February 16, 2023
Stop Taking the Bait
Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight (Psalm 119:43 NIV).
Friend to Friend
In C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia series, a young Edmund Pevensie is a fictional character who, at one point, almost traded his soul for a Turkish delight. He naïvely gave into cravings that ended up costing him way more than he anticipated.
The evil White Witch was initially shocked by his presence in Narnia, but quickly implemented a crafty plan to destroy him that began with temptation. First, she pretended to care about him. Then, like the crafty serpent in Eden’s garden, she warmed him up by providing a sugar-coated death delight. And just like the first Adam and Eve, Edmund, Son of Adam, took the bait.
Similarly, our very-real enemy tries hard to get you and me to place our delight in things other than Jesus and His Word. He whispers toxic lies to churn discontentment and promises the things of this world will solve our problems, numb our pain, and bring a sweet reward. His mission is to get us to delight in and focus on anything other than things of Jesus.
Don’t take the bait.
We were created to know and love Jesus. To be in relationship with the Lord. To live and love according to His ways and Word. The psalmist celebrated God's Word as a point of goodness in Psalm 119:43. “Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight.” And again, later in that same chapter, “I long for your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight” (Psalm 119:174).
It sounds so good and right when I read this, but I know all too well that it's easy to feel restless and unsatisfied at times. Even as a Christian. I think most of us would say we want to delight in God's commands and laws, but we wonder what that really looks like.
I'm learning that God wants more than my good intentions and good behavior.
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires” (Psalm 37:4 NIV).
He wants us to delight in Him. To love His commands, read His Word and actually obey.
To pursue Him as He pursues us. He wants us to seek Him. To know Him more deeply, understand and worship Him.
In doing these things, we delight in Him.
And let's be honest, while you and I may not have normal run-ins with a freakish White Witch, there are tons of things you and I can find delight in other than Jesus. But none are greater.
Dear Lord, You are my delight. Forgive me for turning to the left and the right when I should be turning straight to You. Teach me Your ways, Lord. Grow my love for Your Word and guard my heart from temptation. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
When have you taken the bait? Is there a temptation you need to turn from today? When in your life have you felt the closest to Jesus? What were you doing in that season to intentionally delight in Him?
More From the Girlfriends
If you connected with today’s message, you’ll love Gwen Smith’s book, I Want It ALL. Ready to narrow the gap between ordinary faith and the not-so-ordinary promises of God found in His Word? Order yours today from Amazon, Gwen’s website or from your favorite retailer.
© 2023 by Gwen Smith. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Thursday, 16 February 2023.