Song 2:3-5 Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, So is my beloved among the sons. I sat down in his shade with great delight, And his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, And his banner over me was love. Sustain me with cakes of raisins, Refresh me with apples, For I am lovesick.
I often think about some of the crazy services we have had over the years. I remember laughing so hard I never thought I could stop. Those who have no personal experience with the joy found in the presence of The Lord would often criticize our meetings as frivolous and insignificant, nothing could be further from the truth. Actually, we are transformed powerfully by experiencing the manifest presence of God. There is a powerful, sanctifying effect upon us found in the presence of God. If you think about it, the powerful attraction of sin is its promise of pleasure. The pleasures of sin are temporary but have everlasting consequences. The pleasures of God are totally different. There is a satisfaction in God that sin can never offer, without the horrific consequences that sin always brings. In addition, the influence of the beauty of The Lord actually delivers us from the clutches of sin. There is no other way to be finally free. Sam Storms spoke about the power of sin to deliver us in his book Pleasures Evermore. Here is a short excerpt.
“Not only is beholding the beauty of the Lord indescribably enjoyable, it is profoundly transforming. That is because, says Piper, “beholding is a way of becoming.” The apostle Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 3:18: “We all, with unveiled face beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory….” The point is that we become like that which we behold. We will never be transformed into the likeness of God or be conformed to the image of Christ Jesus until we learn how to behold His beauty. To see Him is to be like Him. As David beheld the beauty of the Lord, as he meditated on the glorious perfections and passions of God’s character, he became more like God. More than that, he fell ever more in love with God.”
What a deal! We can have our cake and eat it too. We don’t have to sacrifice our morals, our relationships, or our employment in the pursuit of pleasure. Pursuing pleasure in God actually makes you a better version of you. The anointing of God, which begins to reside upon the God pleasure seekers, will actually enhance your life. You will become a better father or mom, a better husband or wife, and your talents will be sharpened and deepened, that’s just the way The Lord is. So what are you waiting for? There is a place of intoxicating joy that your heart longs for. You won’t find it at the bar or the club but you can find it if you go to the right church. Hope to see you soon caught up in the pleasures of God.