Trying to hem sin in by building fences, making rules and forbidding behavior won’t do the job.
We need “the expulsive power of a new affection,” as Thomas Chalmers said. We need something more beautiful and desirable than the sin that’s tempting us. We need a delight that’s more delightful than the empty delights promised by sin. We need the beautiful one, Jesus, to fill our eyes.
In Greek mythology, the Sirens would sing enchanting songs, drawing sailors irresistibly toward the rocks and certain shipwreck. Odysseus filled his crew’s ears with wax and had them tie him to the mast. This is like the approach of legalism. We bind ourselves up with laws and disciplines in a vain attempt to resist temptation. Orpheus, on the other hand, played such beautiful music on his harp that his sailors ignored the seductions of the Sirens’ song. This is the way of faith. The grace of the gospel sings a far more glorious song than the enticements of sin, if only we have the faith to hear its music. – Tim Chester, You Can Change
If all we focus on is trying not to sin, it won’t work. Turn your gaze on Jesus. Ask him to show you his glory. When you’re tempted, draw near your great high priest and ask him to fill you with delight in him. Sin won’t satisfy, though it whispers it will. Jesus, the glorious one, the fountain of delights will satisfy you.