THE CREATOR OF PLEASURE
Read Luke 24:36-43.
If we understand the lesson of “delayed gratification” for our children, how much more God must understand it for us. As Jesus said, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
Unfortunately, along the way we’ve gotten into the trap of thinking God is against pleasure. Satan has become the author of fun and God the cosmic killjoy. We’ve been led to believe that lust means wanting something really badly, so being a good, spiritual person must mean making myself not want anything—or at least never giving into temptation.
However, the God of the Bible is not against physical pleasure. In Genesis God created Adam with an earthly body, along with all of its desires, and called that body “very good.” God affirmed this goodness by sending His son Jesus to be incarnate—made flesh—through Mary. He then affirmed it again when He raised Christ from the dead in physical body, capable of eating real food.
Food, drink, recreation, and yes, sex, are all pleasure for us because we were created that way by God. He wants us to enjoy them. When we buy into the false idea that God doesn’t want us to have fun, we are left with two dead-end choices: either we reject God as the cosmic killjoy and completely disregard the “outdated rules of morality,” or we grit our teeth and try our best to please this angry deity, feeling guilty every time we enjoy ourselves. It’s not hard to see that as a parenting philosophy, either of those choices is a clear pathway to ruining your child.
However, God teaches that desire is good, but He does not want us to substitute a lesser good for a greater good. We read in the letter to the Hebrews that “without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Did you catch that? God expects us to desire rewards. But He wants us to go beyond the immediate rewards we can see, to the greater rewards that can only be visualized by faith.
*Do you see God as the fount of every blessing or the cosmic killjoy?