I was challenged yesterday while listening to a podcast from Ravi Zavharias – the topic was “the problem of pleasure.”
The church doesn’t spend a whole lot of time on this topic, we wait until the “pleasure” morphs into sin, and then it is often covered completley in shame.
Ravi does a phenomenal job explaining the importance of monitoring the things we consider to be “pleasurable.”
His three main points are:
- God has given us an enormous wealth of grand pleasure to legitimatel enjoy.
- Anything that refreshes you that doesn’t distract, diminish, or destroy your final goal is a legitimate pleasure. “For you were called to be free, brothers and sisters; only don’t use this freedom for the flesh, but serve one another through love.” Galatians 5:13
- Any pleasure, however good, must be kept in balance. God alone is the perpetual novelty.
To keep things things in check, he encourages us to state and define our life purpose, and commit to remove anything that distracts or diminishes from that defined purpose.
For me, this means everything I say, do, watch, listen to, read, experience, and touch, must go through my life mission to abide in Jesus. The sad part is, I fail at this every single day. At least three times yesterday. When I fail, I must confess it, take stock of things, and adjust my course.
I got that tattoo I spoke about in my first blog…
“abide” is written in an attractive script down my right wrist. I love it. But sometimes I hate it. Abiding is hard, but oh so rewarding.
I don’t know if you’ve ever read the “Screwtape Letters,” by C.S. Lewis. If not, make it a point to do so, it will rock your world. It’s written from the perspective of Satan, God is referred to as, “The Enemy.”
“Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s (God’s) ground…He [God] made the pleasure: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy [God] has produced, at at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He [God] has forbidden. ”
― C.S. Lewis,
God is the Author and Creator of everything that is pleasurable, He wants us to delight in the beauty of His creation, delicious foods, and sex with our marriage partner. He is a good father, who is blessed by giving His children good and pleasurable gifts. The trouble comes when we exploit these gifts and become dependent on them for feelings of acceptance, self-worth and even salvation.
I’ve included a link below to make it easy for you to find Ravi’s podcast. Hope it encourages you to examine the pleasurable things in your life, moving you towards a commitment to align them with your life mission statement.