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The problem of pleasure

The problem of pleasure

Ecclesiastes 2: 1-11, Judges 7: 5-7

Untamed pleasure is more deadly than holding a grenade without a linchpin. In this modern day, the quest for pleasure has conquered the fear of the consequences of sin. So often times, we find ways to justify our quest for pleasure because our ego forbids self-blame. This justification usually comes in the form of changing wants into needs.

Solomon; the richest and wisest man that ever lived tried it all and concluded that, “.., indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.” (Eccl 2:11). The key phrase is “under the sun” which he sometimes refers to as “under heaven” (Eccl 1:12). Here, Solomon is emphasizing that any sort of pleasure that we seek that is not in line with the heavenly mission, that is purely focused on the life we have here on earth (under the sun) is of no benefit, he tried it all. It is this quest for pleasure that led Solomon to marry foreign women that then led him astray (1 Kings 11). It made him the teacher of wisdom and practitioner of foolishness. If Solomon couldn’t profit from all kinds of pleasure he pursued, how much more can us common people benefit from the same pleasure?

The question then is, does it mean that if you are a true Christian there will be nothing to enjoy? I thank God because there is something for us. What pleasure does is it quenches some form of thirst, whether it’s thirst to be noticed, feeling superior, to have control, for men or women etc. Pleasure refreshes, that’s what most people say. What then is true pleasure for a child of God? Judges 7:5 “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.” Those who lapped the water with their tongues were equally refreshed as those that knelt down. He who drinks 2 litres of water from a 2 litre container does not get more refreshed that he who drinks 2 litres of water in small quantities from a 300 ml cup. The difference between the 2 groups is on the “HOW” the refreshment was achieved.

Those who lapped the water with their tongues are people who are refreshed without deviating from the mission. Their God given mission was to fight the Midianites therefore; the thirst for refreshment was supposed to align with the need to defeat the enemy. True pleasure for a Christian is therefore; that kind of pleasure that refreshes you yet not straying you from your God given mission. We are fighting the devil every day of our lives which means we don’t have even a single day to hang our boots and refresh. Before you pursue that pleasure your heart is longing for, ask yourself; “Am I lapping or kneeling?” We cannot afford to kneel and drink.

The Walk

The Walk

Luke 15:17-24, John 9:6-7

It is easy to trust God when all is going well with us. A true measure of our trust is seen when all hell is breaking loose. Would you trust God when your life seems stagnant or on a rollercoaster yet His word is saying something else? Would you trust God when you are not feeling well yet His word says, “By His stripes we were healed”? Would you trust God when you seem to be failing yet He says, “You are the head and not tail”? It is difficult but possible. We should not cry for it to be easy, we only need it possible.

The advancement in technology has led most of us to expect God to upgrade His system yet we know that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He never changes. Most believers believe in everything being instant, instant porridge, instant photos, instant messaging etc. In as much our God is a now God, there is a period when you have to walk and trust and nothing else would work.

The prodigal son, returned home, not because of his love for his father but, because of hunger. Vs. 17, “.., ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger!” Not everyone came to Christ because we love Him. Most people were forced to look for Christ through difficult circumstances. When the son came to his father, his father saw him from a distance, vs. 20 “But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.”

Note, the father ran to his son not holding any food yet that’s what the son wanted. After embracing and kissing, the son will still be hungry. The son has to walk the distance that his father ran in order to get to the food, which is his goal. What makes the son walk the distance to the house is the knowledge he has. He knows that even though he is still hungry, the one who has all the food is on his side. Without this knowledge, the son cannot trust and without the trust, he cannot take the walk and without the walk, the son can die of hunger even though the father has what he wants.

The same applies to us believers. We came to Christ with our problems, He first gives us His love. He embraces and kisses us. The embracing and kissing doesn’t take away our problems, instead, it should give us the assurance that He is on our side. This assurance should be the energy we need for the walk to whatever we want in our lives. Most people throw in their towels when they give their lives to Christ and still don’t see what they are expecting from Him. Let me remind you that, you are on your way, hold on little longer. Let me give you this assurance, you are walking to the house, don’t give up on Him.

It is important to note that not everyone is at this initial stage as described above. There are some people that are advanced in their Christian lives. They have been with Him and He touched them. At this stage, you are no longer a baby but a grown-up. For grown-ups, you don’t need Christ to walk you home, instead, He sends you. The walk is common between babies and grown-ups in Christ. The difference in the two groups is the direction of the walk. For babies, He walks you in but, for grown-ups, you walk away with His word. He gives you an instruction and you have to follow. John 9:7 “7 saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Silo′am””. The pool of Siloam was a distance away so the blind man had to walk.

Of importance is the fact that the man was still blind. His instruction does not bring sight but, following His instruction does. In order to follow His instruction, you have to walk away, trusting the one who said the word and the word He said. This man, had to walk blind all the way to the pool of Siloam and what sustained him is the knowledge of the authority in the one who gave him the instruction.

I don’t know what God told you, whether through prophecy or His Word but you have to trust and walk the distance. I don’t know how long the distance is going to be before you see that marriage, that job, that good health, those disciplined children but you need to trust He who started the work in you for He is faithful to see it to completion. The reason why we are not told how long the son walked with the father or how long the blind man walked is for us not to lose heart when we hit that specific number. It could be 500m, 1km, 5km etc., no one knows. The same applies to us, it could be 1 day, 3 months, 4 years, 11 years but you can only eat or see if you trust and walk the distance.

Let’s trust, walk and see what the Lord has in-store for us.

God bless you.