The Pursuit is Not for that Which is Profitable, but that Which is Pleasureable

We come with double forces against the wicked, to persuade them to a godly life…The common argument is the profitableness of religion, but alas, the wicked man is not in pursuit of profit; ’tis pleasure he seeks.  Now, then, we will fight with them with their own weapons.

Jonathan Edwards

as quoted byPiper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; Crossway; Wheaton, Ill.; copyright  2004; p. 103

Leaving The Pleasures of this World for a Life of Sacrifice

But our calling here is to fight for joy – our’s and the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.  The aim is that God’s worth – his infinite desireabilty – be known and prized and praised in all the world.  This is what we mean by God being glorified.  He is most glorified in and through his people when we are most satisfied in him.  The intensity of our pleasure and our desire bear witness of his worth to the world, especially when we are freed by this (present and hoped for) pleasure to leave the pleasures of this world for a life of sacrifice and love for others.

– Piper, John; When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy; copyright 2004; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il.; p. 29

What Grace Also Teaches

Grace also teaches us to say no to worldly passions, the ordinate desire for and preoccupation with the things of this life, such as progressions, prestige, pleasure or power.  Worldly passion is the opposite of the attitude Paul urged on us when he wrote, “Those who use the things of the world [should live] as if not engrossed in them.  For this world in its present form is passing away” (I Corinthians 7:31).

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 83

We Have a Cheap, Synthetic Power as a Substitute

We may as face it: the whole level of spirituality among us is low.  We have measured ourselves by ourselves until the incentive to seek higher pleasure in the things of the Spirit is all but gone…[We] have imitated the world, sought popular favor, manufactured delights to substitute for the joy of the Lord and produced a cheap, synthetic power to substitute for the power of the Holy Ghost.

– A.W. Tozer

as quoted by – Chan, Francis; Forgotten God: Reversing the Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit; David C. Cook Publishers; Colorado Springs, CO; copyright 2009; p. 27

We Sure Can Delude Ourselves

We can delude ourselves into believing that sin is simply an aberration or a lack of maturity; that preoccupation with security, pleasure, and power is caused by oppressive social structures and personality quirks; that we are sinful but not sinners, since we are mere victims of circumstances, compulsion, environment, addictions, upbringing, and so forth.  The Passion nails these lies and rationalizations to the Cross of Truth.

– Brennan Manning, The Importance of Being Foolish: How to Think Like Jesus, HarperOne, copyright 2005, page 184

This is Erroneous Discernment

Life driven by our desire for security, pleasure, and power dims the Light within us and introduces unnecessary mental and emotional sufferings, which are often misconstrued as spiritual trials or the inevitable growth pains of life in the Spirit.  This is erroneous discernment.  They are born of our own will, not the will of God.

– Brennan Manning, The Importance of Being Foolish: How to Think Like Jesus, HarperOne, copyright 2005, page ??

The Cloak that Covers Transparency

Often our preoccupation with the three most basic human desires – security, pleasure and power – is the cloak that covers transparency.  The endless struggle for enough money, good feelings, and prestige yields a rich harvest of worry, frustration, suspicion, anger, jealousy, anxiety, fear and resentment.

– Brennan Manning, The Importance of Being Foolish: How to Think Like Jesus, HarperOne, copyright 2005, page 38

Why is Psalm 63:1-5 not an Honest Reflection of Our Lives?

There is often a great disparity between how we feel about faith and how we are meant to feel.  Why do so few people genuinely find joy and pleasure in their relationship with God! Why do most people feel they have to either pay God back for all He’s done (by His love) or somehow keep making up for all their inadequacies and failures (prove their love)?  Why are the words of Psalm 63:1-5 not an honest reflection of our lives on most days?

– Francis Chan, Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God, copyright 2008, page 102