Lustful Pleasures or the River of Pleasure?

By K. Collins a R.L.M. contributor
One night in Pat Pong the team and I were heading through the narrow walkways between vendors and the bar doors. I happened to be tailing behind all the others, praying as we walked. We rounded a corner and began to head down a new row and a ‘menu-guy’ approached me. These men and women stand outside the bars, usually on the street in front of a shadowy, darkened entrance or door that leads someone up a flight of stairs. These stairs lead to rooms full higher levels of self-gratification. The menu-folks stand there with laminated menus offering coded sex shows for sale. Their whole job is to entice walkers-by with what is being offered upstairs, to allure them with curious thoughts, to catch their lusts with questions of ‘I wonder…’.
This menu-guy approached me with such a proposition. Our team leader had encouraged us to look at the menus, not so intently as to give them false hope of an interested buyer, but long enough to see what was being sold, to get familiar with what the menus read. I had glanced at enough to have an awareness of the language posed, and stories were told to us of what the shows actually entailed. I knew exactly what he was selling.
Coming towards me, he jutted his menu in my direction and said, “You come see? You come see?” Shaking my head, I motioned with my hand in a negating manner and smiled at him replying, “No. No.” He didn’t relent. Trying again, he turned the menu over (attempting to raise my interest by showing me details). “You come see? Good show, good show.” My gaze went to the menu, telling him I wasn’t scared of what he was presenting, but then confidently I said, “No. Me chrishan. Chrishan. No, no.” I waved my hand and walked on. He stood still, but I noticed that he continued to look in our direction. Then he came towards me again.
“You chrishan?” he asked. I nodded, smiling. In that moment a very neat thing happened. I saw his countenance change. Prior to me mentioning that I was Christian (in Thai is sounds like ‘chrishan‘) he saw me as a sale. He was merely doing his job; he was paid to get me upstairs so I would pay to watch unspeakable things. That was his job. But here comes this trail of ladies walking by his corner and that’s not necessarily strange. Women dig porn and buy sex too. But this time, someone he asked gave him a reason why they said ‘no’. This time, the name of a god he’d maybe heard of before was mentioned. Chrishan.
I wonder if he questioned the connection between why achrishan would come to a place like Pat Pong, walk through, color  with children and buy drinks for women, but not want to buy a show. After all, the gods he serves encourage the behavior that happens in Pat Pong. I wonder if he was curious about why being a chrishan made me say ‘no’ to a show he was selling. When he came back that final time to clarify that I had indeed said I was a chrishan, he stopped in his tracks, bowed his head to me and walked away.

“Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name…”
1 Chronicles 16:29

This man, most likely not knowing my God, the One whom I claim in saying I am a chrishan, bowed his head in respect and honor when he made the connection between who I was and why I chose not to buy a show that night. Without even knowing the true and living God, his spirit moved in ascribing glory (honor, exaltation, value) to the Lord, the glory that is due His name.
Last week I was speaking with my pastor about porn in the church (this is a huge topic, we’re making a documentary on it, so don’t worry more info is coming, smile). He said some things that were so profound, I knew I was hearing the voice of the Spirit speaking through him. We were discussing the power God gives us to be involved in the realm of the sexual industry to share the good news of Christ Jesus. He said,

“God’s eyes are too pure to look upon evil…but certainly he sees Satan when he’s before his throne in the past, or the sins of men on the earth.  God’s eyes are too pure to look upon evil and do nothing about it!  That’s how we should be!  It’s not that we are to live on a hill in the desert, but to see things properly and grieve in our heart when we see what we see on the internet or movies. To have these things be something that affects our hearts in a way where we see more clearly what needs to be done in getting out the gospel!”

