Pumping Joy Out of the Heavenly Places

Are you feeling a little spiritually dehydrated today? It’s audio devo day! I know Holy Spirit wants to wonderfully replenish you with His living waters of joy through today’s episode. So get ready to receive from His beautiful heart as you listen here:

(Encouraged by this? Know someone else that needs to hear this today? You can either share today’s blog link with them, or look up my Feeding on Jesus podcast for sharing and subscribing. You’ll find it on iTunesGoogle PodcastsStitcher, and most other podcast platforms, with episodes identical to these!)

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“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Isa. 12:3, ESV).

Holy Spirit is really all over this subject of joy. As I have continued to share with you on the subject, He recently gave me another dream about it. And yep, you guessed it. I’m going to share it with you… cuz it’s for you, too!

In the dream, I was a student at a university. The semester was almost over, and I was behind in class. I was feeling quite anxious about this. I approached the professor, whose name was Leticia. I wanted to ask her for a way to earn extra credit. The conversation turned into a discussion of a broken pump in the classroom. It urgently needing fixing. I had tried to use it to get myself a cup of water, and only a little water had trickled out. Distasteful particles floated in it, which Professor Leticia showed me by holding the cup up to the light. “You call that drinkable?” she asked pointedly.

As I found out afterwards, Leticia means “joy.” I had to smile at Holy Spirit when I discovered that bit of information. This topic again, eh, I remarked to Him cheerfully. As I wrote the dream down and processed it, He dropped this verse into my spirit:

“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Isa. 12:3, ESV).

So that’s what He meant by putting a water pump in the dream. A university classroom means He has me (and you) in a learning place. A water pump in this same classroom… Do you see the symbolism? He is our Professor of Joy, and He is taking us through a training course… to teach us to pump the living waters of joy from the wells of salvation!

But the pump was broken, urgently needing to be fixed. What does this mean? Probably that this is exactly the area of our lives that He wants to address right now. As portrayed by my pathetic cup of distasteful water, we His children have only been getting a little trickle of water that is not even fit to drink. This is not His will for us. He wants to give us unlimited draughts from His rivers of living water. He provided this dream, precisely because He intends to repair our capacity to drink deeply of joy.

Here’s what else He pointed out about the dream. A pump is an instrument that you use to intentionally extract water from a water source. The pumping is an activity. It requires dynamic initiative and action. The water does not simply jump up out of the well into our thirsty mouths. Here’s the Message’s rendering of this verse: “Joyfully you’ll pull up buckets of water from the wells of salvation.”

How does this apply to our lives? I believe He is gently nudging us in the direction of deliberately going after joy. It’s going to take some pumping action. It’s going to require some initiative and intentionality on our part. Think on this pertinent verse with me: “I will take joy in the God of my salvation” (Hab. 3:18, ESV).

“I will take joy.” See the purposefulness there? Habakkuk is expressing this same concept of pumping living water out of the heavenly places. In the same verse he says, “I will rejoice in the Lord.” See the connection there? We pump out the waters of joy when we choose to rejoice in the goodness of our God. Even when times are difficult, He is indescribably good. There is always reason to rejoice, simply because of who He is. And so, in His presence, there is always living water available for drawing out and drinking deeply.

If you are feeling dry today, you may need to “prime the pump” by intentionally thanking Him in the middle of your difficult circumstances. But you can do it! I vividly recall a season where I was longing for something precious I did not have. When I saw Facebook pictures of others enjoying this priceless commodity, a painful twinge went through my heart. On purpose, I would thank the Father for blessing those individuals in that special way. With tears in my eyes, I intentionally lifted up a sacrifice of thanksgiving for His goodness to them. I know that, through this, He was deepening my own capacity for joy. Since that time, He has greatly multiplied the fruit of His joy in my life.

Going back to Habakkuk’s story. If you read the preceding verses, you find that the prophet penned these words during a very dark time. In fact, he was asking God how long He was going to allow the suffering to continue. We can hear his angst in the opening chapter: “O Lord, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear?” (Hab 1:2, ESV). I bet you can relate to that. “How long, Oh Lord??” Haven’t we all asked that question of Him? And yet, Habakkuk concludes his thoughts about such painful adversity, by bursting into a song of rejoicing at the end of the book.

I bet he wasn’t feeling joyful. And yet he was determined to “take joy”…to rejoice wholeheartedly in the One who held his destiny in enormous, loving hands.

One more thought on that. Take a quick peek at the NKJV’s translation of this same verse from Habakkuk: “I will joy in the God of my salvation.” It’s a subtle difference, but do you see it there? Instead of the four words “I will take joy,” we simply have these three: “I will joy.” Joy itself now becomes a verb.

This is because joy is a verb. Joy is something that we do. Joy is something that we choose. Joy is something that we put into practice on purpose. Joy is a muscle that needs working out. The more reps, the stronger our joy power is going to get!

Habakkuk knew this. He exclaimed, “The Lord God is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places” (Hab. 3:19, NASB). He had discovered that purposefully joying in the God of His salvation was the way to strength. His God was going to meet him right there in his intentional rejoicing, and take him up to the “high places” in spirit. And He will do the same for you!

Let’s finish this up by pumping living waters out of a refreshing Scripture from 1 Thessalonians. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:16-18, NKJV). This is God’s will, you say? Why? Because He is demanding, unrealistic, expecting the impossible during incredibly stressful times to be alive?

No, precious child. It’s because He knows that this is the most amazing way to live. He knows that fixing your broken joy pump will result in a vibrant way of life for you. He knows that a heart that intentionally chooses thanksgiving and joy… is a heart where living waters never run dry. This, dear child, is what He longs to give to the ones He loves the most. And that’s you. You are the one He loves the most. You are His favorite.

In His presence is fullness of joy, dear one. There are unlimited reserves of living water available to you in Him. Draw it forth. Pump it out. Take joy. No matter what is happening around you, rejoice today in the God of your salvation!

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Have you experienced what Habakkuk describes — God meeting you in a dark moment as you purposefully praise Him, and lifting you up to a higher place?

20 thoughts on “Pumping Joy Out of the Heavenly Places

  1. Jenifer, Thank you for sharing your dream and starting my day off right. I was thinking yesterday to remind myself to be happy for everything in my life. I enjoyed listening. You are very inspirational. Take care.

    Like

  2. What a fantastic post! It is so relevant for these days! On one of my hardest emotional days after losing my son, I offered a sacrifice of praise hour after hour through pain and tears until that evening when it felt like heaven burst open and joy came rushing in. What a powerful weapon we have.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to write down my dreams. Some of them were quite hilarious. I once dreamed that I had somehow been turned into Paris Hilton (LOL!), but in the dream I was quite upset about this. I did not want to be her. I wanted to be me … Maybe that’s a good sign.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Intentionally feeling emotion is something I have only started doing recently. Before this I used to try and brute force my way into not feeling sad, or lonely, or frustrated. Since I have started turning these over to God I have been listening to how He is encouraging me to joy. To experience these valid emotions but not hold onto them. They are but one part of life, and God wants us to experience joy. God offers it, we have to choose to receive it.

    Thank you for your wonderful words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hamish, this insight is SO important for walking in joy! I rejoice with you in such an important step of learning to give space to your emotions and then release them. Reminds me of an old Margaret Becker lyric, “Touch them and let them go.” Thank you so much for sharing this. Grace, peace, and joy to you!

      Liked by 1 person

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