Looking at the ugliness of sin is one way to fight off temptation. But there’s a better way: focus on the beauty of Jesus.
Don’t try harder; enjoy more.
Excerpt from One Thing
I’m not suggesting that understanding the nature of God isn’t essential. Of course it is! Theological ignorance won’t take us very far, at least not in the right direction. Excitement uninformed by truth invariably leads either to idolatry or fanaticism. If we don’t know the God we enjoy, we may end up enjoying the wrong God!
But knowledge alone isn’t enough.
Declaring God’s glory to others is also important but, again, there’s something even more fundamental to our existence. For evangelicals who’ve been raised to believe that theological precision is an end in itself, this may be a hard pill to swallow. For others who’ve reduced Christianity to obedience, it may sound self-indulgent.
My point is simply that passionate and joyful admiration of God, and not merely intellectual apprehension, is the aim of our existence. If God is to be supremely glorified in us it’s critically essential that we be supremely glad in him and in what he has done for us in Jesus.
So, here’s why you are: to relish and rejoice in the revelation of divine beauty.
. . . Let me go even further and say that when it comes to satisfying our spiritual appetites, there is no such thing as excess.
There are no restraints placed on us by God. There are no rules of temperance or laws requiring moderation or boundaries beyond which we cannot go in seeking to enjoy him. We need never pause to inquire whether we’ve crossed a line or become overindulgent.
You need never fear feeling too good about God.
That’s not to say our sensual appetites should be left unchecked. The Bible is full of prohibitions and restrictions on how and to what extent we indulge our fleshly and bodily desires. But no such rules exist for our spiritual appetites.
Many think of religion in general and Christianity in particular as a sour and depressing attempt to suppress human desire and deprive us of the delights of life. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Christianity forbids us no pleasures, save those that lead to temporal misery and eternal woe. Please read that again. God has forbidden you nothing that is conducive to your ultimate satisfaction and delight. Nothing!
. . . The essence of loving living as a follower of Jesus isn’t in trying harder but in enjoying more. I’m not saying you can change without trying. I’m saying that enjoyment empowers effort.
Pleasure in God is the power for purity.
– Sam Storms
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