Pleasure: sought by everyone but found by few. Why is that? Is pleasure always a fleeting thing? Does pleasure ever really last? While I’m at it, isn’t abstaining from pleasure a Christian virtue?
Few people find pleasure because it is most often a phantasm, a ghost, or mirage. Plato said, Pleasure is the bait of sin. Hebrews 11:25 recognizes the fleeting pleasures of sin. The enemy promises pleasure (sex, power, money, prestige, a high, etc.) from many sources. These things are suspect at best. But when/if one accepts the lure of pleasure, they experience the pain of Satan’s hook hidden inside. What was offered wasn’t real. People find themselves ensnared by an illusion of pleasure.
At this point, people become like fish in a ‘catch and release’ stream or lake. How many times have those fish been caught? It seems they would learn not to bite the lure. The pursuit of counterfeit satisfaction is like that. That’s because the enemy has never created a genuine pleasure! Like every good fisherman, his lures are just imitations of the good things conceived in the mind of the Creator! But don’t lose heart! Genuine pleasure, in abundance, is possible. In fact, it’s intended!
Psalm 16:11 speaks of pleasures forevermore. Where? At God’s right hand! This is the same God Who says:
This is the God, our Father, Who offers pleasures forevermore! The goodness and blessings that come from His hand carry no illusions, no hooks, and no pain. They’re the real deal!
Abundant Life: It’s MY Pleasure – God!
Our enemy succeeds with imitation pleasures because we are designed and intended to enjoy the pleasures God conceived and offers. Yes, Christians do pursue pleasure incorrectly. But done right, pursuing pleasure should be pursuing God. God’s paradigm for His children is an abundant, pleasurable life. That is a dangerous thought! Just imagine how different things might be if Christians actually pursued God for the joys and pleasures found in Him.
Want to know a good way to prevent that? Tell Christians, and the world, it isn’t virtuous to experience very much pleasure. Then tell every Christian God only calls them to duty, don’ts, and delayed delights (i.e., the good stuff has to wait til heaven). Think about it!
Now, I should add one more thing. Eternal life with Christ will be a delight beyond our current ability to describe it. But wouldn’t believers have an increasing sense of anticipation if they knew and experienced the joys God intends for the here and now?
Soli Deo Gloria!