When I first began my professional career, I outlined an ambitious five and ten year plan. During that period in my life, I was not walking with God and turned my back on Him. The passion and drive for my career was my substitute for a life that was previously spent in obedience to God. I convinced myself that I could find fulfillment in my career. Once that happened, everything else would fall into place. I would buy a house, find a wife, and all my dreams would come true. Simple.
The irony is that what initially seemed to be the answer became the problem. While my professional success grew, my personal losses accelerated. I was dissatisfied with everything. Many personal relationships, including with my father, were in ruins. A life apart from God was not the answer.
The late evangelist, Ravi Zacharias, eloquently summarized the problem. “While pain can often be seen as a means to a greater end, pleasure is seen as an end in itself. And when pleasure has run its course, a sense of despondency can creep into one’s soul that may often lead to self-destruction. Pain can often be temporary, but disappointment in pleasure gives rise to emptiness-not just for a moment, but for life.”
God reminds us, through the words of the Apostle Peter, of this same fate.
For by uttering boastful, empty words, they seduce, with fleshly desires and debauchery, people who have barely escaped from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption, since people are enslaved to whatever defeats them.
2 Peter 2:18-19 (CSB)
Enslaved to whatever defeats them.
How easy and seductive it is to be ensnared by the very values that we believe enlighten and free us! I learned a painful lesson, one which I am still reaping the consequences. Thanks be to God that through His grace and mercy, He brought me to my knees and I repented of my carnal lifestyle and recommitted my life to serving Him.
My five and ten year plans of the world have been replaced by my eternal plan of salvation through faith and belief in Jesus Christ.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.