The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)
How do you view living in the Spirit? How do you view God? Do you think of a King who likes to have fun? Do you think of a Father who enjoys laughing with His children? Do you think of a Savior who is pleased when He sees His people loving and enjoying each other? I think for many of us it is easy to get caught up in the to do's of our faith and forget that we have a Creator who is, well... CREATIVE and GOOD. The Bible tells us that He made everything on this earth for us to enjoy within the healthy boundaries He set. I think it becomes habit for us to forget His gifts and instead, fall into the mindset that we must always be serious and never enjoy anything fun. That couldn't be further from the truth.
The fact of the matter is, God wants us to have fun. He wants us to have everything GOOD. He created us to smile and laugh and have joy for a reason. The old idea, "if it is fun, it must be a sin" is ridiculous. God wants us to LIVE! God wants us to LIVE ABUNDANTLY... today... now... in His presence... and FOREVER! Of course, He wants us to have fun - He invented it! It's "old ugly" that wants us to live miserably. The enemy wants us to be defeated and worn down. Ladies, that is not of the Lord! But sometimes we forget this and live so depressed and defeated for no reason except that it is how we associate surrendering to Jesus. How wrong. Our sacrifice to live and follow Him is to give us LIFE, not to take it away!!!
Some time ago, I was greatly intimidated by a legalistic environment of overbearing, hypocritical "Christians" who were more concerned about their many religious regulations, rather than focusing on true salvation and the "why" and "how" we are to express our love to our merciful Redeemer and each other. They spent their time thinking up ways to impose strict (and frankly, weird) cult-like parameters to dictate their authority over those under their leadership. Without going into detail, it is safe to say - their views were unhealthy, abusive and very much unbiblical. How sad. Although at the time, I strongly suspected something wasn't quite right with their methods, I was too young (and too naive a follower) to know better. Thankfully, later God gave me the courage to face such giants, showing me that their control issues stemmed from fear and insecurities that were not of my Lord. He taught me the truth about "how" and "why" He intends for me to live a certain, healthy way - - IN HIM. This life-changing, life-giving lesson provided me the FREEDOM that Christ promised and now I AM NEW... and loving every minute of it!
In Galatians 5:22-23, we are told that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. In addition, we read in Philippians, "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:8-9)
I don't know about you, but that really opens up a lot of things to which I am able to enjoy and have fun with and still live a life obedient and pleasing to my King. There are so many ways to experience joy and bring excitement (and sometimes a little dose of silliness) into our lives... and, all the while living a life in dedication to our gracious Master. Ladies, we are not supposed to live lives that block us into fear, failure, disappointment, or boredom. No! We are to live abundantly and look forward to our future in heaven with a joyous heart of worship for our Savior! BOO YA, Satan! Time for you to get lost! In Jesus Name - we are here to stand firm in our LOVE while living LIFE!!! Now that's FUN!
Read some verses with me...
"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come." (Proverbs 31:25)
To everything there is a season... "a time to laugh" and "a time to dance." (Ecclesiastes 3:4)
"But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds - His name is the Lord - and rejoice before Him." (Psalms 68:3-4) (Authors Note: God is so cool... riding on clouds!!! Yea!)
"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil - this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it." (Ecclesiastes 3:11-14)
"When times are good, be happy." (Ecclesiastes 7:14a)
"Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise." (James 5:13b)
"Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with tambourine and harp." (Psalms 149:3)
In retrospect, I am saddened for the leaders I once knew in my earlier years. I'm sad because I don't think they will ever know the joy and freedom that truly comes from loving God with all your heart. No longer do I worry about limitations and controling statements such as, "You can't do this or that..." "You must be this or that..." No. I now know that I can dress any way I wish. I can eat anything and do anything I want. I can sing anything, watch anything, listen to anything... my only parameter is that I always follow God's perfect, life-giving Word - doing everything in moderation and with a heart that is pleasing to my Lord. I am not bound by anything of this world. The only thing I am bound by is LOVE! How wonderful it is to be that FREE in my Savior's care. In Him, I can relax and LIVE LIVE LIVE!!!
So ladies, go ahead... have a private concert and sing in the shower at the top of your lungs! Do cartwheels and somersaults in a field while barefoot! Jam out and beat those air drums to a joyful noise honoring His name! Dance on your tip-toes while cooking dinner for your family. Create, dream, laugh and twirl... ENJOY YOUR LIFE AND HAVE FUN!!! God wants us to digest great books. He wants us to enjoy exciting football games. He wants us to have fulfilling sex with our husbands. He wants us to eat and drink delectable foods. He wants us to travel and meet people and enjoy all sorts of experiences. He wants us to breathe in the ocean air. He wants us to smell the roses. He wants us to smooch babies and snuggle with puppies. He wants us to feel pretty and precious and beautiful. He delights when we delight. He sings when we sing. He rejoices when we rejoice.
God has lovingly given us His most healthy command ever... to live our lives in love with Him and share that love with others. Let's face it, there is nothing more fun than LOVE!!!!
We need to get out of this mindset that God is sooooo rigid, and in order to follow Him we must surrender our sense of humor. Ladies, God is in control of all things, yes... but that doesn't mean God isn't fun!!! HE MADE FUN!!! He is ready to spoil us rotten with unmatched grace and a bounty of blessings. He is Ruler of everything we know, and He enjoys and loves His creation. We see pieces of His greatness everywhere on earth. Just look around and enjoy the intricacies of a leaf... or the playfulness of an otter! (Don't even get me giggling about the platypus!!!)
Let's take our Master up on this "living abundantly" promise and HAVE SOME FUN LIVING IN JESUS NAME!!! Now, go out there and enjoy your day!!! LIVE in the Spirit!!! WOO HOO and HALLELUJAH!!!
"Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord." (Psalms 150:1-6)
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