What comes to mind when you think of pleasure?
How about temptation? Or sin? Or guilt?
Ever notice how the idea of pleasure so easily sends our minds spiraling toward the negative? It’s as if pleasure were a creation of Satan with no other purpose than to distract us from God.
But if we’ll think back through Scripture, we’ll arrive at a different conclusion.
Numerous passages remind us of times when God commanded His people to celebrate with lavish feasts. Jesus’ first miracle was performed at a wedding, turning water into wine, so the festivities could continue. The return of the prodigal son became a party and a time of great joy. And let’s not forget the future celebration awaiting the redeemed at the marriage supper of the Lamb.
That tells us pleasure has been hijacked by the devil for the vile, the disgusting, and the perverted. But pleasure was created by God and, through His goodness and grace, we can enjoy ourselves in ways that are God-honoring, fulfilling, and truly satisfying.
Our heavenly Father’s heart is to provide us with opportunities of joy and sheer delight. He knows what we love, and He longs to fulfill our healthy desires.
In fact, according to author Gary Thomas, enjoying pure pleasure is itself an act of worship. Think of gifts you’ve bought for a loved one. Wouldn’t you be disappointed if your child refused to play with a new toy or your spouse stashed that special something away in a closet? Our delight in those moments comes from watching our gifts being enjoyed. In a similar way, we rob our heavenly Father of great delight when we avoid pure pleasure because we fail to see it as His gift to us.
We’ll be exploring the Lord’s abundance and the godly pleasure He’s created for us to enjoy with our guest on today and tomorrow’s broadcast, Gary Thomas, a best-selling author, speaker, and a writer in residence at Second Baptist Church in Houston, Texas.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you. Tell me some of the creative ways you’ve tried to bless your spouse. What was stirred inside you as you watched them receive your gift? In what other ways have you experienced the sheer joy of giving?