Psa. 16:11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Ever feel like you are swimming against the current? Ministry can sometimes feel like that. The people of the world are so consumed with their pleasures of the flesh that the message of purity or holiness is perceived as irrelevant. Often churches will lower their standards or expectations and alter their message in order to placate the people who are set on worldly pursuits. That is actually totally unnecessary. Could it be that us Christians have not gone too far but actually have not gone far enough? Could it be that the only way to defeat the alluring promise of pleasure that this world offers is not to forbid converts from participating in fleshly pleasures but to offer a superior pleasure? Actually, the pleasures of God are what holds the key to our freedom. Its finding and pursuing pleasure in Christ that liberates our souls from the bondages that the world uses to ensnare us. Sam Storms brings this truth out powerfully in his book Pleasures Evermore. Check out this thought from his book.
“Here’s my point. How do you fight the pleasure of sin? I’ll tell you: with another pleasure. Holiness is not attained, at least not in any lasting, life-changing way, merely through prohibitions, threats, fear, or shame-based appeals. Holiness is attained by believing in, trusting, banking on, resting in, savoring, and cherishing God’s promise of a superior happiness that comes only by falling in love with Jesus. The power that the pleasures of sin exert on the human soul will ultimately be overcome only by the superior power of the pleasures of knowing”
“and being known, loving and being loved by God in Christ. Or again, the only way to conquer one pleasure is with another, superior, more pleasing pleasure!”
That’s incredible! The way to be freed from the trap that we fall into following the promises of pleasure in the lifestyle of sin is actually a full on pursuit of another kind of pleasure. At the expense of offending someone let me give you an example. I started smoking pot at a young age because someone gave me some and I liked it. As a matter of fact I loved it and couldn’t get enough. As a matter of fact I could never imagine not smoking weed until that fateful day when I was born again. Suddenly and without expectation I was caught by the pleasures of God. I had no idea that I would want to follow Christ and His plan but once I tasted His love I was done. The drugs no longer held sway over me, my soul was free, I had been born again. From that day until this (forty years ago at this writing) I have been caught up in the pursuit of God and His plan for my life. If you are trapped by sinful pleasure, there is a way out. The way out is to discover the more powerful pleasures of God.