Of course not! I bet you’re reading this website thinking, “why on earth would a pastor post this on his website?!” Well, the reason I’m doing it is because some people have perverse thinking when it comes to having fun and enjoying themselves in the context of religion or Christianity. People sometimes feel guilty or think God is mad at them when they enjoy themselves. This is a lie of the enemy.
What do you do for fun, Pastor Carl?
I read, cycle, play golf, tennis, exercise, watch a movie, or go for a walk. It is important to have balance in life and the soul, spirit and body need to be exercised, replenished and rested.
The word ‘fun’ is not in the Bible. Don’t try; I already looked it up, but the word that closest resembles it is “joy.” The word joy in the Miriam Webster’s dictionary is defined as, “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires…..a state of happiness.” I can tell you right now that once you possess Jesus in your heart, you can experience true happiness. The wonderful thing about joy is, that it’s not based on circumstances or conditions around us. One can be joyful in Christ regardless of our environment because we have constant access to the rivers of living water within us (John 7:38). The Apostle Paul spoke of joy in the book of Philippians and this ‘epistle of Joy’ was supposedly written whilst Paul was imprisoned in an open sewer where human excrement wafted by, as he penned the words, “Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,” (Phil 1:4). Paul learned to be joyful despite his circumstances and we need to take a page out of his book.
Emotions and Joy
Did you know that your emotions can affect your physical condition, and if anger, bitterness and resentment are not released then ailments can occur in the body? I highly recommend a book on this topic that will help you; it’s called, “Deadly Emotions” by Dr. Don Colbert. In this book he explains how cancer patients have been cured with laughter and how anger can cause bone marrow to deteriorate because it alters the pH levels of the blood to become more acidic. In the book of Proverbs, there is mention that “envy rots the bones” (Prov 14:30) and “a broken spirit dries up the bones” (Prov 17:22). The word ‘envy’ in the Amplified version can be referred to as, “wrath or jealousy.” So quite literally the drying up of the bone marrow was spoken of by King David, thousands of years ago, which just goes to show, the Bible has much truth to say about emotions and their impact even if science is just now catching up!
On a positive note, there is much to say about the power of words on the soul condition:
Proverbs 16:24 – “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
Proverbs 14:30 –“A sound heart is the life of the flesh”
Now I’m not saying we can have fun at the expense of sin. The bible does say that, “there is pleasure in sin for a season, “ (Heb 11:25) but the harvest will eventually come and with it, sorrow and hopefully repentance. God gave man to have dominion and subdue the earth and part of that was to enjoy His creation and all that was within its sphere (Gen 1:26-28).
The connection between joy and peace
Joy and peace are synonymous because we can’t really have joy until we are walking in peace. Joy and peace are like inseparable twins. In the first place, the feeling of peace on the inside of us comes with right standing with God and a human cannot attain true peace in its proper context until he or she makes their heart right with the living God.
The Bible says to, “Let peace be our umpire” and that we are to let the peace of God, “rule in our hearts” (Col 3:15). Coming from the UK, I am used to the term ‘umpire’ as we have several in the game of cricket. I won’t get into the rules of cricket as its volume might match Leviticus in content and interest, suffice to say, an umpire acts as a judge of what is right and wrong in accordance with the ruling and governing body. When making a decision, let your peace level be the judge, when you step out in a certain direction. If you get a check in your spirit and feel uncomfortable on the inside, then stop. The judge (Holy Spirit) is telling you there is danger ahead. In contrast if your peace remains then proceed in that direction, as the saying goes, “if the Lord doesn’t say no, then go!”
If you lose your peace on the inside of you, decision making becomes more difficult. Brother Kenneth E. Hagin would talk of the ‘velvety feeling on the inside’, or the ‘inner witness.’ When we lose our peace, it can be difficult to sense the leading and prompting of the Holy Spirit. This can be a dangerous situation if we don’t remedy it swiftly, as to lose one’s peace is to be without a GPS in navigating life. Fight for your peace and let it rule and reign in your heart.
Getting right with the Lord
It is important that when we lose peace, we must get right with the Lord immediately, cast out fear and restore unity with the Holy Spirit. My old mentor would say, “if you’ve lost your peace, you’ve messed up somewhere along the line.” It is true as Jesus himself said, “Do not let your heart be troubled, do not let it be afraid” (John 14:1). Notice the responsibility is on us as to whether we allow our heart to be troubled. Do not give satan the pleasure of gaining this foothold.
Thank Jesus today for his peace and allow him to minister to you in this area with His word and be equipped to enjoy life to full measure.