I have been a fan of the author C.S. Lewis since I was in fourth grade, when I first read his book, “The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe. It was a story that really captured my attention, especially the part when the White Witch offers Turkish Delight to Edmund to get him to betray his brother and sisters. It really had an impact on me because I couldn't imagine how someone could betray their own family just for something to eat. The conclusion my fourth-grade mind came to was that this Turkish Delight stuff had to be amazing in order to convince 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 just 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 recently when I was in a local bakery, and overheard one of the customers say to her friend that the chocolate cookies were amazing, and that she would probably “sell her first-born for a dozen”. The cookies were very good, but I certainly wasn't about to give up any of my kids for them. And I’m sure that this woman wouldn’t have done so either – it was just a joke. But as I stood in line and pondered what she said, it occurred to me 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 can end up making them more important than serving God fully.
In John 21:15, Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love Me more than these?” Over the years, a lot of folks have speculated about what Jesus meant by the word “these”. But actually, I think it’s probably better that we don’t know exactly what Jesus meant, because it allows each of us to personalize the question and ask ourselves: “What do I love more than Jesus?” It’s a good question for us to regularly ask, because 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 by offering us 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’re 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 advice of the Psalmist in 119:174, where we're told to, “Delight in the Lord”. When we follow this instruction - when we make God our number one delight - it then takes away Satan's power to influence us.
So today, let’s recommit to loving God first and foremost. Let’s confess to Him the things in our lives that we're putting before Him, and then let’s take time to delight in Him, and Him alone.