Since the fall, manâ€™s default setting is to turn glory into shame. David asks in Psalm 4: â€œO ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame?â€ Paul speaks of enemies of Christ â€œwhose god is their belly, and whose glory is their shame (Phi. 3:19).â€
In other words, unregenerate manâ€™s desires have been so disordered by sin, that what ought to have been a glory has become a shame. This then leads them to glory in what they ought to be ashamed of.
Porn shreds the glory of sexual delight to tatters. The anxiety over healthy eating drains food of all its joy, and thus ruins table fellowship. Hard work is replaced by government stimulus checks. Instead of a nation full of industry, music, color, and feasting, weâ€™re beginning to see only the drab grey of totalitarian covetousness. The glory has turned to shame.
Desire isnâ€™t your problem, itâ€™s that youâ€™ve turned your desires in on themselves. But desire isnâ€™t nourished by created joys. Desire canâ€™t hold itself up. Weâ€™ve tried to prop up our longings like a skyscraper that uses toothpicks instead of bolts. Desire was intended to drive us to delight preeminently in God, and while resting in Him receive all the other joys with gratitude.
The reason for which we were made was for our delight to be completely satisfied. It wasnâ€™t so that weâ€™d be always desiring but never possessing. Our chief end is, after all, â€œto glorify God & enjoy Him forever.â€ These desires are our human glory, so long as the desires find themselves first and foremost resting in the Triune God. As we delight in God, our glory is made truly glorious. But if you insist on delighting only in created joys, your glory will turn to shame.
Too often, our desires aren’t set on Christ alone. We long for the fleeting joys of earth, willing them to last just a bit longer, but still they slipp through our fingers. Instead of directing all our desires toward Christ, the fount of all Joy, weâ€™ve hewn out broken cisterns which cannot hold water. Unless the Spirit grants us a new heart, our desires will collapse upon themselves like a black hole of selfishness. Our nation grasps for all the pleasures, and is still left vacuously hungry. This generation has forsaken the Living Waters of Christ, and now weâ€™re a parched people. Even in the church we have all too often set our hearts on earthly trinkets, expecting them to bring the gratification that only comes through the death & resurrection of Christ and our union with Him. May we seek God’s forgiveness for, to paraphrase Lewis, settling for puddles, when God is an ocean.