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If I'm a Princess, Then Where is My Castle?

--the joy of the LORD is your strength—
Nehemiah 8:10

Castles are fascinating.  They are icons of majestic beauty and intrigue.   

Some very interesting facts about castles were gleaned while studying this concept of joy and strength being joined together.  Strength in Nehemiah 8:10 is the Hebrew word for “a fortified place, “fort” or “fortress”, “rock”, “a most stronghold”, a “defense”, and comes from another word which means to prevail and be strong.  Strength used here is not God’s ability given to me, it is a place, and God is that place.  Strength is a noun, as in stronghold or fortress.  A stronghold is that in which a person trusts (good or bad).  A stronghold is a refuge, to be too strong for, to protect, to be kept safe, to lift high (out of the pit).  When I joy in Him, He becomes my place of refuge and protection.  What a comfort!  Why would I ever want to leave my castle? To do so, leaves me fearful and vulnerable to attack.

Joy is the “how” that God is my Refuge, High Place, and Strong Tower.  Joy is not meant to be kept inside.  Joy is how I can laugh at my silly mistakes or at a good wholesome joke.  Joy is dancing in my heart in God’s Presence.  Joy is how I can lift my head high in the midst of oppression from persecutors of my faith.  Joy is how I can face the pressures and uncertainties of this life with a radiant countenance.  It is OK to smile and praise and laugh in the safety of my castle.

Lord, how can this be?  I don’t want to pretend joy and I don’t want these descriptions of You to just be words on a page.  May I believe Your Word in my heart.  You have given me the answer in the word “joy”.  Joy is the pinnacle of my faith.  As I call out to You my faith is activated.  When I walk out Truth in my daily activities, I will experience You in joy as a discipline I choose daily and even moment by moment.  When I choose to praise You in the storm, no matter what, I will be filled with joy—my strength!

Karen Sims

1 comment:

Debby Brasher said...

The title of this devotional definitely caught my attention! We know that we are children of the King but don't always remember that it's up to us whether we choose to live in the protection of the castle or not. Thanks, Karen for this reminder.