German Version

Quite A Dangerous Feeling: Joy!

by Markus Piercy-Reins

Every man is on a lifelong hunt for peace, love and joy. In the article “On Target… or… Sidetracked” we looked at the difference between what we perceive as love… and what God thinks about love.

We found out that the wrong expectation about God’s love will expose us to the danger of losing our faith when being confronted with God’s true love.

There is another dangerous thing with the potential to plunge us into wild torrents: Joy!

“Oh, Markus, are you out to ruin my few sunny spots I have in life?”

No, I’m out to show you the way to have even more joy… a different kind of joy though!
No, not this quickly fading emotion we call joy... but a joy even lasting through your troublesome times!

I’m out to show you the difference between the “fact” joy (as a lasting reality)… and the “feeling” joy a quickly dissipating vapor.

What is more attractive?
Well, I know your answer: Every man would love to have the fact, right!

What is hindering us from having this true and lasting joy in our lives?
This is the most important issue we have to solve.

Let me tell you how I was taught this truth myself:

When the Lord started to change me, it was anything but the way I expected it would be.
I was raised in a believing family and was soaked with the bible and innumerable sermons since childhood.
At the age of ten I gave my life to the Lord… and by fifteen I was baptized. I was leading bible studies teaching others all I knew.
However, there was a deep inner void in me I couldn’t explain though it was an undeniable fact.

When God’s timing was fulfilled He showed up in my life.

Well, I have to say I repented before but during these three days of visitation I learned about what
God means by repentance.
I just want to stress the fact again: There is quite a difference in what we think about spiritual things… and what God thinks of them… quite a difference!

After He had renewed my heart and filled me with His Holy Spirit I was expecting Him to use me in a mighty way. I was dreaming of great crusades and God saving thousands.

But the reality showed quite the opposite… He was placing me in a fiery furnace! No, I wasn’t choosing this… I never would have chosen!
I was looking for my expectations to come through and well, was quite irritated when they didn’t!
I have read quite some books about others having had such a God-encounters and God using them mightily… so why not me?

Whenever man has to suffer… and I was no exception… what are we looking for?
If this suffering is lasting and perhaps getting even stronger what is our soul crying for?
What do we desperately search for… like searching for water in a desert?


We start to beg the Lord: “Can’t you give me just a little release, some rest from this constant grinding… just a little joy?”

Well, after finishing our lesson (our Lord is a good teacher!) we’ll get some goodies from Him - surprises we won't expect.

How do you react when receiving a surprise present? First you’re dumbstruck… but then as more you realize the love shown to you joy starts to take over.

And so it was with me! You saw Markus dancing in the living room… praising the Lord!
Overwhelmed by my emotions… the words I chose here are important… I grabbed my guitar and the whole neighborhood wondered about what happened with the Reins family... ;-))) !

Of course this you can’t understand. You sure wonder what a crazy guy I am (don’t take this serious! )

There had been some warning sirens but I didn’t hear them… or didn’t I want to hear them???

I wanted to feast in my feelings… I wanted to dance… I wanted to enjoy the so desperately missed joy!

While I was singing there was a: “Markus!”… I didn’t hear!

While I was praising the Lord there was an even stronger: “Markus!!!”… but I was overwhelmed by my feelings!

While I was dancing there was a: “MARKUS!!! WAKE UP!!!”… but I didn’t pay any attention!

And then it happened… WUSH! The enemy struck! Quickly the joy was blown away… dissipating faster then it came… and you found me “sitting on the ground” wondering what just happened.

I’m sure you know very well what I’m writing about here, right?

This didn’t happen just once… no, it took quite some repeating of the same course of events till I finally got the lesson God not just wants to teach me alone!

The joy I was looking for was a joy God never promised to us! Read this again!

I was looking for some emotions easing the stress… and this is important!... my soul was in!

I wasn’t spiritual at all! No, I wasn’t spiritual while suffering… and after finally getting the lesson I just turned into “soul mode” again instead of staying spiritual!

Do you see why joy on this world’s level is so dangerous?

All our defenses are down!

Joy and being vigilant at the same time don’t fit together for a man’s soul!

Expecting an attack would rob me of my joy, right?

We can’t be alert and vigilant… and having joy overwhelming us at the same time!
Absolutely impossible for every human being! This is the way we’re made… and God knows this!

