“Beautiful Liar, no longer will I let you deceive me with a false premise of temporary satisfaction. What may have once seemed as instant gratification at no cost; would have eventually led me to have to pay the ultimate cost. I have now opened my eyes and have come to realize that my complete happiness will forever lie within the One who loved me from the beginning and will protect me to the very end.” -Erica J.
Although, we can’t quite tell by this weather yet, spring is finally here. And we all know what that means – it’s time to get that summer body ready. Like a lot of people, I made myself a promise that this was going to be my year to get my pre-baby body back. It’s not that I want to be super thin, because I actually enjoy my curves. I just really want to get back to my best self. In order to achieve my goal I had to make some changes in my life. I had to adjust my diet and fit time in my schedule to work out. It’s not something that I just enjoy, but it’s something that must be done. Right now it seems as though I am missing out on a lot of things that I love to make sure I reach my summer goal. But I am for certain that in the end it will be well worth every piece of broccoli and every sore night.
There is just one obstacle standing in my way…..dessert. Honestly, I am not really a sweets person at all. What’s funny about it is that it seemed as though the moment I made the decision to do right, I started having a sweet tooth. In order to overcome the urge to give into it, I often try to focus on all of the upcoming trips and events that I have already planned for this year. Alright, alright, I must admit there is one more problem- I don’t like to cook. Because I don’t cook, I often opt to pick up a smoothie or a prepared meal in the evening so that I won’t feel the urge to eat what my boys are eating.
One of my favorite places to pick up a quick healthy meal is the Fresh Market. On my way home one evening, I went into Fresh Market to grab dinner. I just so happen to get a glimpse of the prettiest Red Velvet cupcake. If you ever shop there then you know that they have a really nice selection of bake goods and desserts. Knowing that, I usually don’t even look in that direction. But that day it was like the desserts were calling my name… “Erica, hey Erica, you know you want me”! It was a set up. What was a girl to do? So of course I bought the cupcake. I knew in my heart that I didn’t need that cupcake. I instantly began trying to justify my purchase. “I mean, I had been working really hard.” “What can one cupcake do, really?” “I could always work it off later.” “Plus, it’s so pretty- I may never get another chance to taste it.” I had convinced myself that had no other choice.
As I took my first bite I thought to myself, “This is not what I imagined it would taste like”. I took a second bite – “this really isn’t very good at all”. As I kept eating (yes, I kept eating…. don’t judge me, LOL!) I realized this had to be the worst cupcake of my life. Not only did I not receive the satisfaction that I had hoped for. Now I had to deal with the guilt of adding unnecessary calories to my diet. And that tasteless, dry cupcake cost me $4. It definitely wasn’t worth it at all. If only I had taken control of my flesh and the urge for temporary pleasure I would have been one step closer to reaching my goal of getting back to my best body.
You may be wondering, Erica why are you telling me this story. The purpose of me telling you that story is that unlike the movies or what’s portrayed on TV; the devil does not necessarily approach you in a scary costume. Nor does he carry a sign that states “Caution Danger Ahead”. He often comes in the form of a big, pretty Red Velvet cupcake. Because he knows exactly what to present to you to distract you. If sin came with a warning label or seemed disgusting who would want to do it? What better way to entice you then to make it seem like the best thing ever?
For instance let’s say someone offers you a bowl of ice cream. The ice cream is totally free – all you have to do is eat it. The ice cream has the complete works. It has sprinkles, whip cream, caramel, chocolate, and even a cherry on top. However, before you even lift the spoon – you remember that your mother had already warned you not to eat the ice cream. You say to yourself, she just doesn’t want me to enjoy life. Why would people make ice cream if you’re not supposed to eat it? What could possibly be so wrong with the ice cream? Everyone is eating it. It looks harmless. You choose to eat it. You find out that it was really tasty. It may actually be the best thing ever had. Meanwhile, what you didn’t know was that the ice cream was laced with rat poison. At the time you were eating it, it was extremely satisfying. But because you chose not to listen to your mother and control your flesh; you have now been poisoned and are terribly, possibly deathly ill.
Just like the story of Adam and Eve. They had it all. Any and everything you could imagine were at their fingertips. They were living in complete bliss. The only thing God asked of them was to not eat of the fruit on the Tree of Good & Evil. However, Eve was approached by a serpent with a story of how much Eve was missing out on, and what God was keeping from her. Eve allowed herself to become deceived by the beautiful lies of the serpent and took a bite of the fruit. Adam and Eve’s lack of control cost them the Garden of Eden.
At times it may look like the world has all the fun. But it’s a façade. It’s not true happiness. There is nothing that this world can offer you, that God can’t give you 100 times greater and with no sorrow. The Bible says that sin is pleasurable for only a moment. In Romans 6:23 it says, “For the wages of sin isdeath…” The devil didn’t come to give you unlimited happiness. He comes ONLY to kill, steal and destroy. He’s not ignorant at all. He knows that although as Christians we strive for perfection we are far from perfect and the flesh at times can be weak. He is always lurking around with a bag of goodies to offer you. Therefore, if you are not constantly feeding your spirit with God’s word and studying His promises for you; you will eventually take the bait.
You may say, but Erica I have drifted too far. I not only ate the bowl of ice cream, I ate the whole gallon. The great thing about God is that as long as you have breath in your body it’s not too late to make things right. God is there ready with arms wide open. Choose today to turn away from whatever sin you may be in or struggling with, and start again. Why live a life of temporary satisfaction when you could live your best life in Christ. Trust me, its well worth any and everything you think you may lose. The moment I decided to give my life completely to Christ, I can honestly say that I have been living the best life. And the greatest thing about it is that I still haven’t received all that He has for me. He often leaves me in a state of wonder like… you really have more for me? It really gets better than this? And it does, because that’s the kind of God I serve.
Why not choose true happiness? Why not receive all the promises that have already been provided for you? Why not live the best life? The choice may seem like a great sacrifice at the moment, but the reward will be far greater in the end.