I studied diligently. I prayed fervently. I ready purposefully. I stood earlier than that crowd of individuals and did my greatest to evangelise God’s Phrase in a manner that will be correct and relevant. I preached my coronary heart out. Because the band took over and I left the stage, I’d have stated with a transparent conscience that I had discharged my obligation earlier than God, that I had executed my utmost to honor him and bless his folks with the chance he had given me. I felt good. I felt blessed. It’s nonetheless a surprise to me that God ever offers me this privilege of opening his Phrase earlier than his folks.
However one thing occurred as I walked down the steps and went backstage to take off my microphone. A sudden temptation loomed in my coronary heart. Out of the blue I discovered I wished some outdoors reassurance. I wished to listen to the approval of different folks. I wished to know that others had been blessed by what I had stated. And proper then and there, I made a horrible mistake. I opened Twitter.
What I discovered on Twitter was mockery. Led by a few pretty outstanding folks, a crowd was making enjoyable of me. They’d noticed a bit tic in my language, a bit indication of how a lot it cuts in opposition to my persona to face earlier than so many individuals. Whereas I preached, they had been ensuring that I and their 1000’s of followers knew about this tic. They had been ensuring that I and their 1000’s of followers knew precisely how they felt about it and about me. I had no concept within the second and would have had no concept in any respect. However I opened Twitter.
Twitter was open for a second, perhaps two, however that was sufficient—greater than sufficient—to trigger me to crash to the bottom. Instantly I wished to run away, to crawl right into a darkish nook, to be immediately teleported again to my house. Instantly a gloom descended over me. I wished to be gone, to be someplace, wherever else. It was a darkish second.
The cloud started to raise ultimately, in fact. It at all times does. And because it lifted, I needed to take care of the painful actuality that my pleasure had been painfully uncovered. I used to be pressured to just accept that I had wanted to study a lesson on pleasure.
Pleasure is, in fact, a continuing temptation to me and to each different human being. Some would go as far as to say that pleasure is on the root of each sin. However the unusual factor about pleasure is that it may present itself in very alternative ways. Think about for a second that after I opened Twitter I had discovered these folks praising me to the identical diploma that they had been mocking me. Think about that that they had targeted on my strengths the way in which that they had chosen to give attention to my weaknesses. Think about that that they had tried to raise me up as a substitute of convey me down. What would have occurred? Inevitably, pleasure would have led me to soar to nice heights. I’d have misplaced all sense of the goodness and mercies of God as I as a substitute revelled in personal strengths.
Because it occurs, the folks had been merciless somewhat than form that day. They had been malicious as a substitute of encouraging, foes as a substitute of followers. However that, too, engaged my pleasure and despatched me plummeting. It led me to wallow in deep, darkish valleys. The pleasure that would have led me up as a substitute led me down.
Pleasure had led me to open Twitter so I might have my ego stroked. My ego had as a substitute been battered. And I discovered that day how pleasure is a devious and relentless foe. Whether or not I sink too low or whether or not I soar too excessive, the trigger is similar—it’s the ugly, malicious, oppressive, misleading, ever-present sin of pleasure.