It was an especially painful time in my life. I was alone staring at my shattered dreams and by all intents and purposes, I’d hit rock bottom. My trail of failures were a constant reminder that I may never be loved the way God had designed for a woman to be loved. While I did my best to appear happy to the unsuspecting community around me the thought of being alone seemed worse than death and I wasn’t sure I had enough fight left to climb out of my pit of despair even though I knew I needed to.
Dragging myself to church that Sunday morning, I sat on the edge of my seat as the speaker gave a compelling illustration taken from a story in Greek mythology. In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus is told of a magnificent song sung by the sirens of the sea, but one that would lure unsuspecting sailors dangerously close to the rocky shore. Lacking the discipline to stay safely away from the rocks but close enough to hear the sirens’ tantalizing tune, previous sailors had sailed closer and closer to the sweet sound until their ships were dashed into the depths.
Odysseus’ solution was to have his seamen fill their ears with beeswax, so they could not hear the sultry song and therefore be tempted to sail too closely to shore. It was his plan to have them tie him securely to the ships mast so that he would be able to bask in the mirthful melody of the beautiful sirens, but unable to escape and force the sailors to steer even closer. Even if he shouted the sailors could not hear him keeping their ship on an exacting and safe course.
FREEDOM FROM TEMPTATION
We all deal with temptation on every level. For me it was in the area of relationship but for others it could be any number of things such as lust for power, addiction or projecting an outer persona. Regardless of the invitation, the most tenacious allurements are rooted in the areas of our deception.
We find ways to convince ourselves that we are immune to the entanglements of our greatest enemy when, in fact, we’ve only tied ourselves to the mast of denial. For Odysseus to truly be free, He would have to not only, recognize the dangers that lie ahead, he would need to awaken to a sweeter sound than the temptation that beckoned him.
The apostle, Paul encouraged the Galatians to walk in the Spirit, that they would not gratify the desires of their flesh. Naturally when we read that we tend to think doing so requires religious performance and gargantuan self-discipline. Not so at all! There is a sound, which can only be heard by the Spirit and it carries the good news of Jesus Christ to the hungering soul.
As I sat in the service that morning literally on the edge of my seat, I heard the trustworthy whisper of the Holy Spirit say to me, “Untie yourself from the mast.” He knew how deeply hurt I was, when others could not discern my pain. I was a child of the Almighty God. I knew I was one of His beloved, yet the enlightenment of His overwhelming and satisfying love was not fully perceived in my identity.
My history of rejection and being devalued by men had left me fixated with the temptation to find one who might love me. Yet repeatedly, I found my ship dashed on the rocks of disappointment and my heart sinking to the bottom of the sea. May I ask, what is keeping you tied to the lie that continues to charm you with an empty promise but slowly killing you? Would you dare to untie yourself and let it go?
There is an undeniable joy, which cannot be explained! It can’t be sold, and it cannot be contained. It is freely accessible, but it can only be discovered in the surrender of the counterfeit. All you must do is seek its unlimited source and your greatest joy will be found.
It is with the greatest satisfaction that I can tell you I did respond to that sweet sound of the Spirit as I willingly untied myself from the place of emotional bondage where I longed to be loved. This is where I finally drank from His living water and my thirsty soul was satisfied beyond my expectations. I have never looked back after that day as I found something sweeter than anything I’d ever experienced.
His great love is the music your heart and soul eagerly search for and it will satisfy your longings over and over again. I pray you let it be your compass that charts the course of your purposeful voyage and that it will carry you into the deepest of discoveries.
Sermon Credits: Kenny Thacker – Lead Pastor, Lighthouse Christian Fellowship Prosper TX. https://www.lighthousentx.com