When I began to look with the eyes of my heart to see Jesus, Immanuel, God with me, I saw Him as King David did. I beheld Him at my right hand (Acts 2:25; Ps. 16:8). And the amazing thing is that He was laughing hilariously. He was having such a good time. His whole face was lit up with joy and peace and comfort and laughter. His word to me was, “Mark, lighten up, I’ve got it all under control.” You see, at that point in my life I seldom laughed. I lived with stress and fear and workaholism, so laughter did not appear very often.
I have found a picture online of Jesus laughing, and it is exactly the same as the vision I see most often when I look and see Jesus at my right hand. I purchased the art print, and it hangs in my office. You can find it here.
Smiling totally changes my life. The power of smiling was confirmed to me over 30 years ago, when I used bio-feedback for a couple of weeks to help me discover the point of inner stillness. I found that the only way the biofeedback unit would measure that I was “relaxed” was if I had a BIG smile on my face. You talk about a BIG revelation - to connect with the Spirit who flows in my heart and to release Him, I need to first put a big smile on my face! Wow!
Some benefits of laughter!
There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest (Heb. 4:9-11).
- Anointing – When I cease my laboring, the Spirit can flow (Jn. 7:37-39). Now the anointing is released in my life. Now the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit flow unhindered by my strivings.
- Health – A joyful heart is good medicine (Prov. 17:22). When I use the Kardia unit to test to see if my heart is in AFib, I find that if the test result says “yes” or “maybe,” I can test a second time with a big smile on my face while breathing deeply from my heart, and this second test will most often say “normal heart beat.”
- Strength – "In quietness and trust is your strength" (Isa. 30:15). In God's presence is fullness of joy (Ps. 16:11), and that joy strengthens and empowers us (Neh. 8:10).
- Falling asleep quickly – As I lie in bed I intentionally put a big smile on my face, and as I do, I can feel my entire body relax. As I couple this with deep slow breathing from my heart and seeing the Holy Spirit entering with each breath I take in (while I say the name “Jesus”), I will normally be asleep in a few minutes.
- Being relational – A big smile when you meet and talk with people sure warms up the atmosphere and sets the stage for friendship and friendly communication.
- I’m sure you can come up with more benefits of a smile and laughter.
Staying in party mode
So to help keep me in “party mode” rather than stress mode, I now own a dozen Hawaiian shirts to remind me of what God is continually telling me, “Mark, I’ve got this, so you can relax.” Also, during the day, I generally have quieting music, worship music, or instrumental music playing softly in the background. I just really need to be constantly reminded to cool it and relax.
Being drunk on the Holy Spirit is party mode. Some call it "soaking." In Acts 2 they spoke in tongues and were accused of being drunk (Acts 2 ). I love to sing in tongues with my autoharp. It brings real joy and peace and release to my heart.
- Journaling question: "Lord, what would You speak to me concerning living in joy and laughter?
- What do I need to understand in order to make this a reality in my life?
- What activities promote joy and laughter in my life?
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