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The god of Pleasure

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The god of Pleasure

There’s a ‘fierce desire’ within us put there by the Holy Spirit to serve God. When we bow down to the god of this world it leaves us empty.  And that’s the truth the Apostle John was trying to pound into our hearts when he wrote:

“Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.”[1]

In this amazing passage John listed three primary things we substitute for God, and they inevitably become a hollow god of our own making.

For this world offers only a craving for physical pleasure.

Before we talk about the god of pleasure, we have to be clear about the subject of pleasure itself. God takes pleasure in all the things that He has created when they have their proper place.

Here are some of the pleasures God created:

  • Nature: the outdoors, the animal kingdom
  • Food: all the good food of this world comes from God.
  • Sex: God created sex for pleasure and procreation.
  • Music: God created music; heaven is filled with it.
  • Entertainment: laughter, joy, amazement, amusement

1 Timothy 6:17 says, “God has generously given us everything for our enjoyment.”

The god of pleasure takes the good things God created and turns them into an addiction or an obsession. And then that pleasure becomes the only thing we think about. It eventually becomes more important than people, than our family, more important than God Himself.

 “They traded the truth about God for a lie.” So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator Himself, who [alone] is worthy of eternal praise![2]

We are so inclined to worship what God has created, instead of worshiping the creator, that we end up twisting something beautiful into something distorted, weird and imbalanced. This year more than 1,000 refugees drowned, but far more media attention was put on a gorilla, who tragically died, than on a thousand refugees who perished.

We value animals created by God above man, who was created in the image of God.

The god of pleasure always takes something good and godly and distorts it into something twisted and weird. Sex was created by God to be pleasurable, life-giving, wholesome and wonderful. It’s spiritual. It’s two bodies and souls becoming one. But when we worship the creature rather than the creator, we trade the truth about God for a lie and make sex our god.

And when that happens sex inevitably becomes distorted, far from the original beauty and grandeur for which God designed it. And that’s what the Apostle Paul was referring to in Romans 1:26-27;  “That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.”

The god of pleasure always distorts the beauty of the real pleasures that God created for us to enjoy. And the god of pleasure always becomes a demanding and demeaning god who takes all the pleasure out of the very pleasures we worship.

Listen to the complete message here.

[1] 1 John 2:15-17 NLT

[2] Romans 1:25 NLT

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About Ron Bontrager

Lead Pastor of Lakeview Church in Indianapolis.

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