“Religious Sticky Face.” Their face is always stuck in a “religious” posture.
I watched one of my favorite comedians, Ken Davis, last night on YouTube. It was the first in a series of videos that all come from the same concert at a large church. If you are unfamiliar with Ken, you can click any of the links I provide here to catch up.
He begins this video by talking about joy. Joy is expressed in many ways, but laughter is one of the best. He points out that many Christians suffer from, as I call it, “Religious Sticky Face.” Their face is always stuck in a “religious” posture. They are so serious about their beliefs that the very thought of smiling or laughter seems to be against their belief system. God is the God of JOY! Ken says it this way, “I’m so tired of Christians who walk around with a face that looks like they have swallowed a profusely sweating toad. Have you ever ran into one of these people?” He scrunches up his face and continues with an deep voiced imitation, “I’ve been a Christian for 27 years… And it’s been great.” He doesn’t look happy at all. “I want to tell them, “Well tell your face. You need to send a missionary to your face!”” I love that line, “Send a missionary to your face.”
I know it doesn’t convey the humor through writing as well, but you can link to the video below and you will find it much funnier. Ken is an awesome man of God and has an excellent point. If you are struggling in any way at all with joy in your life and you are a Christian, you need, need, need to see it and ask God for more. He is a provider of joy.
Joy has many expressions. But they can all be attributed to the power that God packs behind it. Joy is literally a “super natural” power. It is that thing that faces the enemy down when the worst happens. It’s the ability to survive losing your job. Or losing a friend because of choices. The loss of your spouse because of disease or an accident. Seeing the worst possible thing happen to your child. Watching dementia or Alzheimer’s take control of your mom or dad. The game or work project you have put everything into and lost. All of those difficult moments and more.
Having joy doesn’t preclude us from the trials of life. It doesn’t mean that God will step in and shield us all the time from hurt or pain. Joy isn’t about not going through the hard, agonizing times that everyone has to go through, it’s about how we face those moments. It doesn’t mean we won’t have times of despair and discouragement. It doesn’t mean we won’t cry sometimes.
It means that we have within us a source of power that will lift us. That will sustain us. That we can use to fight the enemy. The Bible says that we will go through all that is common to man (Matthew 5:45). We all endure the trials of life. Joy’s supernatural power is not in avoiding life, but being able to smile in the midst of life. Nehemiah 8, verse 10 says, “Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” He and Ezra were rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. Distractions and sorrows plagued them. But to get the job done, they had to keep their eyes on God and the call.
Someone once said, “If you aren’t worried, you aren’t paying attention.” I combat that statement. Through the joy of God we can be very aware of what is going on and still not be worried. Not scared. Not fearful.
There’s another point that Ken was trying to make. A.W. Tozer said it this way, “The Christian owes it to the world to be supernaturally joyful. In this day of universal apprehension when men’s hearts are failing them for fear of those things that are coming upon the earth, we Christians are strategically placed to display a happiness that is not of this world and to exhibit a tranquility that will be a little bit of heaven here below.” When you are allowing the trials of life destroy your smile, take a moment to look in the mirror and ask that person there, “Who is watching me? Who am I affecting? Is my belief attractive to them by way of my example?”
Ken also pointed out that the world is in turmoil and they should be breaking the door of the church down, wanting to get in and find out why we are so happy. Are you happy enough in the midst of it all for someone to see it?
This is just a small taste of what the Joy of God puts in our lives. I challenge you to focus on your joy today and find ways that it comes to the surface. In your humdrum day, let the Joy of the Lord bubble up in every part of it!