How mistaken are those people who seek happiness outside of themselves, in foreign lands and journeys, in riches and glory, in great possessions and pleasures, in diversions and vain things, which have a bitter end! In the same thing to construct the tower of happiness outside of ourselves as it is to build a house in a place that is consistently shaken by earthquakes. Happiness is found within ourselves, and blessed is the man who has understood this. Happiness is a pure heart, for such a heart becomes the throne of God. Thus says Christ of those who have pure hearts: “I will visit them, and will walk in them, and I will be a God to them, and they will be my people.” (II Cor. 6:16) What can be lacking to them? Nothing, nothing at all! For they have the greatest good in their hearts: God Himself!
~St. Nektarios of Aegina
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.
~Paul, The Least of The Apostles, in Titus 3
Oh beloved, it is true.
We, those who have been made alive in Him, were built for pleasure. Jesus Himself was a party guy in this life, and He did nothing but what the Father desired for Him to do. Get this, and don’t forget it: Heaven and The Kingdom of G_d is a place where the deepest and richest pleasures we have ever experienced will be there for us to partake in. And, this sense of pleasure will grow forever.
This is the measure of true pleasure: Is it something we can enjoy with everyone we have ever known, and wish for it to continue forever?
Oh, we thought our chemicals, and images, and activities were what we wanted. But, we know deep down that if we just keep going, we will be going nowhere. They will isolate us, they will drain us, and they will kill us.
Can we see it?
What the devil and the flesh offer are not even pleasures in its true sense. They offer the feelings that the brain can give for a moment – but they miss the reality that what God gives is not a sensation, but an actual presence and relationship and expanding joy, forever.
Oh yes, there will be amazing food and drink, and probably even other things even more amazing for us to enjoy in The Kingdom… But, they will be entirely secondary to the immense pleasure of simply being known by G_d – and to know Him in return. Beyond this, there will be no fear in any of our relationships. We will be totally at ease, and not in a hurry, and totally available to get into the deepest and most incredible relationships with billions of others – forever!
So, are you still believing that the “pleasures of this world” are good enough? Don’t believe it. The King of The Universe wants to make you His bride. And the devil? He just wants a few whores to use and throw away.
Tonight is your night. Time to turn towards true pleasure.
Written by Makala Doulos: Makala Doulos is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Daily Quote: Lust is as it were desire and desire, will which extends beyond the natural will, passionate, not governed by the law and moderation. There are thus many forms of lust, like the many forms of sin … Lust does not approach the soul in the form of a warlike enemy, but in the form of a friend or a pleasant servant. It suggests some sort of pleasure or illusory good. But this is only a trick by which the malicious angler strives to lead astray and catch the poor soul. Remember this when you are tempted by lust.
~St. Philaret of Moscow
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance. Psalm 42:5