May 31, 2012

The Joy of the Walk

Psalm 51

Restore to me the joy of your salvation …
—Psalm 51:12


The metallic, grinding sound was painful to hear. As I looked at my driving instructor, he stated flatly, “If it makes that kind of noise, something is wrong.” It should have been obvious. Even though I was just learning how to drive with a stick shift (manual transmission), I should have known that. The grinding noise indicated a problem.

In Psalm 51, the psalmist points out a nagging sound in his walk with God that indicated something was wrong. Sin in his life had caused disharmony with God—and, because of that, the joy of his salvation was lacking. The lack of joy is a grinding sound that indicates something is wrong.

When everything is working properly in a vehicle, there is a quiet, powerful rumbling of the engine that is not overwhelmed by grinding. When everything is harmonious in our walk with God, joy is present. That is the way it is supposed to be.

If our walk with God is cluttered with sin, joy will be lacking. If we believe our walk with God is something that we dutifully and begrudgingly approach by fulfilling legalistic obligations, joy will be lacking. The lack of joy is an indication that something is wrong.

God created us to know him and to enjoy his presence. When we develop habits that help us walk in step with God, we will know the joy of his presence.

Lord, let me know the joy of your presence, and allow me to revel in the wonder of your grace and love. Amen.

About the author — Bill Sytsma

Bill Sytsma is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary (M.Div) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min). He is the author of the book Follow the Leader and is serving as the pastor of New Life Christian Reformed Church in Highland, Indiana. He and his wife, Staci, have hosted support groups for families built through adoption. He and Staci are the proud parents of three active boys: Luke, Isaac, and Nico.

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