In this season of yuletide, Fr. Mbaka exposes the power of joy. In his exegesis of Deuteronomy 28:45ff, he reveals why the children of God should be joyful and highlights the negative consequences and dangers inherent in being sorrowful, angry and sad. He garnishes this message with life stories and illustrative circumstances, x-rays the attitude of humans to gossip and warns that you can never please your enemies. According to him: “Any time you are not joyful, you are dead. When you begin to be joyful, you are resurrected. Listen, joy is not an optional enterprise. It is a mandate”. Here is an excerpt of his massage:
“Shout for Joy and rejoice Today is a day of Joy. In Nehemiah 8:10, the Bible says that the joy of the Lord is our strength. Rejoice in the Lord, Remember, you have. God is greater than all situations. Lift Him higher.
“Zephaniah 3:15 says “(For then it will be that) the Lord has taken away the judgment against you; He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, even the Lord Himself, is in the midst of you; (and after He has come to you), you shall not experience or fear evil anymore”. Were you condemned? The Bible says your judgment has been taken away. You are freed.
“The church demands from all of us to shout for joy. In Psalm 66:1 and in Psalm 100:1 make a joyful noise to the Lord. A joyful noise to the Lord of the universe, a joyful noise to the Lord of lords and to the King of kings.
Join the angels to praise God with joy. This is a joyful season. No matter what you are passing through you must rejoice. In Psalm 30:11 God will turn your sorrow into dancing. Let every sorrow of your life be turned to dancing now in Jesus name. You shall move from sorrow to dancing.
That child of God that used to sit down and get lost in thoughts supporting his jaw with his palms in a miserable situation, there is something God is doing for you that will turn your sorrows into dancing. So get ready to dance.
When the barren conceives and delivers the Child of her choice, she will dance with joy. I could remember the day Hannah entered the Shiloh temple with sorrow. In 1st Sam 1, the Bible says that Hannah entered the Shiloh temple in agony and sorrow. I could remember that when Eli told her: “Go, may the Lord answer your prayers,” the Bible says that she went out with joy. You are going home with joy.
In Psalm 30:11 b, the word of God says that the Lord has removed the garment of sorrow from me and has clothed me with joy. You shall wear joy like a garment. While walking on the road, you will start to laugh all of a sudden. The power of Joy.
Habakkuk in 3:17 says even if the animals in the pen are not bearing, and what is planted in the farm are not yielding fruits, yet, I will still be joyful to the Lord. This is called unconditional joy. The joy that has no material attachment. It is not a mundane type of laughter. No. We are talking about inner joy. Joy that will be coming from your nerves and veins; joy that will be coming from your bowls and womb: God will give you victorious joy like a river.
God’s voice is telling you today not just to be joyful but to shout for joy. Your God will shut up your enemies. He will put upon them garment of sorrows. Psalm 126:5 says that the day the Lord will deliver Zion; it will be like a dream. Their mouths were filled with joy and their tongues with laughter. We are in season of salvation. If the devil had entered your household, the time has come for God to tell them to pack and go.
The time God will heal you in this your sickness, your mouth will be filled with laughter. God says you should cry no more. We join him in Zephaniah 3 to tell you to shout for joy. The condemnation upon you is reversed. In Romans 8:1, He says: Therefore, there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.”
The Lord, the king of Israel, is in your midst. Therefore, rejoice. You have no more evil to fear. Zephaniah 3:17 say that God is rejoicing and dancing over you and your family. The savior of mankind is in your midst. He will not pass you by. He will send you help. The angels are in our midst. Jeremiah 33:13 says there shall be heard again the sound of the voice of joy and the voice of gladness. Celebrations and marriage feasts shall be done in your family. God will do wonders for you. He will not pass you by. The Bible says: “The voice of the bride and the voice of the bridegroom and the voices of those who sing as they bring sacrifices of thanksgiving into the House of Lord… I will reverse your captivity”.
You may not find any reason to praise God. Situation may have reduced you to a level of sorrow but the Bibles says: “Shout for joy.” if the devil has succeeded in taking away your joy, he has destroyed your life. You are finished. Nothing is left. If you say that your only problem is that you are no longer joyful, then know you are a dead man. Any time you are not joyful, you are dead. When you begin to be joyful, you are resurrected. Listen, Joy is not an optional enterprise. It is a mandate. It is a command. It is an obligation and it is like a commandment. You must be joyful. It is not a matter of whether you like it or not . It is not a matter of that you are annoyed. Who annoyed you?
When you are persecuted to the extent that you become disenchanted with life, listen to what the Bible says in Deuteronomy 28: 45ff: “Anybody who will not serve God with joy will be accursed. That person who will not serve God with joy will eat the entrails from the woman who delivered. He will be so accursed until he eats the placenta of a child.