My first night seeing Pat Pong ‘alive’, women and girls being sold for the lusts of the flesh, children playing outside of the bar doors, men and women in utter bondage to their sins of choice, I wanted to run home. I had no strength within me to continue to be in the pit where the devil seemed to have full reign. But later that night God spoke a word to my soul. He said, “Katy, you seek Me. Seek Me and let these go their way. I will take care of all that, My way. But your job is to seek Me.”  Now, here, 4 months later emailing with my pastor in Tucson the message is brought up again- we go there (wherever ‘there’ is) to seek Christ, to share Christ.
God’s eyes are too pure to look on evil and do nothing about it. He is God! He is perfect Justice, beautiful, unending Mercy, and amazing, healing Redemption. As God calls me into ministry (simply serving those) in the sex industry, I want to have his heart- to be able to look on the evil and do something about it. My opportunity to model God’s heart is to share Christ. What does this mean? It is to see the sin, be involved in the industry’s impact on even believers and “have these things be something that affects our hearts in a way where we see more clearly what needs to be done in getting out the gospel!”
Sex is not wrong. God designed it. And He designed it to teach us to know Him, and for us to glorify Him in enjoying our spouses. God delights in holy sex! But the call, I believe that is being revealed, on my life is to cry out that the fleeting, ultimately unsatisfying pleasures of sinful sexual choices are merely horrid, empty distortions of what God intends for us! He is waking me up to see that the Church should be where the world gets it’s definition of sex. The world should look at Christ-followers and say, “Man, I want what they have” even in regards to the marriage bed. Sadly, however, it is the Church who has failed and now goes to the world for its pleasure, instead of coming to the River of Pleasure, Himself.
Isn’t this the gospel, the good news? Isn’t it good news that Christ has set us free from the weight of bondage to sin and that we, instead, can come and drink from the Living Water and find true pleasure in God?

“They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,
And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.”
Psalm 36:8

In our chat about porn and the church and how God desires that His followers seek to live pleasure-filled, God-glorifying lives of holy sex, my pastor discussed context and how important it is to rightly see sex as defined by Scripture. He said,

“Context is everything!  It is what separates the self-gratifyer and the missionary.”

Boom. What a profound word. Thank You, God. Remember the scene in Pat Pong I described earlier? In that moment, God was my strength to be there as a missionary- to be there to share the good news, the better pleasure, of Christ. However, I was surrounded by self-gratifyers. I am confident, 100% assured, that there were men and women customers in Pat Pong that night who would also say they are Christian. I know that folks were upstairs buying sex shows, or downstairs paying for lap dances, that were going to be sitting in church the following Sunday back home. None of us are immune to temptation. Jesus wasn’t, what makes us think we are? None of us are immune to falling into sin. (Romans 3:23). But we have a choice. Even today.

The self-gratifyer wants what the flesh wants. The self-gratifyer chooses to seek and obtain pleasure in sin- fleeting, momentary, unsatisfying, empty, but for a minute pleasurable. Then what? The self-gratifyer is left with a sinking hole inside, feeling wretched, starved, craving more of what cannot quench their hunger. I am a self-gratifyer at times. (I’m willing to be vulnerable with you and share my weakness; God is strong when I am weak!). Christ said He came for the sick. I want Christ; I admit to you that I fight my flesh all the time. But, by His immeasurable grace He strengthens me to walk in victory.
I can, by what Christ has done for me and in me, be a missionary instead. Will I look at the sin of the world and proudly sneer, judging them too dirty, worthless and hopeless? Or will I, through Christ, look on the world’s sin and identify with it, knowing I once was lost, I still live in a body of death, I daily fight to pick up my cross and follow Jesus. Will I use the strength God gives me, and the conviction He allows me, to quicken my heart to share about the good news of this Savior of mine?
God is our treasure. He is the only true pleasure. All of the world’s attempts to copy Him are failing miserably. Our souls cannot be satisfied on anything but the LORD of lords. I am a chrishan and today, even right now, I choose to want the River of Pleasure, the LORD God. I not only choose to forsake the fake, false, depleting, bondage of the worldly pleasures of sin, but I choose to let God use my life to share with others the message, “No. I don’t want the show. I want Christ.”
May your heart be burdened as His is, for the sin in which you are entangled. May your soul be sick of the lies the enemy has fed you, stuffed down your throat, and nearly drowned you in. May the Spirit rise up within you to strengthen you to fight and may He reveal to you the treasure of God, the pleasure of God, the enjoyment of God. Let us awake, Church; let us arise, Bride, to run together with Christ to show the world the Better Pleasure!
Some resources:
Setting Captives Free (free online studies for breaking bonds)-
Running Light Ministries (Pastor Beau’s ministry)-
Pastor Beau’s Blog-
Be Loved Ministries (Tucson biblical counseling for women)-