the god of pleasure January 23-27
This week we are exploring the worship of a false god – the god of pleasure. In the past, some Christian traditions have taught that pleasure is wrong, but the Bible does not say this. God is not anti-pleasure, but God is against idolatry. Pleasure becomes a problem when it becomes an idol to us. When times get tough, is it God to whom you turn first, or do you turn to your sources of pleasure? Does the enemy tempt you to pursue things like retail therapy, comfort food, “escape” through binge watching shows, visiting inappropriate websites? Where you turn when you are hurting and need comfort is likely what you worship. The goal is to identify the god of pleasure in your life from which you need to repent and dethrone.
Day 1 Joshua 24:14-24
Reflect: What was behind the choice Joshua told the people to make? What did he mean in verse 19? Is to serve the same as obey? Today, what things do people choose to serve?
Apply: What other gods are you are serving? Why? For you to faithfully serve the Lord, above all else, what do you need to do or change?
Pray: Father, my loyalty can’t be divided, for You alone have the words of eternal life. I desire to deeply know You and to serve You with my whole heart. Help me to walk in Your light and truth by keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus.
Day 2 2 Kings 17:27-41
Reflect: Why is it so easy to worship other gods? How would you rewrite verses 30-31 to describe today’s culture? How does verse 41 ring true for those you know? For you?
Apply: In teaching others how to worship the Lord today, what will you say and do? (Verses 27-28) How do you worship, serve, and sacrifice to the Lord?
Pray: Jesus, keep us from today’s worthless idols for we know we become like what we worship. And we want to become like You, by the sanctifying work of Your Holy Spirit.
Day 3 Romans 8:5-8
Reflect: How does this text support the dilemma we face in our call to serve God and not idols? What does it mean to be controlled by the flesh versus the Spirit? What are the results?
Apply: What pleasures “of the flesh” have become idols for you and why? When do you find yourself running to them? With what might God want you to replace them? Can/will you?
Pray: Father, have Your Spirit shape my life to reflect Your righteousness and mercy. I want to be led, transformed, and controlled by Your Holy Spirit.
Day 4 Philippians 3:17-21
Reflect: How do you see this text addressing the “god of pleasure”? What do you think Paul means by the phrase “an enemy of the cross”? To whom is he referring?
Apply: What does it mean to you to be a citizen of heaven? What in your life reflects that this is true of you? Is there someone you need to help come back to God’s kingdom lifestyle?
Pray: Lord, how easy it is for the old sin nature to influence my thinking and cause me to become an enemy of the Cross, rather than dying to self and living my new life in Christ. Keep me from falling into the old, fleshly ways, and may I learn to rest in Christ, submitted to the Holy Spirit of Truth.
Day 5 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Reflect: Considering his life, what kinds of comfort was Paul considering when he wrote this? Why is God’s comfort very different from any other kind we may seek?
Apply: Who has God used to bring His comfort to you? How have you shared the comfort you received from Him with others? Who can you encourage to run to Him and not idols?
Pray: Jesus, may I be ready to be Your hand to help, Your ears to listen, Your arms to hold, and Your voice to speak a word of comfort to the hearts of those in the midst of affliction.
Put It Into Practice!
Week 1: the god of pleasure
Identify the god of pleasure from which you need to repent and dethrone. Use these questions to help you determine if an idol, rather than God, is on the throne of your heart Where do you find comfort? How well do you control your thought life? What might be lacking in your intimacy with God? What forms of entertainment have most affected your worldview? Where and when do you exhibit the most passion and excitement? What entertainment media have you found to be the most addictive?