Power of Joy. Therefore I command you today to go and be joyful. When your enemy has reduced you to the level of talking about him or her, he or she has destroyed you. He or she has made him or herself a God to you without you knowing that you are becoming idolatrous. Even if it is your mother or your mother- in- law or your wife or your husband that you talk about every day, you are finished. Once joy vanishes from you, you are equal to a mortuary candidate. What are you alive for?
Whoever is born of a woman or emerges from the pit of hell, has no power to make you sad. Nobody has the power to make you sad. Rise above your situation with joy. Rise above your circumstances with joy. Rise above your ordeals with joy. Rise above every sickness with joy. Arise and rejoice in the Lord, your God.]
In Deut 28:47-48ff, the word of God says: “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness of mind and heart, in gratitude of all the abundance of all the blessings He has given to you, therefore, you shall serve your enemies with hunger and thirst. You will serve your enemies with nakedness. You will serve your enemies in wanting and He will put a yoke of iron upon your neck until He has destroyed you. The Lord will bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth as swift as eagle.” When you don’t serve God with joy, you will serve your enemies. If you are not ready to serve your enemies, then, make a joyful noise to the Lord and rejoice always.
You don’t owe anybody apology when you are joyful. And if you frown your face, you are making your enemies happy. When you are joyful, your enemies will be sad.
Remember that ancient wise saying: “You can never please your enemy”. Someone who hates you have hated you. So you don’t need to waste your time trying to please somebody that you will never please.
People must say something. People must complain. If you are a tenant, they would say upon all the money you have, won’t you go and build your own house? If you go and build a beautiful house, they would say you are showing off. When you are single, they would say: won’t you go and marry? Now you are married, they would say that you would have waited why did you rush into marriage? Just like death, you can’t please, world.
I once told a story of a man walking with his son and a donkey. They were on a distant journey. He placed his little son on the donkey and walked along with the donkey. When he got to a certain place, people saw them and said: Is this man mad? How could he be walking with his legs and place his son on the donkey? Does this son have respect for him?
The man decided to bring his son down from the donkey so that the child would walk along the donkey while the man climbs the donkey. They got to another destination and people saw them and said: “What type of man is this that will be on a donkey and allow his child to be walking along with the donkey?”
The man decided to carry the child on the donkey so that both of them were on top while the donkey alone walked. They got to another destination and people saw them and complained: “Is this man mad? How can he and the child be on this donkey? Do they want to kill the donkey with their weight?”
Finally the man decided to come down from the donkey with his son so that both of them now waked along with the donkey. They got to another community and people saw them and said: Is this man mad? Now they have a donkey with them and they do not want to climb on it.
You cannot please the world. No matter what you do, someone who hates you have hated you. You can never please your enemies. The only thing you will do for your enemy to be happy is for you to be sad, in sorrow and angry. If you want to wound your enemy carry the arrow of joy with you always. In Psalm 127:3-4, the Bible says: “Children are gifts, from the Lord; the children of a youth are like arrows in the hand of warriors”
Your enemies are not just human beings. Sickness is your enemy. When you go to hospital and they say they saw something in your body, you should come home and be happy. Job is an example to emulate. In Job 19:25, he lifted us his hand and said “I know my redeemer liveth”. Power of Joy can crack the walls of your enemies. Keep on jubilating and rejoicing. They must say something, so just be happy.
There was a priest that people said he is not intelligent. So I told him to go and pursue his further studies while I pay for his training. He had the first Master’s Degree in a disciple, bagged another Master’s Degree, then a Doctorate and another Doctorate and is now pursuing another course. The same group who used to say he was unintelligent, now started saying he is academically greedy. You can never please your enemies.
I had a sister by name Chinwe who was barren. People began to say that her situation was beyond my prayers. Just recently, she conceived and delivered triplets (a boy and two girls) and they started say “Are you sure she did not adopt the children?” That is people for you. They must gossip. So don’t kill yourself trying to please your enemies. Go ahead with your life and be happy with yourself.
When you walk without make up they will say you that prayer has made you so mad that you can take care of yourself, when you make up they will say , see I thought she is charismatic. Tell your enemies to leave you alone, you are not their business.
If you are a single lady who complains that you can’t find a husband, watch your countenance. If you are a man and you see a woman who frowns her face like a vulture, will you marry her? The taste of pudding is in the eating. When a job applicant whose face is like soured pap comes for a job interview in your office, will you employ him or her?
Rise up, child of God. Take your bath, put on fine clothes and be joyful. Joy has the power of beauty. Nobody is beautiful until the person smiles. And if you are pregnant and you continue to frown your face so that you can collect money from your husband, your child will be like money. A man who frowns his face while quarreling with his wife should know that the child is being formed by the expression of his emotion at that stage.
When the occult people and charm-makers want to get you, they will first annoy you. It is when they have provoked you and you are angry that they will attack you. It is an occult method.
Avoid any friendship, any relationship, any company that will be bringing sorrow in your life.