Enjoying God and sinning


You can enjoy the pleasure of sin, or you can enjoy the pleasures of God. You cannot do both.

People who enjoy God do not enjoy sinning. They don’t joke about enjoying sinning. They do not talk about wishing they could do this or that. Sin is not a laughing matter. The relationship is one-to-one. If you enjoy God, you don’t enjoy anything about sin. If you enjoy sin, you don’t enjoy anything about God. Sin has its pleasure. You can enjoy the pleasure of sin, or you can enjoy the pleasures of God. You cannot do both. In fact, people who enjoy God see sin as enjoying anything but God and what He provides. People who enjoy God take seriously the verses that speak of hating sin:

Amos 5:15a Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts.

Psalms 97:10a Let those who love the Lord hate evil.

Proverbs 8:13 To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.

Romans 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. [emphasis added]

People who enjoy God know that the only path to joy is obedience. They know by experience the truth of John 15:10, 11, “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” Consequently, people who enjoy God view sin very differently from people who do not. They do not see it as all the “fun stuff” that is either naughty or fattening, but fun. They see it as the stuff that breaks the heart of God. They see it as the stuff that destroys their relationship with God. They see it as dirty, ugly, disgusting stuff. They really have come to “abhor what is evil.” (Romans 12:9 KJV)

On the other hand, there are many people, including Christians, who do not see sin as being all that awful. “Boys will be boys,” they say. “Let people have a little fun.” Or, “sin in moderation, just don’t go nuts.” Sin never turns their stomach. Sin never brings a tear. Repentance is contrived, formal, lifeless.

They live very comfortably with sin. They play with it. They think they can play with snakes and not get bitten. “We have always done it; don’t be so legalistic; lighten up; everyone is doing it.” The justifications are endless. These are the people the Bible describes as having “consciences that are seared as with a hot iron.” ( 1 Timothy 4:2)

Sin is delighting in anything but God and what He provides.

People who enjoy God have a whole different definition of sin. Sin is finding our delight in anything but God. It may be an idol. It may be some sexual pleasure. It may be the acquisition of things through dishonesty or cruelty. It may even be dutiful religion—such as the Pharisees had. But fundamentally, it is failing to delight in God; this opens the door to delighting in all kinds of other things.

Of course, it goes without saying that people who enjoy God do sin. 1 John 1:8 says that. And people who enjoy God know it. They feel it every time they sin. It grieves them. It hurts them. It bothers them. And I am not just talking about the blatant things we sometimes think of as sin. I am talking about grumbling, complaining, gossip, and anything less than sterling honesty. People who enjoy God are not at all flippant about repentance. They grieve deeply when they find themselves convicted over doing something they know grieves the heart of God or dishonors Him in any way.

People who enjoy God also know what it is to receive forgiveness. After they repent, they are very quick to get off their knees, wash their faces and go about their business. This is not because they take sin lightly, but because they take forgiveness seriously. They have an incredible trust in God which is the basis of their entire relationship. They know they are not going to be the first person God refuses to forgive. They know God is not tired of hearing it. They know He never gets weary of hearing the honest confession of a repentant sinner. And they know He is more eager to forgive than we are to repent.

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