For men will be lovers of self, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, (2 Timothy 3:2a, 4b)
Another enemy is worldly pleasure. A great many people are just drowned in pleasure. They have no time for any meditation at all. Many a man has been lost to society, and lost to his family, by giving himself up to the god of pleasure. God wants His children to be happy, but in a way that will help and not hinder them.
A lady came to me once and said: “Mr. Moody, I wish you would tell me how I can become a Christian.” The tears were rolling down her cheeks, and she was in a very favorable mood; “but,” she said, “I don’t want to be one of your kind.” “Well,” I asked, “have I got any peculiar kind? What is the matter with my Christianity?”
“I am married to a lawyer, and he has a large practice. He gets so tired that he takes us out to the theater,” and she said, “I am far better acquainted with the theater and theater people than with the church and church people, and I don’t want to give up the theater.” “Mr. Moody, can I go to the theater if I become a Christian?”
“Yes,” I said, “you can go to the theater just as much as you like if you are a real, true Christian, and can go with His blessing.” “Well,” she said, “I am glad you are not so narrow-minded as some.”
She felt quite relieved to think that she could go to the theaters and be a Christian. I really think she became a Christian that day. The burden had gone, there was joy; but just as she was leaving me at the door, she said, “I am not going to give up the theater.”
In a few days she came back to me and said,“Mr. Moody, I understand all about that theater business now. I went the other night. There was a large party at our house, and my husband wanted us to go, and we went; but when the curtain lifted, everything looked so different. I said to my husband, ‘This is no place for me; this is horrible. I am not going to stay here, I am going home.’ He said, ‘Don’t make a fool of yourself. Everyone has heard that you have been converted in the Moody meetings, and if you go out, it will be all through fashionable society, I beg of you don’t make a fool of yourself by getting up and going out.’ But I said, ‘I have been making a fool of myself all of my life.’”
When Christ has the first place in your heart you are going to get victory.
Now, the theater hadn’t changed, but she had got something better and she was going to overcome the world.“They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.” When Christ has the first place in your heart you are going to get victory. Just do whatever you know will please Him. The great objection I have to these things is that they get the mastery, and become a hindrance to spiritual growth.
When Jesus Christ has the pre-eminence, you will understand it all. He didn’t come down here and say we shouldn’t go here and we shouldn’t go there, and lay down a lot of rules; but He laid down great principles. Now, He says if you love Him you will take delight in pleasing Him.
“The Overcoming Life” D. L. Moody