Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Joy of Knowing God

In the churches I was raised in, God didn't seem very fun. In fact, He seemed down right boring. That isn't to say I didn't love the Lord, but my picture of God was the Church... and those were shattered images of the reflection of Christ that churches are called to be. Just for reference purposes: hymnals being sung in a monotone voice were our "worship", the sermon rarely applied to anyone, and the part I looked forward to the most was coloring in the program.. It wasn't until I started encountering the person of God, Himself that I started to realize the absolute joy of knowing God. In his book The Ecstasy of Loving God, John Crowder states:
The problem is not that our feelings are invalid in the Christian walk.  The problem is they are too limited to fully experience God.  The love of God is so huge and intense that when He begins to pour over us, it is like plugging a million-volt charge into a five-vole fuse. 
Try to deny it if you will, but laughter is absolutely of the Lord.  His will does not prescribe a life of devotion void of experiencing His joy.  Psalms 2:2-4 pictures God as laughing in mockery at the enemy.  The foolishness of the devil and man to suggest that anything contrary to God's will be performed is simply humorous.  I have actually been told that someone thought I was a pimp, selling prostitutes, and that the person wanted to kill me... and I laughed like crazy.  The notion was so ludicrous that I couldn't possibly take it seriously (the individual was under serious demonic oppression and hallucinating as the result of a drug addiction).  I knew at that moment, that the enemy had intended to cause fear in me and that is contrary to the Spirit of God (2 Tim 1:7).  Laughter is actually a spiritual weapon!

I'm going to go ahead and confess that I have experienced the controversial Charismatic event called "holy laughter".  Several times at conferences (and now on my own... at home... at will) I have been caught into these joyful fits of laughter that uplifts my spirit and releases joy into situations and places.  I can't exactly explain it other than "once you start you can't stop", but really... who would want to?  There is not a Biblical example of this sort of laughter, but the necessity of joy (which the laughter demonstrates) is essential for us to respond to trials.  James 1:2 states, " Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds".  I've found that as my confidence in God has grown, the size of many trials have diminished in my eyes as I've grown in witnessing God's deliverance.  No matter the trial I know God's deliverance is coming (Ps 37:13).  Remember, the enemy has no authority anymore... he requires our agreement to be empowered.  Instead of agreeing with his intentions, next time the enemy tries to distract you with a lie, a trick, a trial or temptation... try laughing... you'll be amazed at the results.

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