'Christ in You...'
by Dale Krebbs
God has, according to the Apostle Paul, given us all things to enjoy! Are "all things" really given us by God to enjoy? Here lies an irony concerning "things". Yes, God indeed has created all things for our enjoyment. Everything that God has made was made for the purpose of enjoyment, by Himself, and by mankind. Adam and Eve were given everything in their environment to enjoy. But, as a test, God withheld one thing.
But the right time and the right way was important even then. The key is in the enjoyment of right things in the right way, at the right time, as determined by the mind of God. Ultimately, we are to enjoy God and all that He is, forever. Things that God made are never inherently evil. They have been corrupted into being used or viewed in an ungodly way. It is mankind, influenced by the Devil, in his fallen nature that has distorted "all things". The world takes most "things", and twists them into use in the wrong way.
Everything that God has created CAN be enjoyed in the right way (1 Timothy 6:17-19). Notice that Paul uses the word "us" in a personal way, referring to those who know God and Jesus Christ's as their Lord, and their Maker. God is remaking us into new creations that can enjoy all that He has made in a righteous, and a holy way. We as His new creations through Christ, can then enjoy all things through the new life in Christ in a new way.
Now, led by the Spirit, we are learning to enjoy all things God has created and made available, through His empowerment, motivation, and wisdom. The Christian is learning to see what God gives us to enjoy through His eyes. What the natural mind considers as the enjoyment of what God has created, is most often misused, used for a wrong purpose, or exceeds the moderation of Godly enjoyment, or corrupted and twisted into an enjoyment that results in sin.
But all things are permitted for us to enjoy, as Paul verified when he encouraged Timothy to remind his congregation to realize that they need not envy the rich . Generally, the rich are able to enjoy things that others cannot. God has provided everything for everyone to enjoy, regardless of whether they are rich or considered poor, as most of Timothy's congregation was.
But - there are conditions for the Christian. Paul qualified the freedom to enjoy, for himself, and for those in Corinth, by stating that all things were lawful for him, but he would not be controlled by any of them, and some enjoyable things did not contribute to the Christian life (1 Corinthians 6:12; 10:23).
But it is not the things that creates the joy. It is the fruit of the enjoyment that glorifies and honors God within the bounds of moderation and righteousness. If something enjoyable is participated in outside of those boundaries, then the enjoyable thing or activity becomes a spiritual problem. The Kingdom of God is "not in meat and drink" ,,, however, the physical enjoyment can become a spiritual problem.
mankindPaul said he would not become the slave of anything physical. Some have lived their lives within the saying "I can resist anything - except temptation". But the "flesh profits nothing", and the enjoyment of anything as long as we are in this flesh is temporary, and those things of themselves profit absolutely nothing when they are over (John 6:63).
Freedom in Christ ultimately means freedom to think right, believe right, be right, and do right, as we are led by the Spirit. Submitting to the direction of the indwelling Holy Spirit will keep you from wrong enjoyments, and direct you in your enjoyments. If we are being led by the Holy Spirit, we will not be enjoying wrong activities, or placing any activity before the honor of Jesus Christ.
In all of your enjoyment, there is another condition. First, be sure that what you allow yourself to enjoy does not violate your conscience. Take what you want to enjoy to God in prayer. Ask Him if it is right for you. He will, through the Holy Spirit's influence and guidance tell you. Second, do not cause someone else to violate their conscience by what your conscience allows your to do. If you do, you may become a stumbling block to them. Having a clear conscience is very important as it relates to what you can enjoy. This was a problem for believers in Rome regarding certain foods, and Paul emphasized its importance to them (Romans 14:17-21).
There will always be problems and trials in this life. But God has provided the blessing and privilege of enjoying many things that He allows and makes available, no matter who we are, where we live, or how rich or poor we may be. Ask Him to show you the things you can enjoy in this life. It will become practice for eternity when we will enjoy Him and all the things He has waiting for us - forever.(1 Corinthians 2:9).
"Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is for one to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment in all the labor in which he labors under the sun all the days which God gives him—for this is his [allotted] part. Also, every man to whom God has given riches and possessions, and the power to enjoy them and to accept his appointed lot and to rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God [to him]. For he shall not much remember [seriously] the days of his life, because God [Himself] answers and corresponds to the joy of his heart [the tranquillity of God is mirrored in him].
- Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 (AMP)
"God's Words For US" from
Show Humility to All MenRead Article »
Receive the newest devotional each week in your inbox by joining the "'Christ in You...'" subscription list. Enter your email address below, click "Go!" and we will send you a confirmation email. Follow the instructions in the email to confirm your addition to this list.