Before I knew Jesus, I was convinced that Christians don’t have any fun. I’d been told that if something is fun, then it’s a sin. But you know what? God invented pleasure. He promised us a land flowing with milk and honey. And in the Bible, I’ve found that God likes to party. He had seven feasts per year, with music, and dancing, and food. It was epic. Jesus describes the church as a wedding banquet. It’s a party. It’s OUR party because we are the church. I think one reason people go clubbing instead of to church is that they see church as a chore and a bore. What if we saw church more as a celebration, a party, the way God designed it? We eat the word of God. We’re fired up. We dance and sing before the Lord. We meet new people. It’s a great feast. Church isn’t meant to be a chore—it shouldn’t be something you have to do or something that you dread. It’s meant to be a party. It should be fun, so get your dancing shoes on! And by the way, did you hear about the big party this weekend? Jesus is throwing a bash at His house, and you’re invited!
“Sing oh barren woman burst forth into song. Shout for joy.” Here, in Isaiah 54:1, God likens producing the things and promises of God unto a woman having a child. Jesus discusses this with his disciples in John 16:21, as well. He says that his journey with them is like a woman giving birth. Do you ever feel like you just aren’t seeing God’s results in your life? Is this the life God had for you? Well, the key to conceiving the things of God in your heart is hidden in this scripture. God is saying that conception comes through joy, happiness, bursting out in a song. The contrast is that a barren woman would feel ashamed, or disgraced like something was wrong. The last thing she wants to do is sing. But God says to do it anyway. You see conception is a happy experience. God isn’t producing life through our depression and discouragement. He is producing through our joy. Sarah by faith received the strength to conceive even though she was too old to conceive. The joy of the Lord is our strength. Do you need to see more of God’s results in your life? Then get happy, burst into song. Shout for joy!
In Exodus 16:4 God says, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way, I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.” Ahh, a test. No one likes a test. Except for David. David used to ask God to “test him,” to “search his heart.” When we think of God testing us, how does that look? Sometimes people think God tests us by taking things from us. But here it is clear that the test wasn’t God taking something but giving something. He was saying, “Okay, so I’ve met your needs. What are you going to do with it.” The father gives the prodigal son the inheritance. Now let’s see what the prodigal does. The test is to give you something, and then watch to see how you do. God doesn’t desire to make your life more difficult. The Word is the bread of life from heaven, the daily bread that God rains is the word of God. God’s word is the bread we need to eat. His test is a gift. He’s given you something. It’s His life-giving, perfect and incorruptible Word, and then He watches to see what you will do with it.
In Matthew 11:11 Jesus says, “Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist, yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” To this point, John is greater than anyone born of woman, which is an amazing compliment—he is greater than the greats including Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Daniel. You get the idea. Had John parted a sea? Raised the dead? No. You see Jesus didn’t measure John’s greatness but what he had done, but instead, by what he could do. Jesus goes on to say that “whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than” John. So anyone who has received Jesus as Lord of their life is greater. Yeah, that’s right, Jesus sees even the smallest Christian as greater than Abraham, Noah, or Elisha. Why? Well because your and me we aren’t just born of woman, but also of God. We’re born again. We have the Spirit of God in us. I don’t know how you see yourself, but Jesus sees you as greater than the greats. He said that we will do even greater things than HE did. So let’s get out there and do it!