My mother is a good cook, so I enjoyed almost everything she made when I was a kid. But every once in a while she felt obligated to buy brussels sprouts. She would boil them. And then make us eat them. Supposedly, they were good for us, but they sure weren’t satisfying.
Is following God like eating boiled brussels sprouts? In other words, is following God just something we have to do because we know it’s good for us, but, in the end, it’s not really satisfying?
Maybe this is what you felt like as you grew up. You sat through worship. You said your prayers. Maybe you even had to memorize some Bible passages. You tried to follow the biblical rules when it came to sex, money, and relationships. But none of it felt that satisfying.
Now that you’re all grown up, not much has changed. You might attend worship and go through the religious rituals because you believe it’s good for you. But it just doesn’t feel enjoyable. It doesn’t always satisfy your soul.
In fact, you might even believe that something has to have a trace of sin to be sweet.
But that’s not what the Bible says. The prophet Isaiah says that what God is offering us is good and satisfying. He says:
“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare. (Isaiah 55:1,2)
In other words, God makes everything that’s good.
Or maybe you could say it this way: God throws the best parties. And everyone’s invited!
Who created tasty food? It wasn’t the devil. God made good food. And then he gave us taste buds to enjoy it.
Who created sex? It wasn’t the devil. God created sex. And then he gave us marriage as a safe place to enjoy it.
Who created music? It wasn’t the devil. God created music. And then he gave us ears to enjoy it.
Most of all, God gives us his gracious presence. He delights and approves of us in Jesus. And then he gives us visible ways to enjoy this gift like our baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
So don’t follow God just because you have to.
Don’t believe the lie that following God is like choking down boiled brussels sprouts.
Instead . . .
“Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). Let us rejoice and be glad in him.