Why do we show up to the party and refuse to dance? Glennon Doyle Melton, author of the NYT Bestselling Carry On, Warrior and founder of Momastery.com, encourages us to accept God's greatest invitation and finally start enjoying the party.
This weekend we discovered that Joy is at the heart of God’s plan for human beings. On the night before he died, in his very last discourse with his disciples Jesus is continually saying, “I have a joy to give you” (John 15-17). The problem with people, according to Jesus, is not that we are too happy for God’s taste, but that we are not happy enough.
In fact, joy is at the heart of what it means to become a Christian. Some will say essence of becoming a Christian is believing Jesus is the Son of God, believing he died on the cross and believing he rose from the dead. But the Bible tells us that even the demons believe that and shutter with terror (James 2v19). The difference between a Christian and a devil is not knowledge or belief - it’s joy! At the very essence of faith there has to be this kernel of joy. A stirring at the very center of your soul.
Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! - Philippians 4v4
The Bible puts joy in the nonoptional category. Joy is a command and therefore joylessness is a serious sin. And, by the way, one that religious people are particularly prone to indulge in. It may be the sin most readily tolerated by the church. It is rarely the object of church discipline and televangelists never get canceled for displaying too much joylessness.
But how much damage have joyless Christians done to the cause of Christ? How often have people misunderstood God because they attributed to him the grim, judgmental and defensive spirit of many who claim to be his followers?
People who want to pursue his joy need to practice the discipline of celebration. This is a primary reason that we see much emphasis placed on feast days in the Old Testament. Times of feasting were transforming experiences — just as times of meditating or fasting were.
Celebration generally involves activities that bring pleasure— gathering with people we love, eating and drinking, singing and dancing. Spiritual celebration means doing them while reflecting on the wonderful God who has given us such wonderful gifts.
A Joyful Life | John 16v16-22
July 26, 2015