Our God is in the heavens;he does all that he pleases. Psalm 115:3
As Maurice pointed out yesterday, the false gods or idols of the ancient world could not do as they pleased. They were carried around and controlled by those who worshipped them (like Barbie dolls).
In the same way those who worship idols, including us today, are controlled by those idols. When you are oppressed by a god you cannot truly worship it in freedom. You can simply try to appease its wrath.
This is true of our idols today as well. If your idol is money, then you will never be free. It will oppress you and you will be its slave. More will never be enough. This holds true for things like power, success, fame, sex, romance, control, and all the other small gods that we carry around with us day by day as we ask it to fulfill us and bring satisfaction to our lives.
I believe that God intends for us to do as we please.
This statement may seem dangerous. If God lets us do as we please then we will do what is bad- won’t we? For those who are outside of Christ, God lets them do as they please as He “gives them up” to their desires (Rom. 1:24,26,28). This is how Paul describes God’s wrath.
But for those who are in Christ, God desires for us to live in the same freedom in which He lives. “He does all that He pleases,” our Fighter Verse says. Does God want us to do “all that we please?” I think He does. “If we do as we please, won’t we do bad things?” Of course. But this is a necessary step in realizing how God himself satisfies our desires. Only in giving us freedom could God bring us to this place.
“It is for freedom Christ has set us free” (Gal. 5:1). God operates from the Law of Liberty. He offers freedom to every person in Christ. Freedom from those oppressive idols we mentioned earlier. Freedom for us to do as we please. How? Because in Christ, our deepest pleasure becomes loving and worshipping God. God changes our heart from the inside out in order to accomplish this.
What does this mean for us as Christians day to day? It means that if you are living your life in attachment to idols, and we are all doing this on some level, then you are not really living according to your deepest desires. Your deepest desires will always take you to God. The idols in your life are shadows of God himself.
You want power at work because you want God.
You lust because you really desire the intimacy that God offers.
You expect your clothes and appearance to give you acceptance that only God can give.
The key therefore, to the Christian life is not the suppression of desire. The key is to dig deeper into our desires and to really live life “doing all that we please”- just like God does. Because if we live this way we will find that what truly pleases us is the presence of God himself (Psalm 16:11).
As C.S. Lewis said “We are far too easily pleased.” Don’t be so easily pleased today by your Barbie doll idols that you carry around. Dig deeper into your desires and the lasting, eternal, unquenchable pleasure of knowing God himself.