I’ve been a fan of the author CS Lewis ever since I first read “The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe” back in the fourth grade. It was a story that captured my attention in so many ways, but the part that really stood out to me was when the White Witch offered Turkish Delight to Edmund. If you’re familiar with the story, then you’ll remember that she offered Edmund the candy as a way to get him to betray his brother and sisters.
That really had an impact on me because I couldn't imagine how anyone could betray their own family just for some candy. And so the only conclusion I could come to was that this Turkish Delight stuff had to be amazing, if it could get someone to do something so terrible. So imagine my surprise when a few years ago I had the opportunity to actually try Turkish Delight, only to discover that it's simply a jelly-type candy covered in powdered sugar. Nothing to get excited about, much less sell your family out for!
I was reminded of this story yesterday at a workshop I'm attending because they were serving cookies from a well-known local bakery and I overheard one of the guests say that the chocolate cookies were “amazing”, and that she would probably “sell her children for a dozen”. Now, while I did agree that the cookies were very good, I wasn't about to give up any of my kids for them. And at the same time, I also knew that this lady was exaggerating to make a point (hopefully!).
But as I thought about what she said, I realized that each of us does have a little “Edmund” in us because we all have areas of weakness in our lives that Satan is eager to exploit. It may be something addictive like drugs or alcohol, or it may be something that seems harmless enough - like food, friendships, or work. Whatever it is, we each have things in our lives that we really like, and that are really important to us - so much so that we end up making them more important than serving God fully.
After His resurrection, Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love Me more than these?” (John 21:15). A lot of folks speculated as to what Jesus meant by the word “these,” but it’s probably better that we don’t know for sure because it allows each of us to personalize the question and ask ourselves, “What do I love more than Jesus?” The reality is, when Satan finds out what we love more than God, he knows how to manipulate us. He knows how to tempt us to do what he wants us to do by offering our own “Turkish Delight”. And, just like Edmund, we often get off on the wrong track by thinking, “Well, maybe just this one little bit”, and then before we know it, we too are doing things we can't believe we've done.
This is why it's so important that each and every day, we commit to following the instruction in Psalm 119:174, where we're told to “delight in the Lord”. And when we do this - when we make God our number one delight - it takes away Satan's power to influence us. So today, let’s ask God to help us commit to loving Him first and foremost. Let’s take time to confess to Him the things in our lives that we're putting before Him, and then ask Him to give us the strength to reprioritize our lives so that we can take delight in Him, and Him alone.