?Or… Is it even permissible to be JOYFUL? Well, that simple question prompts many things to say and even more to think about. I feel unsettled today. You know the feeling of coming down from a JOY filled moment, after one looks upon you narrowly from partaking in a giggle or two. And I am frustrated with myself once again and must admit I let the enemy steal my JOY. Worse yet, I handed it right over to him… Sigh…
In the Word it says, “There is a time to laugh and a time to cry.” Which tells me, laughing in an appropriate way is permissible and even encouraged. Of course, this should never be at the expense of another through mocking or at lewd or vile topics, but harmless laughter in which the JOY of the Lord indwells within us, strengthens us to take another step with Him.
Am I even having this conversation right now? It must be of importance or otherwise why would the Lord wake me up so early after such a short time of rest? I was thinking about the stuff we do in the Name of the Lord and since it appears “holy” we do not blink an eye to proudly pronounce it in full declaration of self. The Word also tells us to, “Boast only upon the Lord.” And yet, we find great comfort in boasting on that which we do and do not do, touting on our personal religiosity. Who are we really to even say what is permissible and what is not, unless it is already written and even at that we had better make sure we are not judging someone for sinning differently than us, because in truth for every wrong doing we so easily recognize in another, we have at least 10 more which are unrecognizable in ourselves.
Newsflash ~ We are not the personal measuring rods for another person’s faith walk.
As a matter of fact, even having an intention to do so will cause us to be puffed up to the point no one will want to interact with us. It is so true that the higher we climb the harder we fall. And if I am honest, I do not even want to fellowship with those who are constantly scornful, peering at others with a crooked brow of disdain. These falls we succumb to are not only purposed, but required to keep us walking with the Lord in Spirit and truth, wearing humility as a crown.
Back to JOY?
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalm 100
I simply love this portion of the Scripture ~ Serve the Lord with gladness! It seems some of us, have checked our gladness at the door to the point we no longer have JOY and are becoming depleted of strength. Jesus contains all that we need, He completes us in ways no man can orchestrate or explain. Him, as our Source of JOY, will also produce the FRUIT OF JOY within us. Religion without JOY and LOVE and PEACE is just that… Religion. But, with Jesus we can go deeper, be fuller, find contentment, in which we lack for nothing, because He is our everything. For centuries this has confounded the wise and still does today. People often judge that what they do not understand and sadly, many religious people do not understand JOY because the narrow way they were taught is narrow mindedness. However, that truly is not what the Lord meant at all. He did not mean the narrow way was the rule way, He meant HE IS THE NARROW WAY few will find, because they are so caught up in earning salvation through doing this or not doing that, they missed the Savior of the World right before them… They missed the JOY OF THE LORD and just like the Saducees, who were sad because they could not see, so will we be if we cannot see Him either.
We are bombarded with the terrible atrocities we are faced with in the World each and everyday. And somewhere along the way, we have vacated a portion of Jesus, the portion of Him which infuses JOY into our lives. Today, He is calling us to step back into Him and out of the chaos and confusion of the World. To divinely receive fully all He has to offer, not as the World offers, which is temporary, but to drink of Him and never thirst again. It is my prayer, you will join me today on a quest for JOY, so we are no longer weighted down by the World, which in all actuality is a place we do not belong anyway. We are just passing through… May the JOY OF THE LORD be your strength from this day forward.
Smile… Jesus loves you!?
In His Love,
?Angela~Marked By Heaven