Could it be that we do not enjoy our relationship with God (or as much as we could be) because we are also enjoying our sin?
It’s an interesting question that makes me think of how God hates sin and does not have fellowship with it. Galatians 5 teaches us that there is a war, a conflict between the cravings of our sinful nature and the desires of the Spirit of God: “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.” How can enjoyment come in the middle of a war? In a way, a believer cannot truly enjoy God or the sin if in the middle is guilt and remorse. We’ve done it over and over again, once we realize the sin we’ve committed intense guilt settles and resentment towards that sin settles. You don’t feel good about the sin and you don’t feel like you’re good with God. It’s a lose, lose situation.
Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other…” (Matthew 6:24). One will be enjoyed and loved, and one will be hated. I believe we are missing out on the full splendor of God’s love and grace. I believe we are missing what it truly feels like to be set free from sin and made alive in Christ because we still try to enjoy our old ways. We want God and the sinful pleasures. There is so much more of God’s glory and benefits to enjoy, but we won’t, until we fully give up the sin that is at war with God. We cannot pursue God and pursue our own pleasures for our enjoyment hoping they live in harmony.
I believe when we fully surrender to God by seeking His kingdom and righteousness and giving up our sinful pleasures we will realize the joy of having God. To live at peace, rather than conflict with God is greater than any sinful pleasure. And here’s why…Ultimately, sinful pleasures lead to sorrow and death so it really worth trying to enjoy them? Holiness leads to eternal life. So enjoying sin is only a moment, but enjoying the grace of God is an eternal privilege that is actually worth enjoying. We can enjoy God so much that we see our old sinful pleasures as a disease out to ruin the relationship with God we are enjoying.
Scripture for more reflection:
Luke 15: The Prodigal Son (He realizes what he thought he would enjoy only leads him to misery).
Psalm 32 (NLT)
1 Oh, what joy for those
whose disobedience is forgiven,
whose sin is put out of sight!
2 Yes, what joy for those
whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt,
whose lives are lived in complete honesty!
Psalm 32:10-11 (NLT)
10 Many sorrows come to the wicked,
but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.
11 So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!
Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!
Psalm 97:10-12 (NLT)
10 You who love the Lord, hate evil!
He protects the lives of his godly people
and rescues them from the power of the wicked.
11 Light shines on the godly,
and joy on those whose hearts are right.
12 May all who are godly rejoice in the Lord
and praise his holy name!