Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of articles entitled “Fantasy Island,” which explores reality and its relationship to fantasy. Kenny Luck discusses God’s will for men like you, men who want to grow in maturity, truth and reality, versus Satan’s plan to replace your reality with his fantasy, escapism and unreality.
As men, everyday our character is tested. The pressure of life, the conflict, the chaos—all test our character. We have two options: We can face reality head-on as adult men and manage the tension and pressure of reality, or we can escape the pressure of commitment, responsibility and sacrifice that that go with reality and become guests on what we are calling “Fantasy Island.”
Here’s the deal guys: when you escape into fantasy, does it eliminate your responsibility to the reality of your life? Absolutely not! We either grow up into our responsibilities as adult men or we develop a double life, creating diversions, escapism and unrestrained fantasies, especially sexual fantasies.
I’m not talking about fantasy football or gaming. I’m taking about porn—all forms of porn—hard, soft, actual, or mental. Right now there are millions of men pointing, clicking, and having a relationship with a pixilated woman—a woman who doesn’t ask questions and lets me do whatever I want. Fantasy is a powerful desire for unreality. It is a disconnect; a dissatisfaction and a desire to escape from or replace your real life with an alternate reality.
God is not a fan of fantasy. God is big on truth and reality. It is God’s will that we grow up into our realities and become mature adults who know how to navigate the tensions of life; tensions which Jesus said would be there.
Satan, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. He wants you to escape the pressure, the tensions, and the realities of life and enter his world of fantasy and escapism. He wants you to escape reality—not embrace it.
What we need to understand is that our reality is God’s glory.
This means that everything happening in your life—both good and bad—is God’s glory. Everything that you don’t like right now in your life, that reality is God’s glory. Every secret, every temptation can be redeemed and become God’s glory. Everything that feels uncomfortable, especially the uncomfortable things in your life, that reality is the incubator for God’s glory.
This spiritual truth is revealed to us in John 9, as the harsh reality of life is put on display when Jesus healed a man born blind. As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. “Rabbi,” his disciples asked him, “why was this man born blind? Was it because of the blind man’s own sins or his parents’ sins?”
Jesus said: “It was not because his sins or his parents’ sins. This happened so the power of God might be displayed in his life.”
The point of this miracle is that you have to begin to open yourself up to the possibility that God is using the harsh realities in your life for His glory. Today, in our modern culture, we all have two options: open yourself up to the possibility that God is working in your life for His glory, or escape into “Fantasy Island,” where you get the glory. The decision is yours.
Fantasy ranges from innocent to indecent. From Disney dreams to dark diversions, it is the wallpaper of popular culture offering every man an alternative relief or escape from reality.
Why is fantasy so powerful? Why is it so destructive on so many levels? Most importantly, what does fantasy reveal about a man’s relationship to reality? Watch this eye opening session with men’s expert and pastor Kenny Luck and learn why fantasy is an island.
Kenny Luck is the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church and is the founder of Every Man Ministries. His 20th book—Sleeping Giant: No Movement of God without Men of God— is a blueprint for men’s ministries, and was recently released through Broadman & Holman Books. His latest teaching series on men and sex called “The Sex Series” can be viewed and downloaded at www.everymanministries.com, where you can also read Kenny’s weekly blogs. Follow Kenny Luck on Facebook and Twitter.