Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Cosmic Killjoy??

God has taken lots of bad raps throughout history. He has been labelled and ridiculed as being unfair, bizarre, foolish, preposterous and ludicrous.

He has been assumed to be conceited, egotistical, imperious, lofty and even narcissistic.

Yet, I reckon one the most unfair assumptions of our Almighty Father is that He is some sort of "comic killjoy' sitting up on his towering throne high above the heavens - throwing lightening bolts at us when we dare step out of line!

Daring us to make mistakes, laugh or even giggle. Just waiting for us to make a snicker and then pouncing on us with condemnation and damnation.

Heaps of people think that God is anti-fun and they think the Bible is just one big rule book - where we have to be super religious, pious ecclesiastical and sanctimonious. That is just so far from the truth.

God is far removed from what we may envision as the grimacing judge of the universe banging His holy gavel, pointing out our faults and stifling any sense of joy in our lives. So sad and so unbiblical.

On the contrary God is far from a cold, disagreeable grouch, instead He is the very one who restores us to Himself and gives us pure joy - a joy unknown to most of us.

Jesus came and people flocked to see Him - children came to Him voluntarily - That alone tells us what sort of man He was - If He was a grouch would children come to Him - hardly!

John 10:10 tells us that Jesus said that He came to give us life and life to the fullest - not a life of drudgery, rule keeping and religiosity.

Of course it certainly doesn't mean that we will have a life free from trials, strife and struggles, BUT what it does mean that deep down we have a sense of peace and yes! even joy knowing that He is with us - every inch of the way - guiding us as we follow Him.

We sometimes get the idea that being 'joyful' in a Christian sense only relates to meditating, serving in church and reading the Bible, which does and can of course give us joy, but joy is not exclusively found in these and these alone for us.

God created us us to experience recreation. He delights in us experiencing fellowship with others, using our gifts He gave us to enjoy sports and creativity etc.

Our main aim here on earth is to glorify God but also to enjoy and appreciate His marvelous creation.

On saying that, we must take great care not to make an idol of pleasure. We can so easily fall for the trap of making idols of all sorts of things in our lives and certain pleasures can become addictive.

The very sad truth is that we live in a world where pleasure itself has become a god to worship it has become perverted and so what God intended us to enjoy has become our master.

There are many 'pleasures' that the world deems as 'legal' and yet God sees them is sin. Drunkenness, adultery, pornography in fact anything that takes us away from Him and onto our 'idol', whatever that may be, God will not condone nor tolerate.

These 'pleasures' are wrong and will certainly not produce long-term joy. They are seasonal and will not bring lasting happiness or joy.

So rather than killing fun or becoming the 'fun Police', God is actually protecting us by giving us boundaries much the same way as we give our own children boundaries that will ultimately only benefit them.

Our lives in Christ have such a deep deep meaning. Jesus paid such a HUGE price for our salvation that we must be careful to give Him utmost respect and reverence. We were created to delight in God and to enjoy His creation BUT we must not consider life to be joyride either.

We can have fun, joy and happiness; appreciating all the great and good things he has given us to enjoy, BUT our focus has to remain on Him the Creator of the gift not just the gift itself.

So, is God a killjoy? Short answer - NO! He is the creator of joy; The Holy Spirit that He gives us at salvation produces joy in our lives and contentment in our souls whatever we are going through at the time.

Psalm 16:11 says "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

The world promises a temporary joy at best and often with long-term consequences; God on the other hand offers full time and long-lasting joy no matter what life dishes out to us.

Enjoy His marvelous creation. Maybe we can call or get together with a friend who is going through a rough time and encourage them to find joy in Christ - a long-lasting and fulfilling real joy.

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