After her husband was elected President of the United States, Nancy Reagan made a tireless effort to create an awareness of the drug problem in the United States. The slogan that she championed was three simple words: “Just Say No.” When speaking or writing, Nancy would tell those who were tempted to take drugs to “Just Say No.” Eventually, this slogan was used to help stop violence, premarital sex, and a host of other vices that young people might try.
Many in the church have adapted this same philosophy in seeking to stay away from sin. You might easily call it “willpower religion.” When temptation comes, people attempt to “Just Say No!” as if the power of the flesh can be overcome simply by willpower alone. Too often, however, people find out that this simply doesn’t work. They may have a genuine desire to overcome their sin. They may well know of the terrible effects of their sin. They may well hate the consequences of their sin. They may well know how much it is ruining their lives. They may well be ashamed of their sin. They may be putting forth great efforts to overcome their sin. But, will-power religion simply isn’t able to conquer sin. Why? Because sin brings pleasure now. Long-term consequences can’t compete with short-term pleasures. So, what’s the solution? You need to find greater satisfaction in God than pleasure in sin.
Ponder the following verses: “You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and new wine abound” (Psalm 4:7). “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).