Which is the preferred drink? Coca Cola or Pepsi? There was a study done whereby both drinks were offered on a sample table, without their labels, with the sample group then rating each drink according to preference. The study initially confirmed Pepsi as the preferred drink… a confusing find for researchers since Coca Cola was the bestseller between the two.
It was then discovered that when more drink was poured into the glasses, Coca Cola became a firm favourite.
What was the reason for this discrepancy?
Apparently, too much Pepsi left a bitter aftertaste, even though initially it tasted sweeter.
‘Sin’, by definition, means missing the mark.
Those little compromises might be costing you everything, but you continue to sip away, not realising that the aftertaste is bitter.
This is why Jesus explained that the sweetness of compromise eventually leads to a bitter aftertaste. It’s sweet to indulge in certain things. Sometimes the sweetness of immediate reward is a great seduction. The devil said this to Jesus in the wilderness – “Compromise on God and I will make you famous! I have been given the authority to give fame and the kingdoms of the world to whomever I choose”. Jesus, the Son of God, didn’t blink twice. “It is written…” he replied.
You have drunk half the glass. What will what you are drinking taste like at the end of the glass? Will it still be sweet?
The same is with sugar. It’s sweet to the palate but in excess, it compromises on one’s health.
As I have given up sugar, for health reasons, I have realised the need for a replacement. Honey might not seem as sweet at the outset, but in the long term, having this instead of sugar pays its dividends.
Scripture calls the Promised Land a place of milk and honey. This is because it is a place of nourishment and restoration. Honey has many benefits – even nourishing, anti-sceptic, healing properties. The Promised Land could have been called the land of ice cream and jelly and maybe many would clamour to get there, but in the Creator of Heaven and Earth would not lead you into a land of compromise, which would eventually result in you falling into corruption, deceit – eventually stealing your destiny and leaving you in a waste land of bitterness and despair.
I remember reading the testimony of a high priestess of satan and how she met someone at a club who told her if she compromised and served satan, he would make her a famous singer. She now gives her testimony and shares how she wishes she had had the courage to turn her back on this sweet seduction and instead choose the sweeter way, the Lord.
She now has a muscular degenerative disease and said she knew of others in her circle of fame who had even committed suicide because they had opened a ‘Pandora’s Box’ through trying to force things in the spiritual realm and messing with God’s law.
The blood of Jesus washes away our sins and grace covers us, but Jesus says in His word that when the Holy Spirit comes to live in you, He becomes your compass to the land of milk and honey. The sweetness of sugar no longer seems as sweet, and suddenly you just don’t want those things that once had a hold over you.
It’s like a sheep which falls into a mud puddle. The sheep hasn’t become a pig if it falls in the puddle. Its identity as a sheep is established by the Shepherd and cannot be shaken, as is revealed as the sheep shakes itself off after leaving the puddle. A pig on the other hand doesn’t see why the mud is not so great.
So grace covers sin, but grace also changes the heart. Things just look different because of grace. You have become a new creation as a child of God.
The Lord is calling us to consecrate ourselves to Him. This means understanding our identity as set apart for His purposes. The land of milk and honey is found in identity. Understanding you carry God’s presence in you as a born-again believer and then walking in His presence – the presence born of covenant – which parts the Jordan to bring you into that sweet place with Him.
Today’s reading: “So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. 15 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17 The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stopped in the middle of the Jordan and stood on dry ground, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.” Joshua 3:14-17
CS Lewis: “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
To read the story behind the Living out Loud blog, visit https://living-out-loud.blog/2017/12/30/the-birth-of-a-new-blog/
©Copyright Heather Djunga 2018.