Many years ago,
my brothers and I went to New York City. We arrived very early in the
morning. We could not wait to get our bags into our room and get our first
look at Times Square. I shan't soon forget the sight. It was as if we were
immersed in a sea of lights. There were lights that cascaded like water
falls, lights that sparkled like Christmas, lights that wrote messages,
lights that twinkled.
pulsating lights, performing lights, lights that made little paths around
huge pictures of people. The scene seemed to take you along with it, whether
you wanted to go or not. It was as if you were in a current the strength of
which was so overpowering you had no resistance.
Society is like
those lights. It has a strong attraction. It pulls people with great
subtlety. You're caught up in the flow of it before you know it; and when
you're in the flow, it takes great power--more than most of us have--to
various methods of seduction, society invites us into the slime pit of sin.
It accomplishes this by making sin attractive. If sin were left to its own,
nobody would get involved in it. It promises things; it holds out a certain
satisfaction. Sin is never presented to you in its bare form. It's always
dressed up in something. And the trappings are well thought out. The Devil
is a master of disguises. He conjures up all manner of packages in which to
place this most deadly enemy of mankind. When he has it just right he
presents it with deadly skill. You can be in it before you know it.
How do we fight
this kind of attraction? What can we do?
Get to know yourself.
Each of us is
different. Each has his own vulnerabilities, his own weaknesses. Only when
you get to know yourself can you prevent the hypnotic spell. Paul said,
(I Cor. 13:5).
Such an introspection is private; no one can do it for you. It takes an
amount of courage, a sort of ``push yourself'' attitude. The Devil would
like you to just “go with the flow,” and “not fight against the feeling.”
But when you know yourself, you're able to guard against getting into
trouble before you know it.
Decide what's important.
The Devil wins
lots of folks simply because he convinces them, ever so subtly, that it's OK
to major in minors. How often we dedicate ourselves to that which is of so
little value. How does he do that? Well, he just dresses it up so that you
can't see it for what it really is. How many people have been deluded into
thinking that life consists of the abundance of the things possessed?
(Cf. Lk. 12:15)
How many times
have fame and material things blinded the vision of some unsuspecting
person? After all, success is important isn't it? Sure it is; but only if
it's real success--the kind that relates to the eternal.
Store up the message.
The word of God
is the key to overcoming the Devil. Jesus proved that when He was tempted by
His answer still works today. But if you've not stored up the information,
you can't use it when the moment of disaster is near. “It is written” cannot
be used by him who doesn't know that it's written. Store up the information
and be ready. It's a war, folks. And we can't fight it without the armaments
necessary for the conflict
Take control of your own life.
It's amazing how easy it is to surrender yourself. Almost without thinking
you can surrender yourself to some hobby, to some project, to some dominant
personality, to some movement of some sort. That's how the Devil's process
works. It's like those lights--you're mesmerized before you know it. Paul
told the Romans, “Know ye not that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to
obey, his servants ye are whom ye obey?”
It's your choice. You don't have to surrender to anybody. You choose the one
you serve. Be careful.
Follow-through is important whether it's a good tennis stroke, a good golf
swing, or a disciple's obedience. Intention without follow-through--a most
sagacious ploy. He doesn't have to get you to decide not to do what's right
if he can just get you to put if off. Oh, you intend to, you just haven't
gotten around to it. And intention--isn't that something which is
commendable, something good? Sure it is. But only if you follow through.
James said, “to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is
After we had
seen the lights in the black of night we went back to the hotel with visions
of brightness still burning in our minds. The next morning, we went to the
same area of and saw Times Square in God's light. What a difference! Litter,
last night's confetti, drunks in the doorways, alleys filled with filth.
always what they seem.
Other Articles by Dee Bowman
to Form a Good Character
Does Your Heart Want?
What Is It?
Intentions Won't Get It
I Saw a Friend Die
Its You're Life, You Know
How to Build a Good Character
Today is Today
Different by Design
Just Wad It Up and Start Over
Competition for the Mind
The Importance of Good Judgment
For Past Auburn Beacons go to:
Anyone can join the mailing list for the Auburn Beacon! Send
your request to: