I can never drink Maxwell House or Folgers the way I might once have; along the same lines, I can’t really drink Lipton with the same enthusiasm as I did several years ago.
And the reason is not that I made a decision at some point in time that I just wasn’t going to be hooked on that sort of stuff any more. I stopped drinking those beverages because I became addicted to something better. Who would want to compare the flat, tar-tasting undertones of human beings attempting to make something of God’s Creation cheap with something the lively, full taste of finely roasted African Coffees, or the dark, buttery richness of Hawaiian Kona; and once a person is hooked on Earl Grey and Chai tea, sipped slowly from a small cup without sugar to insure receiving every ounce of flavour that the black tea mixed with oil of bergamot or exotic spices has in store for you, it becomes incredibly difficult to accept the thickly sweetened, thinly brewed beverage that is shoved at you alongside your fried chicken. Indeed, in both of the above examples, it appears we have forsaken the delights of quality and realness for the lesser delights of quantity, like unto what Paul Washer talks about.
So my desires for lesser tea and coffee wasn’t broken by random willfulness, but by savoring that which was better. Just to think of such things makes me wish I could write poems at-will, for I would do so in order to describe the passion I have towards these good fruits of God’s Creation, given us to be enjoyed and if used properly, in some small way to cause us to worship and serve the Creator rather than the created.
Indeed, the Gospel has the power to liberate us from the bondage of worshiping the delights of Creation, to which we are so prone by nature, and allows us to enjoy creation, along with Job and the Psalmists and others, in a manner which leads us to the Creator (rabbit trail).
Now I fully realize that I have and will be accused of blatant snobbery in regard to my tea and coffee stances, and the above is by no means an attempt to clear myself in that regard. But it is a quaint, though definitely inadequate, example of a greater, higher, and more pervasive reality of the manner of our being drawn away from the sinful pleasures of the world toward the self-denying, dung and rag-denying yoke we know as the Gospel.
Everyone, without exception, who has tasted and seen that the Lord is good in the Gospel has this problem of inability to delight in the cheap and short-lived pleasures in which we reveled. It is in varying degrees, according to how much we “taste” and “gaze.”
But the more we immerse ourselves in the manner of Truths which Paul expounds, the more we catch a “Pauline Dysfunctional Taste” syndrome, that finds us counting everything we THOUGHT was gain as complete loss in order that we might gain Christ. The more we utilize the means of Grace to grow in our communion with the God of Grace –viz. the more we pray, fellowship, meditate, study, partake, discipline in order to get to know our Father better– the more we naturally find within us a complete distaste for the things wherein we formally found security.
Now, we are self-defeating when we seek to work up separation from the world by any means other than separating unto God through Christ. We find ourselves in constant, incessant failure in other efforts because we disobey that which is our natural bent.
We don’t break our addiction to sin by trying to take ourselves out of its environment to some bizarre separate one that just doesn’t exist. We break our addiction when we move away from the lesser to the Greater. As Richard Owen Roberts emphasizes, Hebrews is a book of warnings starkly and richly contrasted with descriptions of the complete superiority of God’s Son. That and all of Scripture is great ground for breeding delights in the finer and more glorious richness of what is our in Christ.
We are in a spiritual marketplace. On every turn, we find all the best the earth can offer us for sale, and we have gone from booth to booth, coughing up a miserably high cost in order for trinkets which delight our souls but tend to our eternal ruin. However, in the midst of all our buying and selling of cheap, mass-produced consumer goods we hear a cry ringing out, “Come! Buy Wine and milk! Come all ye that are thirsty!” and we’re drawn to that in a small way, but we shuffle through the little pennies in our pocket and realize we’ve nothing to offer the seller.
And then, “Come and buy, without money and without price.” and warmed we rush forward, and tasting in complete satisfaction and delight the higher things offered us in the Gospel, we would never catch ourselves running after the old, silly stuff in the old marketplace.
Unless it be that we neglect for a time the Wine and Milk given to us, and forget how disgusting the old things were.
The huge crime in our turning to the lesser is involved in the fact that the good things of Isaiah 55 are “without price” because Isaiah 52 and 53 are anything but without price.
We been given the superior things of the Sweet Gospel rather than the inferior of the world; but nothing is free. Free for us, but not for the Chosen and Elect Servant of God.
Isaiah 42; 52,53,55 etc. Hebrews, Colossians, Ephesians, that’s fine stuff there. That’s choice wine. Are the more we drink, the more we train ourselves to love and want it more than the yucky stuff.
The question is, when Christ is better, and the cost of tasting and meeting Him so high, why? Why are we going back?