“The joy of the Lord will arm us against the assaults of our spiritual enemies and put our mouths out of taste for those pleasures with which the tempter baits his hooks.” (Matthew Henry, 1662-1714)
The tempter prowls about seeking whom he might destroy, hooks baited with pleasurable enticements to lure us away from the Lord. We must be armed against his assaults, for his copies of God’s real joy entice with tempting counterfeits. And each time we choose those tarnished copies of love and joy, we deaden our desire for the Lord.
Only as we die to our desires for Satan’s mimics of true love do we truly live. Only as our heart becomes enamored with Jesus — for the first or the thousandth time — does true love triumph over the tempter’s false promises.
For when Jesus reigns as our superior treasure and gain, we revel not only in what He does for us, but in who He is. As we are enamored by His incalculable worth, we more and more abhor any false god’s offers of temporary pleasure. The joy we experience as we know Jesus’ love deep within fortifies us against the assaults of our spiritual enemies.
We want to spew the tempter’s counterfeits from our mouth. They taste as contamination when we think on Jesus and His love for us. We no longer want to dawdle through our days, lured away to nibble on prettily-wrapped, yet decomposing bread.
Only the love of Jesus trumps and then frees us from our desires for the world’s counterfeit pleasures.
The joy of the Lord (which I experience as I know my Savior’s love for me) puts my mouth out of taste for those pleasures with which the tempter baits his hooks.
How exactly does His greater love, which causes the tempter’s lesser joys to lose their luring appeal, permeate our being? Link here for that post: Part 2 – “Jesus is the joy that arms us against the tempter’s hooks.“ and Part 3 – Even more beautiful.