Satan offers us brightly wrapped candy, very appealing to the eye and enticing in what he purports that it provides us. If we buy it and eat it, we will taste sweetness – but just for a moment. The candy then turns bitter in our mouths and the bitterness is so awful, we become desperate for something to take that bitter taste away. Of course, Satan offers another piece of candy, and the sweetness brings what feels to us like relief – for a moment. Our desperation grows as the bitterness deepens, and we start seeking his candy on our own because we think anything is better than the bitter taste. We are blinded to the fact that it was Satan’s candy that produced the bitterness in the first place.
What I am describing is the cycle of addiction, but don’t limit your understanding of this process to addictive substances or things like pornography. We get addicted to safety. To the illusion of control. To hiding. To attention. To approval. To power. To comfort. To what is easy. To proving ourselves right or good or worthy. And all of these “candies” turn bitter in our mouths. “Though evil is sweet in his mouth and he hides it under his tongue, though he cannot bear to let it go and keeps it in his mouth, yet his food will turn sour in his stomach, it will become the venom of serpents within him” (Job 20:12-14).
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands…and purify your hearts. Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up.” (James 4:7-8, 10). If we acknowledge our need for Jesus and resist the urge to keep taking or seeking Satan’s candy, He promises to restore us and lift us up. And the sweetness of Jesus is beyond anything we have ever experienced, so superior to the enemy’s brief moment of so-called relief that we will wonder why we were ever enticed by the candy to begin with. Nothing compares to His love. Nothing is sweeter than His truth. “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103).