Temptation… That moment when you hear the knocks at the door of your heart and mind of the great deceiver asking to come in promising to ‘make life better…’ as he stands outside with pleasure on a plate for delivery, just waiting for you to let him in.
The smell of that pleasure seeps through the door filling the room with enticing aromas calling out to you saying, ‘Just open the door… don’t worry, it will be fine. No one will know…’ Soon, the fog fills the room and you are unable to see anything out the window. All you can think of is that smell and getting to it. Yet, something inside of you is saying, ‘No… That will only lead to pain and darkness’.
The conflict engulfs your thoughts. The more you resist, the more the pressure to open the door increases. Until, finally, you open the door and in walks the dark one dressed in all white. With a smile, he opens the lid to the tray of promised pleasure. Out comes that which you’d obsessed about, and for a brief moment, you are overcome with the euphoric sense of fulfillment as you breathe in the fullness of the false promise.
Without hesitation, the dark one’s clothes of white fade away and his true form is revealed. His finely tailored suite of shining light turns to pitch-black. His once smile of promised pleasure, turns to a laugh of arrogance as he tilts his head back in glee.
With a sudden turn, he glares into your eyes and says, ‘I’ve got you. You are mine’. Wrapping his arms around you, he ties you with a chain like a tamed circus animal and leads you down the hallway of shame passing by the open doors of pain, fear, self-hate, emptiness, and hopelessness just waiting for you to take a tour inside each one.
At the end of the hall, you stop at the door leading to the chamber of addiction where he turns and says, ‘That wasn’t so bad now was it? If you stay in here with me, there’s more where that came from. I’ll give you as much as want…’ He then pulls you into the chamber and slams the door closed locking it with seemingly unbreakable locks.
The thought of staying in that dark chamber of hopeless addiction with the dark one is something you can’t fathom, no matter how great the ‘pleasure’. Crying out in despair, you turn to the only thing you know to do shouting, ‘God, save me!... Jesus, set me free from this darkness!! I’m sorry for letting the dark one in… Please help me…’
Light from all around suddenly fills the room. The dark one shrieks in fear and repels backward curling up into a little ball in the corner terrified of the light. The chain holding you falls to the ground and the door in front of you is blown open letting in a blinding light.
As you fall to your knees bowing your head in shame, a nail-scared hand reaches down and takes you by the arm, pulling you back up to your feet and out of the room into the safe, loving arms of a smiling Jesus. The warmth of His love rushes over your soul in waves of peace and energy cleansing away the darkness and replacing it with light.
Leading you back down the hall, the doors of pain, fear, self-hate, emptiness, and hopelessness all close as they fade into the light. Back in the room where you began, there is a new aroma filling the air with the smell of love, joy, and freedom.
As you turn to thank Him, He looks at you and says, ‘You’re free, but he will come back. When he does, tell him to leave in My name and he will flee. And, if you fail to keep the door closed again, I will be here to save you. I love you and will be with you always…’
Outside the window, the colors of the sky, grass, and flowers seem brighter and more vibrant than you’d ever seen them before. Everything that was once covered in darkness is now gleaming with light.
A few short days later, after basking in the light, peace, and love, you hear a knock at the door. Hesitantly, you walk toward the door and, before even arriving there, that familiar aroma begins to creep into the room. The aroma of promised pleasure. ‘How could it be? The dark one was repelled and sent packing?’ Then, you remember the words Jesus left you with. Without hesitation, you turn to the door and tell the dark one, ‘In the name of Jesus, get out of here..!’
With a shriek, the dark one yanks back, turns, and runs back down the hall. Within seconds, your room fills back with light and peace. Only this time, you feel stronger than before and ready for the next time when the prince of lies comes knocking again….
As I was sitting in the airport today, I noticed so many people being drawn away with their eyes and the things of the world. Surely, we are saturated with false promises everywhere we turn. So, while waiting for my plane, I put together the short story above about temptation.
It comes from a life of experience and is a good reminder to me, that every day is a day when the deceiver could come back and knock at the door promising the same old lies he’s always been promising. Together, we can defeat his lies with the power of the name of the Son of God, which he is powerless against. I'll leave you tonight with a great old song that spoke to me while writing the blog, from the 70s called, 'I Hear You Knocking...'
Love always friends,