Part 6 in a series
Image by Sifu Renka via Flickr
Richard Baxter's work from three centuries ago, "Directions for Hating Sin," has provided the inspiration for our current series. His sixth direction speaks to us of delight.
Think well what pure and sweet delights a holy soul may enjoy from God, in his holy service; and then you will see what sin is, which robs him of these delights, and prefers fleshly lusts before them.
O how happily might we perform every duty, and how fruitfully might we serve our Lord, and what delight should we find in his love and acceptation, and the foresight of everlasting blessedness, if it were not for sin; which brings down the soul from the doors of heaven, to wallow with swine in a beloved dunghill!
Many ladies will be able to relate to the idea of strange food cravings during pregnancy. Mine were harmless enough…I remember for a couple of weeks eating a mixture of stewed tomatoes, mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. (And I mean a mixture. It was all stirred together.) But some women’s cravings are far more bizarre, and some are downright dangerous. My mother found herself with a mouth-watering craving for laundry detergent when she was pregnant. Doing the laundry was torture, because she wanted to eat the detergent so badly.
If she had given in to that craving, she would have poisoned herself and her baby. So as you can imagine, that was the sort of craving that any woman would hate to have!
Sin creates poisonous cravings, too. And our sinful nature, blind to the things of God, does not even see the danger. We are born craving sin, and we die craving it, and we crave it every day in between.
Sin makes swill look desirable. So desirable, in fact, that most people mock at the idea that sin, the spiritual equivalent of pig slop, could be anything less than their greatest joy. It eclipses the pleasures of God in our eyes, so that we can’t even see how much more glorious He is.
If the thought of “delighting in God” sounds foreign to you, ask yourself what it is in your soul (and in every other human soul) that could make you desire so much less than His perfection. What could make you desire anything more than you desire the beauties of the One who created all the wonders of space, the majesties of mountain ranges, the mysteries of snowflakes?
What could make you (or any of us) desire anything more than you desire a close relationship with God in the flesh, Jesus Christ, who loved you and gave His life to rescue you from sin?
What could make you, like all of us, turn your back on life and cling to death?
It is sin that deprives us of all the wonders and joys and pleasures that God desires to pour out on His people! Sin is the reason that you and I can only vaguely imagine the glories of the Savior, instead of basking in the bliss of Him.
May we join with the Psalmist, and with countless others believers through the ages, and make it our aim to “delight ourselves in the Lord!”