Pleasure. Good pleasure. What comes to your mind as you think of “good pleasure?” Is good pleasure something to avoid, or temper? Or is it something that you seek—on your quest to find fulfillment? Let us look at what God say about good pleasure so that we have a reference point for experiencing pleasure in our lives.
Pleasure was God’s idea. In fact, in Ephesians 1:5 God tells us that He adopted us into His family “according to the good pleasure of His will.” Wow! Pleasure originated from God.
When we understand the truth of God’s pleasure, we will have a solid foundation for how to live in right relationship with others, without falling into the worldly pleasure of sexual sin.
God created everything good, and satan twists everything he can, trying to trap us into a counterfeit pleasure. God created us to enjoy sex in the covenant of marriage. Satan mocks this relationship and tells us that God is withholding pleasure from us by not allowing us to have sex whenever, and with whomever we want. The enemy tells us that we are missing out if we choose to follow God and His ways. Satan wants us to believe that obedience is a weak, inferior lifestyle.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. Anyone who has followed the enemy down this lying road knows that this worldly pleasure is entrapping, empty, and brings loneliness. Seeking the pleasure of instant gratification is fleeting, and racked with shame. Why? Because the enemy’s counterfeit pleasure is rooted in lust, and lust can never satisfy.
Worldly pleasure tempts us to doubt God. Here is a key: for as long as satan has been an enemy of God, he has focused on trying to slander God’s goodness. If we ever doubt that God has good for us, if we ever think that God is withholding from us, we can know that those thoughts are coming straight from the pit of hell. If we hear something—as a thought in our head, or from someone else, or from society— that tempts us to doubt God’s good pleasure for us, we can know that the source is always evil.
So in regards to our sexuality, how do we choose to honor God when our pre-marital desire to have sex is so strong? How do we practically connect this desire to God’s good pleasure, instead of falling into the enemy’s lure of lust and deception?
Part of what keeps us on track is looking at the result of our choices. Let’s look at how premarital sex affects people. Sex outside of marriage is like walking through a garden that is loaded with hidden pitfalls. Everything looks lovely but there are hidden traps not visible to the naked eye. People just stroll along enjoying the pleasure of sex—and boom! They fall into a pit—one that has taken them by surprise.
Most of the time, we do not see the overt signs of the raw pain that result from casual sex—but if peoples’ hearts could be seen after the disappointment, rejection, and broken trust, I believe the carnage would be astounding. In essence, sex outside of marriage is dangerous. It is a taking, wounding act. Although it may sound harsh to describe it this way, most often I have seen premarital sex to be selfish. People want to do it for what they can get out of it, and it has longstanding, destructive consequences.
Please hear me. If you haven’t walked down this road of impurity, it is not worth it. The pleasure of sex outside of marriage is very short-lived, and the cost is extremely high. It mocks God’s righteous ways that actually preserve our dignity, and protect our hearts and bodies.
And, if one does fall into temptation, God is ready to pour His goodness out into our lives when we turn from our sin and seek His face. The miraculous thing about God’s grace is that it not only forgives what we’ve done, but it completely wipes it out. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions (sins) from us” (Psalm 103:12). His forgiveness is beyond comprehension! Grace is powerful. It has changed my life.
Receiving God’s grace allows us to...
walk in freedom from the past,
live fully in the present,
and be empowered to make healthy choices for the future.
Grace is our lifeline to God and all that is good.