John the Baptist spoke of Jesus, “He must increase, I must decrease”. Only when I have made room for God to step into me and live out His life in me…only then have I experienced the power of selflessness. I have identified every character flaw and weakness known to humanity in my own life. The only credit I can take for the things I have experienced in God, is the relentless addiction I have to His presence. I am a hedonist and the greatest pleasure I’ve experienced is in His presence. Before that first encounter with the Author of pleasure I was addicted to drugs and alcohol, to sex and anything that felt good. The only thing that kept me from the harder drugs of heroin and crack, was the pain associated with them. LSD and pot, beautiful girls and glorious sunsets over pristine mountain vistas and silky warm beaches. Pleasure.
In and of itself, pleasure is innocent and intended for the enjoyment and benefit of humankind. There is, however, a determined strategy to deify Pleasure and in so doing, enslave the human heart to a cruel taskmaster. The One who created Pleasure and instilled within humanity the capacity to experience Pleasure, never intended for the Creation or any created thing to satisfy us completely. These wonderful gifts which have been lavished upon us, are a simple expression of His desire to see us smile. The many faces of the ocean and sky, breathtaking in their scope and beauty. The majesty of dizzying alpine peaks marching across the continents, seemingly immovable in their permanence. The bewildering diversity of flora and fauna, an explosion of life permeating the earth.
And the baser things whose roots we find pressing into our very nature. The flesh is eager and unruly, always straining against the fabric of our lives. The things meant to sustain these earthen vessels, food, clothes, shelter etc., have a ready accomplice in the sin that is woven into the very fiber of our beings. Pleasure demands the worship and fealty of the fallen nature of humanity. To be identified with and by our possessions, careers, even our ministries and families is in reality, to be possessed by them. A broken value system where Pleasure and Self reign over the heap. A system intent on binding our identity to Dead Things, Dead Ways; to Passing Things which are temporal and have no value in the face of Eternity.
If one’s foundation is built upon the shifting sands of personal achievement or is hinged on the praise and recognition of man, a springboard called The Pride of Life gives rise to a voracious force known as The Lust of the Eyes. The chase is on, the carrot leading the way, sometimes rocketing wildly ahead, at other times casually sliding just out of reach. A bigger house in a more prestigious neighborhood, a more luxurious car, a fatter investment portfolio, more respect and power in the work place. Or maybe the goal we’ve set our sights on is a more influential and better known ministry…attaining the “perfect” body by any means necessary. Identifying ourselves with this fallen world in any measure will cause harm to the Spirit led life. The desire to posses and dominate our world is innate; placed thoughtfully in the forefront of man’s consciousness. It is the oft’ chosen methods that birth chaos.
The world is given to us to steward with the Handbook Of Heaven. God’s priority must be our priority. The impeccable timing of the Creator, the stunning beauty of the Divine Plan, are rarely seen by eyes shrouded with earthbound perspective. Our privilege as His ambassadors is to assert the authority of heaven. We are invited to exercise our diplomatic sovereignty; the place of our footprints should now swirl with the fragrance of our King. The resounding declaration of our very lives must be” THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND”. He looks on with the angelic host, leaning over Heaven’s balcony, a smile tugging at His lips. He has given to us…Resurrection Life, the Spirit without Measure, His Living Word…to express His perfect love. To dominate sin and death and plunder the stolen treasures hidden in darkness.