The Power of Pleasure in Worship

The Power of Pleasure in Worship

Psalm 16:11 says, “In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

I love the promise that exudes from this passage. “If you want some joy in your life come spend time in My presence. If you desire permanent pleasures then come sit at My right hand.

There is a stark contrast between “fleeting pleasures” and “pleasures forevermore”.

…but if we are to learn how to abide in His pleasures it requires understanding, effort and skill.

- Craig Muster

Pleasures that don’t last can actually have a adverse effect on our lives. Has there ever been an experience in your life you wish you could repeat over and over again? Is it possible to learn how to protect those moments with such fervor that we are able to reproduce them in our lives consistently? These questions have pushed me into discovering how God’s pleasure comes and how to maintain it in my life.

God’s ways are perfect. They lack nothing. It’s in discovering His ways that we learn how to abide in those places that we’ve only visited. For instance, experiencing the pleasures of God briefly can happen periodically. But if we are to learn how to abide in His pleasures it requires understanding, effort and skill.

My own personal experiences with God have at times seemed spontaneous, come swiftly….taken me by surprise and left just as rapidly as they came. My lack of understanding caused me to believe they were random and coincidental. That created a belief that I was at the mercy of circumstance even in my relationship with God, waiting for that “magical moment” when I could feel His pleasure once more.

Chasing after pleasure will always lead us to a place of want. We must learn to put our effort into loving God. This will lead us to the place where pleasures are found!

- Craig Muster

This can feel counter-intuitive. Pleasure is a tricky thing. Brief experiences are common. But we often fail to see the boundaries designed to protect and allow them to take root in our everyday lives.

Unseen Laws

Have you ever felt like there were unseen laws at work around you?

Laws of the spirit? Unseen yet even more real than those that can be seen? While spirit laws might seem invisible they are still very much at work in our daily lives.

I remember as a young boy visiting some family friends who happened to live on a ranch. My brother and I found ourselves lost in the wonder that all the experiences a ranch affords. We spent the whole day exploring the expanse of the land, riding horses, attempting to ride mules (much more challenging than horses), and sneaking up on the cattle as they grazed. Soon, the day had ended and the sun was setting. It was time for dinner and we were being called back to the house. Without hesitation we raced back towards the house where the only thing on our minds was food. Now, at dusk it can be very difficult to see, yet my hunger won over. Being unfamiliar to the terrain didn’t slow me down. Just as I was about 50 yards from the house and sprinting at full speed, I abruptly got yanked off of my feet, head flying backwards. I had run headlong into an electric fence, the wire catching me across my face and leaving a slight burn line that spread from ear to ear.

I learned a painful lesson. I knew the fence was there. We had passed it on the way out to see the horses. The bright posts that held the wires were much more visible during the day. Carefully leaning under the wires we had managed to slip through them without incident. Yet, in the evening the posts were much less visible and I was distracted with the thought of food. With my mind and attention on something else I failed to see the fence right in front of me.

However, the fence was no less real just because I couldn’t see it, and my face was living proof of its existence.

- Craig Muster

So it is with God’s ways. We might not recognize them. We might not see them. We might have been told about them at one point and even experienced them but gotten distracted with something else. However, God’s ways are true whether we agree with them or not. His boundaries are real whether we know them or not. His love is without flaw whether we experience it or not. His pleasures are perfect whether we desire them or not.

God’s Ways

God has boundaries. He has set things in order. There is a proper way.

There is a right way to experience pleasure, and a destructive way to chase after pleasure. If we are to experience His pleasures wouldn’t it be beneficial to know His ways? Psalm 27 says, “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol.”

The process and prerequisites are laid out brilliantly. ]Do you want access to the heart of God? Come with pure hands and a clean heart. Do you want to draw close to His pleasures? Refuse to lift up your soul to an idol…..make covenant with God alone! God is showing us the secret of moving into His type of pleasures that are experienced FOREVERMORE!

Pleasure never works properly outside of deep commitment.

- Craig Muster
Think about it…..when was the last time you were able to sustain any kind of pleasure without a consistent lifestyle of commitment? Without commitment pleasure is relegated to a fleeting feeling that only promises a continual sense of lack and defeat. The further we follow this path the more devious our pleasure must become in order to feel anything at all. Our numbness demands it. Soon, we begin to sabotage our relationships, viewing people as commodities to be spent in whichever way we deem useful. Ultimately we find ourselves in complete isolation, void of purpose and connection and at a loss to how we arrived here.

Our Satisfaction

In contrast, God’s ways promise a pleasure that reproduces itself continually for eternity! Yet the key to living this type of lifestyle can seem counterintuitive. Instead of chasing pleasure we are invited to chase after Him, worship Him only, love Him only, serve Him only…………soon, we find ourselves at His right hand where pleasures ARE FORVERMORE!

It takes a radical commitment to love God with all of our hearts. Its impossible to do without positioning ourselves consistently to receive His love. God never asks us to ration how much love we receive from Him. When we are caught up with His generous acts of perfect love we are set free to love in the same way. His mercies are new every morning. Our commitment to Him can be renewed likewise, every morning. Overwhelmed by His Majesty and undone by His love, we are called to continually abide in Him.

It’s in the “abiding” that we now learn how to stay in His pleasures!

- Craig Muster

Our souls crave God. They are only satisfied with God. We are born to be the House of God and to live in Him always.God is raising up a generation that would rather die than believe that they are meant to only survive somehow living a life of mediocrity, visiting God when it’s convenient and experiencing Him on rare occasion.

We are sons and daughters of God can’t deny our very essence. We can’t get rid of the passion for Him that has burrowed its way into our very blood. “Normal worship” won’t cut it. “Normal church” doesn’t satisfy. Living with Him. Living for Him. Living IN Him, only that will satisfy!

We will not be manipulated by the latest temptations or distracted by the chaos around them. Instead, beholding Him in all of His glory, we are captivated by His beauty and branded by His love!

- Craig Muster

It is this generation that will put on display the wonder and glory of God. May we all surrender to Him in such a way that heaven takes notice and the nations come to see the brilliance of our King!

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