Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pleasures of God

I've been wrestling with this topic lately, well actually, I've been wrestling with it for years, but it seems to be more lately.

I'll be out somewhere, I'll bump into a friend from the past, she'll tell me all about her life, her kids, her house and her husband. God isn't in her dream-life, but still I feel my stomach clinching and wishing it was my life. Or, I'll be looking at photos, plastered for the world to see, thanks to databases like Facebook, of friends, current and from the past and see their smiling faces as they drink the night away and part of me thinks, hmm, wish I could have been there. A guy from college, messages me and tells me about his great job, making lots of money for very little effort, for a business with poor ethics and selling a product that is of low moral character, but yet I still think....hmm, wish I could pull something like that off.

And the jealously builds up inside, like a thick, green slim, polluting my heart and mind. The old sinful nature, still loving everything the world has to offer! Confused I think.....if I wasn't a Christian there would be no limitations on my life, date who I want without considering the person's relationship with Christ, attend endless social occasions and drink the night away, instead of spending a quiet night at home or have a job that came with a significant income, but in an unethical way.

I find myself screaming in my head....Laura..stop thinking like this, it's ludicrous! Why do I so often forget the Hope I have within me??

One of the devotional books I read recently had an article on this very subject. They used the example of Moses as mentioned in Hebrews 11:24-27.

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.

Moses could have had anything he wanted, he was Pharaoh's daughter's son, with all the pleasures of the world at his fingertips. But Moses threw it all away and in view of the world he was a fool but in the eyes of God and his followers he was a wise man. He saw the pleasures of sin for exactly what is was........ SIN! He knew there was a tomorrow and an eternity. He knew the pleasures of the world would not last. He wasn't choosing between pleasure and no pleasure, he was choosing between the pleasures of the world and the pleasures of eternity.

What if Moses hadn't made this choice, he would be just another person from history, instead of being known as a man who lived for all the right reasons. Can you imagine if Jesus had decided to take personal pleasure over dying on the Cross? I can't imagine where I would be today!

So next time I am sensing some jealousy, longing for the world, I will remind myself to be like Moses and stay focused on the pleasures of God!

~Laura

7 comments:

Terry said...

Dear Laura...This post of yours is so much like the one that Passing-thru put in a while ago July 18th.
I am very bad a quoting so I have copied and pasted it here for you!

NO USE "BLENDING" IN
This "Mystery" of CHRIST and HIS Church
We are "distinctly" different from the unsaved - we dress alike , eat the same foods, drive automobiles , work in the same buildings, have the same needs and wants
BUT there is a "spiritual difference" in us.
The Spirit of Christ, The Holy Spirit indwells us -- we are cut from a different cloth now -- we have become "aliens" in this present world ---
One can sense it when we mention HIS NAME --- Make no mistake , we are "strangers" here and we are on a journey to Another Place , so don't make a common mistake and "think" we can blend in --- "they" will spot us everytime and bring embarrassment if U try and act worldly --

INSTEAD
Let your LIGHT so shine before men
Be ready to give an answer for the HOPE that is within U
Determine to live soberly, righteously not as the world lives --

Oh Laura we have all face such temptations of wanting to blend in. I know I have and at times when I was young, I almost resented it and then one of the dear preachers, Mr.Murray McLeod showed me these verses in Psalms 73
Here are just a few of the verses that spoke to me.
Psalm 73
A Psalm of Asaph.
1 Truly God is good to Israel,
To such as are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
My steps had nearly slipped.
3 For I was envious of the boastful,
When I saw the prosperity of the wicked

4 For there are no pangs in their death,
But their strength is firm.
5 They are not in trouble as other men,
Nor are they plagued like other men.
6 Therefore pride serves as their necklace;
Violence covers them like a garment.
7 Their eyes bulge[a] with abundance;
They have more than heart could wish.
8 They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression;
They speak loftily.
9 They set their mouth against the heavens,
And their tongue walks through the earth.
13 Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain,
And washed my hands in innocence.
14 For all day long I have been plagued,
And chastened every morning.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You hold me by my right hand.
24 You will guide me with Your counsel,
And afterward receive me to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
26 My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!

It does my heart good so early in the morning to read these verses Laura...Thanks so much for this post...Love Terry

Terry said...

PS...Pilot-mom would so love this post too because it is green!!!
Her favourite color!

donna said...

Laura,

There is that old saying "the grass is always greener on the other side". Trust me, it's not!! although there are many who would have you believe it....

It was interesting to read your post here this morning...for I was reading psalm 63 last evening ...God works in wonderful ways doesn't he??

Bless you and thanks for sharing your heart...hugs

donna

passing-thru said...

WHAT A GOOD POST --- Thanks Laura , for your thoughts here are common among most --- we all have felt that way at times -

And these comments from Terry and Donna -- EXCELLENT

God has "better" things for U , Laura ---
Blessings to U this day--

Terry said...

Oh Donna...I just read what Psalm 63 had to say..Just beautiful!!

7 "Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings". ...Love Terry

Julie (Little Missionary) said...

Laura - what a great post - thanks so much for sharing your heart. I often struggle with this too. It's nice to know I'm not alone in this struggle. I see people who do not believe in the Lord or give one thought to God and they seem to be happier than I am - they are doing better financially and they have the kids, a spouse...etc. Even when they talk about their problems I find myself thinking "At least you have....." Instead of focusing on the LIFE I have in Christ, I focus on what I don't have. Sometimes it does seem that unbelievers are having all the fun. It can be lonely, very lonely at times - even with believing friends...I still wonder if the unbelievers are having all the fun...but you know what? Remember last year when I posted about Louise (my coworker) and I watching the Sens run for the Cup - we'd go to the Red Zone at Scotiabank Place to watch with thousands of others...what I didn't tell people here was, our focus was on drinking beer and cursing...making fun of others around us, (by the way, I've got no problem with a beer here and there ...but in moderation). It was all fun at the time...but look at what "blending" in with someone who doesn't have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ...she turned on me eventually, proving not to be my friend at all. I dabbled in gossip with her (even when I was silent, that was still participating), I chased after Todd - she encouraged it and I looked to her like she had all the answers - Todd is a self proclaimed atheist - as if that would have ever been a healthy relationship - NOT! The Lord certainly protected me from falling into that too deeply...my "religion" turned Todd off...thank God I was honest about that part of myself. Finally God in His Fatherly love allowed so much heartache in me that I had little choice but to retreat on sick leave to allow Him to really show me the consequences of "blending in" with the "fun" crowd. I think I really see now that life within God's loving boundaries is better...and safer! God bless you Laura!

J - Little Missionary

Vicki said...

Think of the incomparable riches in Christ our Lord!---given to us by our loving heavenly Father, who is always looking out for our best. Sometimes the world looks good, but it's just a mirage:-)

Good post, Laura - so blessed by it. Thank you!