We have had an amazing weekend . We taught a school of prophecy in Warkworth to a group of hungry, God loving, God believing people there. All sorts of wonderful things happened as God turned up – peoples lives were touched and changed resulting in a more intense love for the Lord than ever.

Some of the people there had never prophesied before and thought they probably wouldn’t be able to do so but in activation after activation God came through for them and gave them words to share that were accurate and such an encouragement to both them and those they shared with. Others who had moved in the prophetic gift before saw the weekend as a time to be refreshed and challenged to go deeper into this realm. God didn’t disappoint either – giving them sharp accurate words that ministered to many of those there.

The worship times blew out into full on times of glory and the rich weighty presence of God, we saw angels turn up and minister to people, people got healed, laughter broke out, people had visions and heavenly encounters. Then on the Sunday morning we ministered at Gateway Church in Warkworth and I had a vision of Jesus walking into the room. Again the presence of Jesus was so palpable. Some people during that time danced with Jesus, others felt his touch and others saw visions. Again the joy of the Lord filled the place and laughter broke out.

You might wonder about the laughter thing and think “Why would God do that, isn’t it disrespectful? ” Well heaven is full of joy, in fact the scriptures tell us that in God’s presence is fullness of joy. They also tell us that God is the God who laughs in the heavens at the enemy’s plans and that the joy of the Lord is our strength. So it seems to me that laughter is not out of place in God’s presence and that those to whom it happens will feel strengthened and closer to God as a result of it. That doesn’t give us license to be fleshly in our exhibiting of that joy or to be disrespectful with it but it does give us permission to be joy filled believers who like God laugh with joy, and laugh at the enemy’s plans.

Just a little pastoral advice here. If you are in a meeting where the joy of the Lord breaks out and people start to laugh then ask God if he would give you his joy and allow you to experience it too. If the joy of the Lord hits you and it is happening to others and the meeting is at a stage where it is okay to flow with it, do so. If however the meeting is at a stage where your laughter is distracting (say during the preaching) then it might be wise to remove yourself from the room and continue to allow God to do what he is doing in a place where you don’t distract everyone else. Then when God is finished rejoin the others, that way we don’t become a source of possible offense to others yet we continue to allow God to do what he wants to do in us.