The Gospel is often described as “the good news”, so today I have some good news for you about the Kingdom of God that you might not have heard about in church.
It’s true that our fore-fathers in the Gospel gave pleasure a bad name. The Puritans and many other sects in our (Church) history considered pleasure the slippery slope into the abys. Too much pleasure would turn a person from the things of God to temporal things. Their version of the Gospel made them pretty intense, fearful, and not a whole lot of fun to be around. Believers in that era always worried that they were perhaps having too much fun! Christians became the most un-fun and un-happy people on the planet because they didn’t portray or represent their Lord and Saviour the way He REALLY is.
Oddly enough, the Bible says very little about the topic of pleasure. There are no warnings from Jesus about the perils of pleasure, nor cautions about having too much fun – that part was made up by believers in another generation who didn’t really know their Lord.
Pleasure is at the foundation of who we are and why we are here! I know that because God made us for pleasure. Each one of our senses was designed to bring pleasure. Smell a great meal being prepared and you are not just collecting information, you are receiving pleasure. Look at a beautiful sunset, or a brilliant flower and you receive pleasure. Our sense of touch is connected to receptors that cause us pleasure; and of course, the big one – sex. He could have made it a lot different, but He designed it to be so darn powerful that it can overwhelm you with pleasure.
Furthermore, Jesus said, “His yoke is easy and His burden is light”. He first gave talents, abilities, and motivation to all mankind and then He called them into service using those “gifts” in order to receive (you guessed it) pleasure! Even work is suppose to be pleasurable. We even get pleasure from being with Him – pleasure is everywhere! I could go on, but I think you get the point.
Are you finding yourself resisting this portrayal of God for a more stern and ‘un-fun’ characterization of Him? The Pharisees had a “tough love” God. They tithed even the smallest of items so as to make sure they fulfilled the Law completely – but it didn’t impress God because they didn’t know Him. The servant who received the one talent, but who had a picture of God as a demanding tough guy with high expectations, completely missed Him and the objective of life.
All humanity and the Earth is the evidence that we were made for pleasure and that God isn’t who we think He is. Who we think God is, has a great deal to do with how we conduct our lives as believers. If we think that following Him is a hard “thing”, then it will be. If we believe that God is the author of our pleasure and that it is His good intention for us to live in it, we will settle for nothing less……….Enjoy!
© Copyright 2014-15, Paul K. Weigel – All rights reserved.