All of us are experiencing the fallout to some degree of living in such a fast-paced culture. So much so that it’s virtually impossible for us to assimilate all the information being thrown at our senses nowadays.
Technology has provided us with many conveniences that either save time or can allow us to pack even more into our already overloaded schedules. Even when we use these conveniences wisely to accomplish more for the right reasons, it’s still possible to fall into the rut of accomplishing things and lose track of what is most valuable.
In effect, we can “become comfortably numb” to our surroundings, our families, and to those who are hurting all around us. And more importantly, we can become numb to the presence of the God who created us and passionately desires our company.
Too Much Pleasure is Deadly
I’ve learned some very valuable lessons about how deceptive too much relaxation can be.
There’s nothing wrong with having some downtime as long as it’s kept in balance. My grandpa used to say that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” and this is certainly true. However, Solomon said, “He who loves [only selfish] pleasure will become a poor man; He who loves and is devoted to [a]wine and [olive] oil will not become rich” (Prov 21:17 AMP). Another verse that describes this same fate is 1 Tim. 5:6 and it says, “she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.”
You have to know when to rest and when to work. The problem with not exercising your will when it’s time to work is that it can quickly lead to passivity, lethargy and complacency and this is one of the ways the enemy of our souls can steal our destinies and leave us with nothing but regrets.
I believe there may be far more people who struggle with passivity and laziness than we imagine. I also believe that these are good people with good intentions who are disciplined in other areas of their lives but possibly struggle with regularly exercising their will in just one or two key areas that could really cause them to excel in life.
I also believe that laziness and complacency can enter a person’s life without them recognizing it at first because it is a strategy of the enemy to kill, steal and destroy their God-given potential.
It’s my personal opinion that the reason it’s so easy for us as human beings to “become comfortably numb” and to get so addicted to pleasure is because we are living in an environment that is sensually overloaded. When I say “sensually overloaded” I’m not speaking just of sexual things. But that goes without saying nowadays.
You can’t watch TV, look at most magazines, go to the malls or even go online without having dozens of images bombarding your mind. Marketers are spending billions on targeting your eyes and your ears with new ways to gratify your appetite for sex, food, drink, clothes, cars, things, pleasures and excesses of all kinds.
An article from the NY Times online magazine states that ad images are up from 2000 images per day 30 years ago to an average of 5000 per day today. That’s nuts!!
We have to start guarding our hearts and minds from so much of this stuff because it literally desensitizes us to more important things around us like people that deserve our attention and the quiet gentle voice of a loving God.
Solomon said “Above all else, watch over your heart; diligently guard it because from a sincere and pure heart come the good and noble things of life” (Prov. 4:23 The Voice).
You cannot continually allow your mind and heart to be bombarded with the world’s pleasures and be sensitive to others or to God’s Spirit. It won’t work and you cannot make it work.
Anyone who can watch most anything on TV or at the theatre and an extended period of time and still “think” they are as sensitive to the Holy Spirit as they were months ago has already been deceived to some degree.
Sharpen Your Spiritual Senses
There is a way to enjoy the things God has provided for us here on earth and not be deceived. He is not against us having pleasure, He is the God and Creator of pleasure, but His pleasure will never cause us harm.
First Timothy 6:17 says it is “the living God who gives us all things richly to enjoy. And Psalms 16:11 in The Voice translation says, “You direct me on the path that leads to a beautiful life. As I walk with You, the pleasures are never-ending…”
As we grow and mature in Christ we are supposed to grow in our discernment of what is good and what is not. We must remember that our enemy Satan only comes to kill, steal and destroy (see John 10:10).
In the Expanded Bible, Heb. 5:14 says “But solid food is for those who are grown up [mature]. They are mature enough […who through practice/exercise have trained their faculties/senses] to know the difference between good and evil.” I don’t have space here to elaborate too much on this passage. But the inference or implication is that just as we have physical senses, we also have spiritual senses that can and should be trained to know good and evil.
To fully understand this or receive proper revelation about this scripture, you must realize that the spiritual or unseen realm is actually more real, tangible, and lasting than this sensual, earthly visible realm. And, this physical earth realm came from that unseen realm. There are more than enough scriptures to prove this.
This post was primarily for those who are believers. But if you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, Romans 10:13 says that “All who call upon the Lord shall be saved.” There are no exceptions.
If you’re not a church-goer and are not familiar with this type of language, the street version simply goes like this. Admit that you don’t have all the answers, that you know you’re not God and you recognize that you need Him. When you do that, you simply ask Him to forgive you for not including Him in your life, ask Him to forgive your sin of not believing in Him and come into your heart and your eternal destiny will then be sealed forever in heaven by the person of the Holy Spirit who just moved into your heart.
Serving You Truth,