Wednesday, March 8, 2006
The Ultimate Choice
You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. —Psalm 16:11
In the 1990s, we found a new scapegoat, something we could blame practically everything on. It was called El Niño. No matter what happened, that is what we could blame it on. I think that is because, as a society, we love a scapegoat. We love someone or something to blame things on, because we are living in a time when no one wants to take responsibility for their actions anymore.
But in James 4, we find the real source of our problems. James says it comes from us — from our desire for pleasure: “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?” (James 4:1). When you get down to it, this is the source of all conflict in life for the most part.
First, let’s understand that the Bible is not saying it is wrong to desire pleasure in life overall, because certainly there is pleasure that comes from many good things in life, from many things that God can bless. And pleasure comes from our relationship with God himself.
What gets to the heart of the matter is the word that James used: “desires.” In Greek, it is the word hedone, from which our English word hedonism comes from. Hedonism, of course, is the basic belief that pleasure is the chief good in life, and that one should essentially live for pleasure.
The Bible speaks often of the joy of the Lord and the true happiness that comes from God. So here is what it comes down to. The ultimate choice in life is between pleasing ourselves or pleasing God.
For more relevant and biblical teaching from Pastor Greg Laurie, go to www.harvest.org.
Copyright © 2006 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000.