My flirtation with the world began with a curious glance. One charming cowboy wink was all it took and soon I was begging for more. One baby step toward sin turned into a two-step and not long after, I was caught up in a neon line dance I couldn’t escape. I longed for the weekends. Especially dark-thirty.
Caught up in a world of man hunts, looking for love and affection wherever I could find it, a friend of mine served me a verse I didn’t appreciate. “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred towards God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (James 4:4).
I HATED that verse! How dare she ruin my fun. An enemy of God? I certainly didn’t want to be that, but to lay down the only thing that filled the void inside—how was I going to give that up?
Neon nights were never the same after that. The conviction battled my flesh. How much could I hang out with the world before the world took over? Exactly how far could I stray before I was given over to my own evil desires? Where was the line? If I only knew where it was, I would be sure not to cross it.
I searched for months, but never found the line. Like the stroke of midnight at Cinderella’s ball, my time in Cowboy Land was about to expire.
I couldn’t have the same kind of fun amid conviction, but I didn’t know how to let go. If I stayed home and tried to be “good” I was miserable. The lure of Wranglers and romance taunted my heart like a magnetic asteroid. I was in certain withdrawal.
Denying my addiction wasn’t easy. To be honest, when I started hanging out with my Christian friends on the weekends, I was completely bored. They did boring things. Where was the party? It was like going on a crash diet. I may have been with the Christians, but my heart longed for the cowboys. I still craved neon.
Like a diet, however, my taste buds eventually began to change. I use the term eventually in its loosest sense. I didn’t get seduced overnight and I didn’t get healthy overnight either. It took diligence and prayer, but my desires gradually changed. The more I denied myself things that were not healthy for my soul, the more I began to crave spiritual things. When you have a diet of pure sugar, your body craves more. That’s the deception of overindulgence. But when you begin to restrain yourself, what you once craved will now send you into shock. Too much sugar becomes toxic.
The same thing happened to me. What was once appealing now became appalling. Neon cowboys became nauseating. My experience taught me the wisdom of an old Cherokee fable: What we feed grows. What we starve dies.
Today I’ve abandoned the darkness and decided to let my light shine. I no longer wait around for dark-thirty. Instead, I live life 24/7. I’d rather share the hope of the gospel and the goodness of God than get drunk on false promises and the lure of romance. Truth be known, I’m still addicted to love, but I’ve changed dance partners. Now the joy of the Lord is my strength. That’s what happens when we trade our neon nights for His glorious days.
Question to Ponder:
What about you? Is the world luring you away from your relationship with Christ? I urge you to repent and surrender your heart to him. His love never fails!!
Prayer: Dear Lord, Please forgive me for the times my heart has wandered into the path of temptation. Help me keep a guard over my heart that I may not fall prey to the enemies schemes. May I always remember that the lure of sin has only temporary pleasure, but in the end is bitter and sour. Thank you that life on your path gets sweeter and sweeter with each passing day! In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.