There seems to be a desire in our culture to remove any and all barriers that would prevent an individual from experiencing his or her personal pleasure, a sense of enjoyment, happiness, or feeling of satisfaction in who they are and/or what they do. All moral boundaries are being destroyed in the wake of an onslaught of hedonists seeking personal pleasure. As long as there is a person who wants something from which he derives pleasure, he, and others who support him, will do whatever it takes to make that pleasurable experience available to him.
In the Garden of Eden, the serpent tempted Eve with pleasures that she felt couldn’t be hers God’s way. Thus, the food she ate was good, delightful, and desirable. As soon as Eve and Adam had their pleasurable experience, their relationship with God, with nature, and with themselves radically changed as sin entered into the world.
It wasn’t that God had denied Adam and Eve pleasure for there is no one or nothing more pleasurable than God Himself. It was that they believed the lie of Satan who gave them a false assurance that what they didn’t have would bring far greater joy than what they did have.
And so it continues today. There is no doubt that many sins are pleasurable in the moment. They meet a need, scratch an “itch,” soothe a troubled soul, or numb a pain for a while. But experiencing pleasure in sin doesn’t mean that God is wrong, that He has lied to me, or is denying me something critical to my life. Experiencing pleasure in sin only shows how messed up I am. That I can’t see the beauty of God, the joy of His Son, the peace of His Spirit, and the truth of His Word only shows what the effects of sin truly are. My love of sin blinds me to true joy. Paul says that “the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)
Which is why our God is so good to reveal Himself to us so that He shines “the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ” in our hearts. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
Be careful that you make the assumption that if something God forbids is pleasurable to you, it must mean that God has lied to you or He’s wrong. It’s our hearts that have gone off the rails, not our Lord. Remember David’s wisdom…
Psalm 16:11 (HCSB) 11 You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.