(The following is an excerpt from Jon’s book, “Seek My Face: A Guide to Praying Through the Judgments of the Lord”  available at AMAZON.)
“Rejoice with trembling.” (Psalm 2:11)
This straightforward charge is the most indispensable of phrases in the Lord’s prescription. The Hebrew word for rejoice is GHEEL It has a 3-fold meaning: It means to REJOICE, to REPENT, and to EXALT.
GHEEL entails a command to shout for joy with trembling. Our glorious Bridegroom, Jesus, is coming! He is the perfect leader our hearts have always longed for. He is majestic in His beauty and more radiant, holy, mighty, and “other” than our senses can bear. We are filled with exhilaration at Who He is. But we, like John (Revelation 1:17), fall at His feet like dead men because of the density of His glory. If our hearts do not rejoice, they will flee from the presence of this One.
There is an hour coming when it will be supremely wise to have cultivated joy-filled confidence in His goodness. We will have great need of this joy to carry us through the judgments that are coming. The ability to rejoice in Him will protect our hearts so that we remain faithful to Him through all the shaking and purifying fires that will come with transitioning from this age to the next.
Paul points us to the wisdom of having gheel in our spirits in 2 Timothy 4:8 Finally there is a crown of righteousness reserved for me. The Lord, the righteous Judge, will award it to me in that Day, and not to me only, but also to all who love His appearing. The ability to rejoice in that Day is a muscle that each of us needs to develop today.
A rejoicing Bride, steeped in first-commandment-love, is also the great promise that the Father and the Holy Spirit have made to the Son. (Deuteronomy 20:6)
GHEEL also points us to a type of repentance borne from the revelation of the Son, Himself. As we noted earlier, the most sufficient enticement into repentance is the beauty of Jesus. Every bit of repentance empties into His increase. The longer we prayed in 2020, the clearer it became that the Lord intends to release viral repentance on the earth that flows out of a viral revelation of Jesus’ beauty.
Ultimately, this spirit of repentance brings us to our cross. The crucified life is our spiritual worship. As we relinquish ourselves to Him, we also tremble at the realization that He has done the same for us. The act of laying our lives down for Him is what this arriving King is due. It is loving Him in the same manner as He has loved us first. (1 John 4:19)
GHEEL also urges all of humanity to Be still and know that I Am God. I WILL be EXALTED among the nations. (Psalm 46:10)
The fact of the matter is, nothing will deter the increase of the Son and His inheritance of this world. On the (Joel 3:9-14) Day of decision, the Father and all of heaven will exalt His Son. It is profoundly judicious for us to use times of shaking, like 2020, to acclimate ourselves to that reality. Our world is a part of a Divine storyline with a foreordained timetable. The age of the curse under the control of the evil one is passing away (1 John 2:17). The age of blessing under the reign of God’s Son will soon be fully here.
The Lord is fashioning a people who understand this “transfer of power”, who agree with the Father’s wise selection, and will herald the unique sufficiency of the One Who is coming to rule the nations. He is the ideal lover of every human heart. But He is also the only judge who is qualified to separate love from that which corrupts love. Exalting Him today as just and true and righteous (Revelation 16:7) is our RSVP to His inauguration over the governments of this world.
Come. Let us EXALT His Name together. (Psalm 34:3)
Finally, we GHEEL with TREMBLING.
The word trembling evokes a profound awareness that the One Who is coming to reign is Someone Who is quite different extraordinary, unparalleled and peerless. While He is now in human form, it was His holy decision to be so. It was a decision that none of us would have made. He is very much not like us. And it is only by His patient benevolence that we come forth from this age, as John observes: like Him. (1 John 3:2)
He alone possesses a perfect heart. He alone offered a selfless sacrifice. He alone is the Man of the Father’s choosing. He alone dwells and lives and thinks in perfect righteousness. He alone possesses the capacity to have shepherded us perfectly. He alone is the exact representation of the Father on earth. He alone can take the scroll (Revelation 5:9), the title deed to the earth.
Before Him all heaven is silent. He is the incarnation of pure power, might, majesty, wisdom and holy love. He alone is our joy, and the One Whom we singularly exalt.
Although it is quite rare in our generation, it is absolutely wise to allow ourselves to be overtaken by a sanctified fear of His otherness. Indeed, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Cultivating a fear of the Lord today will stimulate a weighty joy, repentance and exaltation that will anchor our hearts through the extreme social, emotional, mental, physical and spiritual upheaval that is to come.