Tuesday, May 13

The Pursuit of Pleasure at All Costs

I am listening to a Matt Chandler sermon that I missed out on while I was at school. It is called, "Nine Pastoral Prayers" and it is a GOOD sermon. I would suggest listening to it if you want to know more about what Matt's church is about or want to be challenged in some very different ways.

He talks about this next passage, and it really challenged me to look at how I view the church. I know that a lot of people are taking this passage and running with it, which is a very cool thing. Shane Claiborne has a community going which is an effort to go back to the Early Church, and it seems really cool.

42They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

People saw others in need and SOLD WHAT THEY HAD in order to meet their needs... These Christians already had almost nothing. Incredible. A sense of community that the church today has completely missed out on... The selfishness found in the church kind of makes me sick, actually. It breaks my heart that over the past 2000 years the church has gone from selfless giving to selfish, petty arguments. What would this world be like if instead of waiting for others(the government) to solve problems like poverty and hunger and abuse, we gave ourselves to help? We risked our lives to help? They aren't our lives anyway.
I think that if I could really grasp that my finances, body, mind, life were not mine, and never have been, I would have a sense of freedom that would allow me to truly surrender my life to Christ.

Matt goes on to talk about how we as children of God are not under wrath, but under mercy... This is also a hard thing to remember, because every time something goes wrong, we often think that God is angry with us... I would rather be in physical, emotional, mental pain and KNOW God than have an easy life in which I think I am deserving of all praise and never know really know Him.

Now about my title for this blog... God is the fullness of all things, and through Him can we really truly be satisfied, and as Matt says, "we don't follow Him because He gets us those things, we follow Him because He is BETTER than those things even to begin with... We don't follow Him because He makes our life better, we follow Him because He is better than life."
I watched a segment on youtube the other day from one of Mark Driscoll's sermons. He played a clip from one of Joel Olsteen's sermons and then discussed it... Joel Olsteen is an interesting guy to me. He doesn't preach "you can have all you desire if you send me your money..." But his idea that you can have all you want, freedom from financial, relational, and physical pain, when you have Jesus just seems a little off. Or a lot off. Nothing in the Bible says that with Jesus we have freedom from pain. In fact, the Bible says that the world will hate us. I find it funny that the things that Olsteen claims we will be free from with Jesus are things from which Jesus himself found the most pain... He was broke... homeless, couldn't even pay His taxes. He went through physical pain... crucifixion? yeahh.. Relationships? His family hated Him, and His best friends abandoned Him. His followers were murdered and persecuted. They lived their lives in hiding.

I need to work on that... the pursuit of Pleasure at all costs... I desire to find my satisfaction in Christ... that pursuit of Christ that destroys complacency. I hate complacency. Satan uses it to attack me all the time. I desire to have that hunger that satisfies me and makes me want more. A satisfying unsatisfied feeling.

These have been long lately. hah. sorry.


Bryan said...

John Piper has some great books on the pursuit of pleasure. He actually coined the term "Christian hedonist" which is something in and of itself interesting to think about.

hales said...

Matt talked about that in that sermon, actually.. well, not john piper, but the term...