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Hotel California

Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them.  I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, For my heart rejoiced in all my labor; And this was my reward from all my labor.  Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done And on the labor in which I had toiled; And indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind.  There was no profit under the sun. Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 (NKJV)

There is perhaps no better example of attempting to live for this world than the life of King Solomon.   Solomon wanted for nothing tangible, because everything was at his beckoning, and yet after seeking the pleasures of this world for a large portion of his life, he came to the conscious awareness of how empty he still felt.  He had been afforded every luxury money could acquire, and had the best of knowledge—still he could say it was simply “vanity” and “grasping for the wind.”

Still, it is our propensity in our flesh to continue to grasp for the wind—nothing has really changed since Solomon’s writings.  In the 70’s there was a song by the Eagles, called “Hotel California.”  This song has had many rumored meanings but in a 1995 interview with lead singer Don Henley, he stated the song, “sort of captured the zeitgeist (spirit) of the time, which was a time of great excess in this country and in the music business in particular.”

So the song in essence is an allegory about Hedonism, or the seeking of pleasure. The song ends with, “Relax said the night man, we are programmed to receive.  You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!”

In many ways this is the same message Satan wants to place within our minds with respect to living for this world—we can check in to what it has to offer in the way of pleasure any time we would like, but we can never leave this way of life.

Now I want to be clear about something; pleasure is not a bad thing; in fact, we can clearly see all throughout Scripture how God wants us to experience it.  It can however become bad when it becomes our “god,” or when it turns to idolatry, and overindulgence.  We can be sure of this—when we make seeking pleasure our main purpose in life, our proper priorities for living in God’s plan will crumble. 

You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:11 (NKJV)

I want to encourage you to meditate upon these things today.  Let’s choose to make God our greatest pleasure, and learn to say “No” to any pleasure that would draw us away from Him. 

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures contained within this devotional with regards to finding pleasure?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you focusing on temporal, worldly things with hopes of them bringing you lasting pleasure?  

APPLICATION: Let’s focus on finding our pleasure and joy in the presence of God.

Let’s Pray…

Father, thank You for reminding us to keep our guard up against the lies of the enemy.  Father, we know there is no lasting joy or pleasure apart from You.  Help us to see every area where Satan is tempting us to lose our focus on what You have for us.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000