No, I’m not ascetic! I’m thankful for the many ways that Jesus, my Creator, has blessed me. He has saved my soul and given me many pleasures, both spiritually and materially. I’m truly grateful for His good gifts.
However, we often reverse our order of pleasures, relying too much on physical things for satisfaction. Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well: “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” Likewise, we too need to be reminded that the physical pleasures of this life will not bring total or lasting satisfaction. Only the living water of the Spirit of Jesus can do that. Our only reliable, continual source of pleasure comes from walking in fellowship with God.
In a society that is so materially oriented, the Church needs to be reminded of its purpose. We need to delight ourselves in the Lord, and be diligent in seeking Him. That’s the road to pleasure and prosperity, for God graciously prospers those who seek Him. While there is no guarantee of financial wealth, or even physical health, we do experience daily renewal and have a Spiritual guarantee of better things to come.
However, many in the Church today are trying to have ‘the best of both worlds’, but it just cannot happen. While God does want us to gratefully enjoy all the blessings He gives us, we must not forsake Him to focus on temporary worldly pleasures. We are told not to walk as the unsaved do, “in the futility” (or literally, illusion) “of their mind”. Seasonal, passing pleasures can never substitute for the lasting, living water of Jesus Christ.
To the one who would hear and heed God’s call, let Jesus, not the world, grant the fulfillment of your needs and pleasures in life.