All society has to offer greets me every morning when I open my Yahoo-page. Everything that people commonly dedicate their lives to and the results of the chase neatly, contained in one computer-screened-window. The glitter and sweet talk of fame, fortune, and non-consequential free-sex call out to lure floundering people in. This dangling of admiration, power, and sensuality is the carrot that sets people on a path of ambition and pleasure-seeking that ends in pain. Human vanity is striving to get what doesn’t deliver and having to let it go because the consequences in the reality of having are too damaging to bear. Fame promises admiration and even, worship but those who become idols must maintain the false image and when the image is sullied, as less admiral human qualities are revealed, then fame’s face comes rightly into focus. Fame isolates, destroys, and degrades its devotees for everyone to see. Fortune offers security and power but personal corruption is the price of acquiring massive treasure. Traveling the path of power and money transforms human beings into monsters. Sensual pleasure promises relief from loneliness and escape from emotional pain but in reality, boundary-less sex along with recreational drug abuse, is self-abuse that leads to personal destruction. The promises and the truth of what the world created by human beings has to offer, before me on my computer screen, is all vainglory. Truly, it seems there is nothing in the world worth living for; and living to please self or to please others who walk these three paths (which all end at the same destination) is pointless.
There is a better way of life than that offered by the world created by men and women. Though this way of life doesn’t tempt through pride, it delivers on all that it promises. Jesus is the Way to a joyful, abundant life and though its promise doesn’t appeal to the desire for pleasure, wealth, and fame, it is the only way of living that maintains personal integrity. He is the example of where a life lived for God leads and yes, His life on earth ended in sacrificial death but His death was temporary because by His obedience to God, He received eternal life; and He offers the eternal life He paid for by shedding His blood in obedience, to those not capable of doing the same. Because of Jesus, we receive the promise of this better way of living at the beginning of our chosen path; rather than at the end after fulfilling certain mandates. We aren’t required to earn the prize that He earned when He lived only, according to God’s Will, not His own will or the will of others; and died because of that same willing, submission. The only thing required for receiving this gift is belief in Jesus as Savior, with the willingness to turn away from walking the paths of the world to live as Jesus lived, in obedience. When the reality of Jesus settles in, the desire for what the world promises, loses much of its temptation. Though its external luster may still at times be distracting, a better destination beckons to the Holy Spirit living within believers, with the assurance of a better world; where the eternal gift we enjoy in part now, will engulf and replace the world we know today. The narrow path of living to please God is the right-path that fills the believer’s heart with inexpressible joy. It is the road home to a better land where the pretentious lies of humanity don’t sparkle with false-promise but stand in eternity revealed for what they are by ultimate truth. The destination where human vainglory ends, where rewards are eternal and ultimately, beneficial in meeting every human need. This is the completion of the joy found in following Jesus in dedication to pleasing God.
1 Thessalonians 4:1-12