleasant, but this medicine of JOY is going to be so very satisfying, and very pleasant.

In the coming days, many are going to begin to experience what can only be described as "effervescent joy" as it will just bubble up unexpectedly. These deep encounters with the Spirit of Joy are going to occur for many who are wiling to come as a child. There will be a necessary lowering of the guard for some who have built walls of self-protection around their hearts. As these grab hold of faith, they can step into this new realm of JOY that is waiting for them.

Self-protection and self-preservation are going to fall off in these encounters with JOY. In these encounters, hearts are going to AWAKEN to the Father's fierce love as mentioned in Zephaniah 3:17, "The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy."

I've been pondering why the Father would choose to speak the particular words, "Prep for Joy!" ? We have our two grandchildren, ages 2 and 4 staying with us for a visit right now. I've noticed that as adults we all enjoy "prepping" them for whatever the next fun event might happen to be. We prepare them to be expectant and watchful and in doing this we build excitement and actually heighten the value in their hearts for whatever the event is.

I believe Father wants us to be excited and expectant about the JOY He is releasing. Even more than that, I believe He wants us to value His JOY greatly. It would be so easy to dismiss it as foolish or unimportant or not as valuable as other gifts He might give to us. But, I sense that the opposite is true. The encounters with JOY that are coming are going to bring powerful deliverance to many. Shackles of fear, depression, worry, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and anger are going to fall off as the Spirit of JOY comes to bring deep healing and freedom to those trapped in the enemy's web of darkness.

Jesus is releasing the reality of Isaiah 61:3 when it says He will "bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." He is taking our ashes, our mourning, and our despair and exchanging them for His beauty, His oil of joy and His garment of praise.

This Divine exchange is God's brilliant pathway into transformation. He frees and delivers us by anointing us with His oil of JOY so that we then become His oaks of righteousness for the very purpose of displaying His splendor. (Isa. 61:3b) Now His therapeutic, effervescent JOY will run deep in His transformed ones moving them from transformation to reformation.

Father, we come as children to you, our good, and generous Father. We ask for grace to intentionally step into the JOY that you are releasing and pouring out in this hour. We receive the healing and freedom from fear, depression, worry, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and trauma of every kind. Wash away the disappointment and pain of this difficult season and renew our spirits as you baptize us in your joy unspeakable. We thank you that in your joy we find strength.

"You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Psalm 16:11

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