Therefore He has to teach us the difference between “joy – the soul’s way” and “joy – the spirit’s way”!

Believe me this was quite a lesson I had to learn! This didn’t come easy!
God doesn’t want to rob our joy… He just wants us to have joy while operating in the spirit!

He wants us to have joy not interfering with spiritual standards… we so need to succeed here on earth!
This joy won’t fade away because it is a fact… and not a feeling!

Well, and though I’m writing this here I know we all have to go through this by practice. The changes we need can’t be achieved by theoretical studies. We have to die to our self for the fruit of the Spirit to grow in us.

What are the measures our loving Lord will take to get these changes worked out in us?

He will allow sufferings and surprise attacks of the enemy to touch us… yes, you're reading right!
He will allow this until we have learned to submit our emotions under the rule of the Spirit!

I never read a book and I never heard a sermon about the danger of joy… so I’m writing this for you.

Many believers - I met too many of them - are constantly flipping up and down like a Yo-Yo in their emotions just because they keep on hunting for the emotion joy.
They don’t get it - and nobody tells them - that the joy of this world the Lord never promised to us!
He promised us His joy… and this joy is quite different from what we’re so hooked on!

In God’s word, in Galatians 5:22-25 we read:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

So the joy is a fruit of the Spirit of God in us. The joy of the sinful nature (that’s what we all know as joy!) isn’t promised to us. This is just the “sinful nature with its passions and desires” we should have crucified.

To have joy is "living by the Spirit" and "keeping in step with the Spirit"!
Then the "fruit" joy will be found in us.

What is the difference?

Well, contrary to our emotion joy the fruit of the Spirit isn’t found in our souls. No, it’s not dancing and singing… but rather a silent joy. It is something radiating from us coming from a deep inner resting in the knowledge of God’s love towards us.
Of course we have our souls and we will have emotions of joy all our life. The lesson now to learn is to control our emotions by the spirit.

One day I was approached by a man saying: “You have everyday this constant gentleness and joy throughout the day. No, you aren’t laughing and joking all day long but this is what I get from you.”
I was working in a job not caring about being joyous at all… just caring for the work I had to do.
This joy was just there even without me knowing or forcing it… it was a fact and not based on feelings I had at this time!

This joy is even there when we have to suffer. It’s not dependent on the surrounding realities and inner state of feeling.
It’s a fruit of the Spirit of God in us. And this is the joy promised to us by God!

Whenever overwhelming emotions are presented to you as the “presence of God’s Spirit” know this is just “passion and desire of your old nature”.
It’s not wrong to have joy but watch out: Your defenses are down!
Watch out not to be overwhelmed by emotions this would just rob your alertness and vigilance! You would love to feast in your emotions but know your enemy loves to give you a blow right then!
Either you will make wrong decisions in your “elevated state of mind” or you will just miss the alarm sirens.
How many people I’ve watched running into destruction dancing, with clapping hands, singing and praising the Lord, feasting in their emotions!

These words I’m writing aren’t my speculations about spiritual things. No, they’re lived through!
No, they’re suffered through… and yes, they’re successfully applied!

This article won’t save you from going through your lessons - there are no shortcuts with our Master - but will bless you by finally opening your eyes on the truth about joy!
You will know what is going on with you when you'll miss joy again. You will know that your soul just took over again and you will know what to do to get back to a spiritual mindset again!

When having your next “party-time with joy and laughter” you will know better how to watch out… know better to pay attention when your spirit will sound the alarm: code orange – or even - code red!!!

God gave us authority to discipline our soul! Whenever our soul took over we're able to resist her demands with our will!
We can decide against thoughts or feelings interfering with all we know about God.
We can enter into spiritual fight, neglecting the rule of our soul, by going into prayer just surrendering totally to our Master.
Asking Him to conquer these areas our soul is ruling by His Spirit and filling them with the genuine and lasting fruit only the Spirit will bring forward: Joy!

The joy we are promised isn't the emotion we all know as joy. Genuine and lasting joy is a fruit of the Spirit!

Don’t be frustrated now we all will fall in this lesson in the beginning! Just stand up, brush the dust from your clothes… and keep on walking!

You will learn it… for sure!

In His Service

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