In John 3, John the Baptist referred to himself as the “friend of the Bridegroom” and then described that position as one”who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice.” In all of John’s life there was something that he sought for. It was not attention, it was not power, it was not acceptance. In many ways it seems that even John was not sure what he was seeking after until he found it, until Jesus came to be baptized. In a moment John found his joy, found his purpose and found his fulfillment. He declares that it is the voice, the presence, the relationship with the bridegroom that fulfilled and completed the joy of his life.

Many of us are searching for purpose, for mission and for a message to change our lives. While all of these things are useful, they pale in comparison to the sound of the voice of the One who loves us with an everlasting love. What set John apart was that he was not chasing after a mission, he was waiting patiently and obediently for the voice of God. I believe that is what sets us all apart. This life is not about missions and purpose, it is about a divinely inspired relationship with the Living God. From that relationship, from the voice if you will, flows things like purpose and mission but without the voice those things become mere attempts at finding joy.

I believe a friend of the bridegroom is one that chooses to find the joy of life in the voice of God. I ask today, what makes you rejoice? When 70 disciples returned to Jesus after being sent out they rejoiced because they had had authority over demons in Jesus’ name. Jesus gave a bit of a rebuke and told them, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” The joy of our lives can never be tied to our circumstances for they are destined to change, our joy must be found in the presence of God, the perfect, unchanging, everlasting love that is determined by His character and not our feelings or understanding. Again, what makes you rejoice? Where is your joy found? I pray today that we will love Jesus with a love that makes us long for His presence so that our joy might be fulfilled, like John’s, when Jesus speaks.