Is The Pleasure Worth The Pain?

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~   For the last few days there has been an uneasiness that has plagued me.

~   A feeling deep in my heart telling me something just isn’t right and things aren’t as they should be.

~   A feeling I know so well.

~   It’s a feeling I have had ever since I was a child.

~   One that warned me that I’ve done something wrong and punishment was headed my way.

~   One that has pleaded with me to turn in the opposite direction because I was headed straight for heartache.

~   One that I have felt every time I have watched someone I love and want the best for walk in a way that leads to destruction.

~   I have a front row seat to that right now. I am watching someone I love make choices that will lead to death, not life. I am watching this person I love pull others down this path of death alongside them.

~   It is utterly unbearable for me.

~   I feel as if the words I should say are fighting to break free from my tightly concealed lips.

~   What is the right thing to say when someone is making a conscious choice to walk in a way that totally contradicts God’s character and His heart? What do you say to someone who claims to want to walk in the fullness of God’s love but they know what they are doing is wrong and selfish and will only bring forth a separation from the Father?

~   I’ve been praying about this for days. Is this a time to be silent or a time to speak up? Does my silence condone the sin?

~   It hurts my heart to see people choose to indulge in the pleasures of this world instead of indulging in the pleasures of our awesome Warrior God. It frustrates me that there are no words that I can say to change the hearts and minds of people around me. I don’t speak from judgment or condemnation, but from a heart that has known the pain of separation from my God because I chose my flesh over my Fathers plan for me. During that time, I searched for happiness and found depravity. I searched for acceptance and found rejection. I searched for love and got a cheap imitation that left me empty, broken and thirsty for the real thing.

~   I wish I could adequately describe the joy I have found in contentment. I wish I could describe how it feels to be secure in my Saviors love and see my worth through His gracious eyes for the first time in my life. I wish I could explain what if feels like to know that my whole heart, all my hopes and dreams, my present and future battles, my insecurities and my imperfections, are all in the hands of the Lover of my soul.

~   We so quickly forget who the Author of our worth is. We search for it in relationships and friendships and careers and social status, but that will never make us worthy. In fact, all of those things will make us feel worthless eventually. We run after things that we think will fill that void that has been left by a past shattered by abuse, or a heart that has been used and beaten and broken by someone who claimed love for us, or by parents who neglected to see our worth, or by a church filled with people who turned a blind eye to see our pain. We fill it with one pointless sin after another. Maybe it’s a new relationship and you think to yourself, “Finally! Finally I have found someone who loves me and wants me for who I am”. Maybe it’s a new career with the promise of a luxurious lifestyle and the respect you believe you’re due. Maybe its drugs or sex or alcohol, where you can lose yourself for just a little while and forget all the heartache you have endured.

~   Emptiness, all of it.

~   Most of these things aren’t bad things. In fact, most are things God created to bless us and sharpen us and help us to grow in His love. But a good thing at the wrong time is still the wrong thing. And even worse, we have taken a precious gift, cheapened it and made it a sinful thing that hurts the heart of our Beloved.

~   I don’t know what to say to my loved one. But I do know this; my beautiful Savior is the only one who will bring you joy. He is the only one who will love you unconditionally. He is the only one who sees every single scar, every single tear you have ever cried, every hurt, every betrayal, every happy moment, every blessing bestowed upon you by His unfailing grace. He calls us His beloved and pursues us with a relentless ferocity that overwhelms my heart and sweeps the romantic inside me off my feet. Please fight. Please know that whatever you are looking for will only bring about death if you do it outside of His perfect will. Please know that His will far exceeds what your eyes tell you are good or your fickle heart tells you will make you worthy. Please, don’t be ruled by your desires, but let the Ruler of heaven and earth be your desire and hope in the desires He has given you, desires He will bring about in His time and in a way that will bring honor and glory to Him. And please, PLEASE, know your enemy! Know that he wants nothing more than to separate you from the Father and he will use anything to do just that. Our enemy will present us with the desires of our hearts to lure us away from the shelter of our Fathers arms. Don’t ever forget Satan knows our weaknesses, and he will use them to cripple us. That’s why I will say again and again and again, lay your desires at Jesus’ feet and let Him bring them to pass WHEN IT’S RIGHT. Not when it feels right or the opportunity presents itself or when it makes you feel happy and loved and secure.

~   Please, choose life. Choose to be filled with His love, with His words, with His praise. Please, run hard after contentment and joy. Please, pray for wisdom and become so familiar with God’s word that you know the truth and can fight the manipulations of the enemy.

~   I beg you to apply this to your life. I beg you as a sister in the Lord, a sister who has been where death and depravity lie and wants so much more for you all. A sister who longs to see people strengthen themselves in God’s love and be a mighty force for His kingdom. A sister who faces this same battle, day in and day out. I know what I’m asking isn’t easy. It will require everything you have, and more. So ask yourself this, do I want to be used for good and be a light that shines so brightly for the King that people are drawn to His grace through me, or do I want momentary happiness that will only be a cheap imitation of love that will leave me feeling empty, worthless and devoid of value?

~   Whatever you decide, know that He loves you regardless. And He will pursue you to the ends of the earth because that is who He is. He will win your heart back if you choose to give it away in vein. And, if you let Him, He will love you so completely, so passionately, so fully, so relentlessly, no other earthy thing will ever compare to the magnitude of our romantic Warrior King.

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