In the old hymn, I Need Thee Every Hour there is a line that reads
“Temptations lose their power when thou art nigh”
The author, Annie Hawks, I believe has captured a great truth as the book of Nehemiah tells us, “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). The way to overcome temptation is not through will power and trying harder. It is in discovering that spiritual joys are far more appetizing than seasonal gratifications. The more joy we find in Jesus, the less the things of this world appeal to us.
A classical illustration of the two ways of resisting temptation is found in the writings of Greek mythology. In the wanderings of Ulysses after the taking of Troy, the wind drove his ship near to the island of the Sirens, somewhere near the west coast of Italy. These enchantresses were fabled to have the power of charming by their songs anyone who heard then, so that he died in an ecstasy of delight. When the ship of Ulysses approached these deadly charmers, sitting on the beach endeavoring to lure him and his crew to destruction, he filled the ears of his companions with wax, and with a rope tied himself to the mast, until he was so far off that he could no longer hear their song. By this painful process, they escaped.
But when the Argonauts, in pursuit of the golden fleece, passed by the Sirens singing with entrancing sweetness, Jason, instead of binding himself to the mast and stuffing the ears of his men with wax, commanded Orpheus, who was on board the ship, to play his lyre. His song so surpassed in sweetness that of the charmers, that their music seemed harsh and discordant in comparison. The Sirens, seeing them sail by unmoved, threw themselves into the sea and were metamorphosed into rocks. They had been conquered with their own weapons. Melody had surpassed melody.
Here is the secret of the Christian’s triumph. The joy of the Lord in our heart surpasses anything the world can offer. When we fall head over heels in love with Jesus, Satan’s temptations lose their appeal.
Are you facing temptation this morning? The key to victory is not in trying harder. The key is to focus on Jesus. Spend some time in praising Him and thanking Him for all He has done in your life and the Devil will flee!
Have a blessed, thanks-filled day!
If you would like to comment or if you have questions for Pastor Barry you may direct those to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you.