You’ll have to forgive me for skipping out on the exact quotation and reference, but there’s an old Jewish proverb that goes something like this-“A merry heart does one good like medicine”-and another that says, “he that is of a merry heart has a continual feast.” Tonight I got a call from an old friend of mine asking if he and his wife could stop by the house and see us. We ended up having them over, along with another couple, and what a great time we had just sitting around talking, laughing, meeting their new little baby, and reminiscing about old times.
As strange as it may sound, something I’ve noticed on many occasions in my life is that I never laugh quite so much as when I’m with the saints. To me this is a real evidence of the Lord’s presence-just to be together in an atmosphere of contagious joyfulness, where one can find happiness and light-heartedness over the simplest things of life. I really do believe, as Leon Henri Marie Bloy once said, that “joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God.”
Here’s a portion from a book entitled Church Unity, a compilation of writings from Warren Litzman, Watchman Nee, and Gene Edwards. Listen to what Litzman says in his chapter on Christ being the lifestyle of the church:
“If a Christian lives by the law, and if he fellowships with a church that preaches law, it would be difficult for that person to fellowship with believers who live by a Lord who is within them. However, the Lord is raising up believers who live by His life. These believers will be as a stream running through the world, flowing right out of the loins of Almighty God.
“They will be a people free to be who they are.
“They will be a people free from man’s harassment and dictatorship. They will be a people who have discovered that Christ is their life. They will be a people who are free to live that life regardless of what others think or do.
“This freedom will change homes, it will change marriage relationships, and it will change business dealings out there in the world.
“If you are a believer, then know that Jesus Christ lives in you. You are free because Christ Himself operates in you. What joy and happiness can flow from the life of a believer! However, that is not to say that there isn’t any suffering in your life as a believer. There is suffering.
“Nontheless the expression of the ecclesia is one of joy.
“Look around you. Everywhere you look you can see that the fun has gone out of the Christian life! God has an intention. That intention is that He have pleasure in us; that we have joy and happiness in being with Him and in Him, and He in us. When a group of believers who have a revelation of an indwelling Lord get together, they express joy and happiness just in being together and being with their Lord together. There is joy despite the difficulties they encounter from time to time.
“The church in this hour is living under laws, regulations and teachings, and has lost much of the fun of being the church. The church has lost the pleasure of knowing the Lord Jesus and the Father. However, with the discovery of the Christ-life there will grow up a lifestyle of the church that is one of happiness and joy.”
Amen! Can I get a witness anywhere out there in the blogosphere?