Blog, Living in the Abundance of Christ

We Are Far Too Easily Pleased.

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” C.S. Lewis


I had been privately wrestling with a cherished sin. What do I mean by cherished sin? Something that seemed to make me happy when I would think of it. Something that filled something up in me that my flesh craved. Something that I really did not want to lay down, and ultimately something I could not lay down on my own. What was it, you ask? Anything. Anything that takes the place of Christ in your life. Jealousy, addictions, lust, idolatry, pride, greed,a person, success, the list goes on and on.

Since my conversion I had laid down plenty of things before the Lord, including this, but this kept coming back up. A recurring thought, scenario, imagination, playing over and over, taking up space in my brain. I didn’t act on it, no, not since my conversion, and as I often did with unwanted thoughts, I would swipe it away and think on something else.

But the thing was, it was attractive to me. It looked like it would fill me up and fulfill me, even though I knew it would do the exact opposite. It would devastate and leave me empty, and still I could not overcome it with any sense of power or finality. It was just there lingering, tempting.

So, this is what happened one Sunday morning while listening to a sermon, now, many years ago.

As I sat there, I imagined this:

I was in a crowded room, in which Jesus was at the center, speaking. I wanted to go to him, but this cherished sin was in my way. I prayed to the Lord, “Lord, I cannot get to you. Do you see this thing in front of me? It shows me what I want it to, and looks like it will make me happy and fulfilled right now. I cannot seem to push through it towards you, or go around it to get to you. It is blocking my way and seems like it will satisfy.” 

I felt hopeless in my ability to overcome this thing. I could not do it. I didn’t see a way. 

As I stood there, praying to the Lord, with this cherished sin standing in front and blocking me, two things happened, both at the same time.

  1. The Lord was right there, standing in front of me. I could not get to him, but he came to me. 
  2. The thing I had cherished so much was gone, and when I looked back at it, I saw it for what it really was. Worthless, empty, and filthy rags. It had promised so much, but it’s promises were a lie.

This short imagery may not seem like very much, but it was pivotal in my understanding of sin, my relationship with Christ, and that it is him, and not I, that does the work of change. I obey. I pray. He changes me.

It is him who does the work, and we are always the recipients.

We cannot do for him, he always does for us.

From that point on, the Lord released me from the grip of that cherished sin. And when the thought creeps up again to tempt me, I look back and see it is nothing more than worthless and filthy rags.

My prayer: Lord, make me to cherish you above all else.

“…Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;  but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.  What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” Romans 7:21-25

 

2 thoughts on “We Are Far Too Easily Pleased.

  1. I had never thought of sin as being “cherished.” It really puts a new perspective on how deceitful the enemy is! Great article and great insight. Those cherished sins are what hinder so many of us from receiving the fullness of Christ! And yet, there He is! Willing to stand between us and what we consider “cherished.” Yes, just a pile of filthy rags and unfulfilled longing for something that isn’t what it seems. I love that chorus that says “He loves us, oh how He loves us.” His love IS enough…more than enough! Love this article.

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