I believe God created the earth and everything in it for our pleasure. God wants us to enjoy all of the beauty and wonder that he made. The key, however, is always holding onto God's gifts with open hands and open hearts. We must be willing to let go whenever God decides to take away one of those gifts, whether it be a loved one, a new house or a steak dinner.
Job, the Old Testament man, enjoyed great wealth from the Lord. He was also considered by God to be a righteous man. When he lost everything he said in Job 1:21 -
“I came naked from my mother’s womb,
and I will be naked when I leave.
The Lord gave me what I had,
and the Lord has taken it away.
Praise the name of the Lord!” (NLT)
Thoughts to Consider
Perhaps God is leading you to live with less for a purpose? Perhaps God knows you will find greater joy and enjoyment in a less complicated life, unencumbered with material things. On the other hand, perhaps God will use the blessings you've received as a witness of his goodness to your neighbors, friends and family.
If you daily and earnestly seek him, he will lead you by your conscience - that quiet inner voice. If you trust him with your hands held open, palms tilted up in praise for his gifts, always offering them back to God should he require them, I believe your heart will be led by his peace.
Might God call one person to a life of poverty and sacrifice for a purpose - one that brings glory to God - while calling another person to a life of financial abundance, also for the purpose of bringing glory to God? I believe the answer is yes. I also believe both lives will be equally blessed and filled with the joy of obedience and a sense of fulfillment from living within the will of God.
Guilty Pleasures?One last thought: Perhaps there is just a tiny bit of guilt in the enjoyment of pleasure felt by all Christians? Could this be to remind us of Christ's sacrifice and the grace and goodness of God. Perhaps guilt is not the right word. A better word might be gratefulness. Colin said this in a later email:
"On reflection, I think that maybe there will always be a small feeling of guilt, however this is beneficial, as it serves to remind us of the gifts you speak about."