In several previous posts I have mentioned that I have experienced the blessing of God’s love in such a way as to have become convinced that giving up sexual sin is a small price to pay for the blessing that God has offered us. As I have thought about this over the last few days, I have realized that this is mostly an internal change and that the women that I was talking about would not, in some cases, know what I was talking about. I thought I would explain this idea lest it seem alien and incomprehensible.
Surely we have all experienced the amazing truth that watching a child play with a toy truck can be much more fun than playing with a toy truck ever was? God is amazing and of all his gifts (and of all the intangible reasons for my faith) this is surely among the greatest. C.S. Lewis called this the pleasure of appreciation and applied it to artists and dancers though not himself to children. It is to a recently experienced intensification of this phenomena that I refer when I say that I have had the smallest taste of what heaven is like and believe it to be worth any amount of sacrifice.
Now don’t get me wrong. When I was a younger Christian, I could have said the right words, “Jane just met the guy of her dreams and is engaged? Praise the Lord!” I may even, in some small degree, have felt some happiness for Jane. But the rejoicing was a lip service level of rejoicing that was not accompanied by the actual feeling of joy that characterizes the true presence of God. This was especially true if Jane was a woman in whom I was interested, in which case the lip service might have been accompanied by an internal chorus of complaints and bitterness. As a consequence of having had victory over lust and pornography, however, this lip service level of rejoicing has given way to the genuine article and I can honestly rejoice to see a sister happy with her husband and children in a way that was never possible for me before. It is an amazing feeling and when I say that it is worth any amount of sacrifice, I mean it with all of my heart.
Now, of course, this experience is even more beautiful when the appreciation is reciprocated to some extent, but this is not always possible here on Earth. There are, unfortunately, many people out there who I think are amazing children of God who do not think very highly of me. This detracts from my pleasure in them for a short while to some degree, but my belief in heaven is my belief that our love for one another and God will continue to grow forever.