“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
“God will never give you more than you can handle.”
“Jesus is the only family you need.”
“Isn’t God enough for you?”
Have words like these ever made you feel guilty for experiencing grief or unfulfilled desire? Do you sometimes feel like if you had better faith, spent more time in prayer, or loved God more that you would be perfectly joyous and happy in the midst of whatever else you lacked? Do you feel guilty or superficial for enjoying or hoping for anything besides the barest necessities?
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. -James 1:17
While it is true that God is sufficient to sustain you and bring you comfort or contentment in painful or less desirable circumstances, the bible does not teach that we are meant to find satisfaction of all our needs, only and exclusively, through direct spiritual communion with God. He created you with needs that were to be met by Him, indirectly, through his agents or his creation. He created you to desire, to give and receive love from other humans, to enjoy a good meal, time with family and friends, a good joke or a good drink, to give and be given in marriage, to raise children, to play and to rest. Proverbs says that a joyful heart is good medicine. All of these things are God’s good gifts your desire for them is one that he placed within you. In their absence - in times of loss, suffering, or periods of long waiting for your heart’s desire - he offers comfort and a peace that passes understanding. What does not say is that it is wrong or faithless to wish for his good gifts, to long for them, or to pray for them. On the contrary he tells us to bring all of our complaints and requests to him and instructs us to weep and grieve with others who experience sorrow. (Romans 12:15, Philippians 4:6.)
So if pleasures are good gifts from God, does denying ourselves these pleasures make us more godly? It certainly sounds high and holy to care less and less for the pleasures of God’s creation and more and more for only pure communion with Him. But if we follow that thinking to it’s conclusion, doesn’t it follow that God made an error in creating us with needs and desires to be met in the material world? Does this mean that His beautiful creation, that he declared good in Genesis 1, was actually lower or lesser in some way? It wouldn’t make any sense to say any such thing would it?
It is not avoidance of the material world that is required of us, but full immersion
Imagine that you built a beautiful home for your children to live in and stocked it fully with everything that they could ever wish to play with, eat, or enjoy, and they said “No thank you, I do not want to touch any of these gifts. I do not want to fill this house with laughter. I will show my love for you by eating only what I must and drinking only what I must. I will spend all of my time thinking about and thanking you for all of these good things that I decline to touch.”
Would you feel that your good gifts were being appreciated and honored? This is what God declares when he says in Acts chapter 10 “ Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. -1 Timothy 4:1-5 We see here that is It is not more faithful to reject the beautiful gifts of God, but actually less so! Rather we are to do all of these things to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31.) It is not avoidance of the material world that is required of us, but full immersion in His creation, in submission to God and his commands, acknowledging his Lordship and rendering to him all thankfulness and honor.
Daily Nourish serves to encourage Christians to honor God with all their heart, mind, soul & strength and to love their neighbor as themselves. Thanks for stopping by! Davina
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