By Brock Mayer
I was driving home from a shift out in beautiful but remote Southeastern Oklahoma, when I decided to turn on the radio. I pushed the “seek” button a few times until a set of lyrics arrested my attention.
(Note: Before I continue further, I don’t recommend anyone to look up this song or artist (but I know many of you will). Be forewarned: by beholding we become changed, even if only on a curiosity level. Plus, this song has been designed to stick in your head.)
The song on the radio was by an artist named AJR and was entitled Weak—certainly a title we all can identify with as humans. The verse and chorus I found heartbreaking:
“No thank you” is what I should’ve said. I should be in bed, but temptations of trouble on my tongue, troubles yet to come. One sip, bad for me. One hit, bad for me. One kiss, bad for me, but I give in so easily. And no thank you is how it should’ve gone. I should stay strong. But I’m weak, and what’s wrong with that? Boy, oh boy, I love it when I fall for that. I’m weak, and what’s wrong with that? Boy, oh boy, I love ya when I fall for that. I’m weak. No thank you. They call me after dark, I don’t want no part. My habits, they hold me like a grudge. I promise I won’t budge. One sip bad for me. One hit bad for me. One kiss. bad for me. But I’m weak.”
End of the world
We are living at the end of time. Let that sink in for a moment. The devil is seeking to poison the minds of untold billions. His agenda is simple: to convince the popular culture of our day that victory is impossible. If we are only human, or animals, or stuck in this vicious cycle of failure, then why try? Why even bother looking for the Only Answer to our sin sick souls? Why not embrace and enjoy our sin if there is no hope?
The Psalmist agrees with AJR and states: “Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I am weak”, but David doesn’t conclude here, accepting his fateful humanity. Instead, he pleads for the remedy: “O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed” (Psalm 6:2).
It seems like popular culture is on a theme lately. There are certain propensities towards wrong within each one of us, but instead of seeking deliverance from temptation, perhaps we ought to accept ourselves for who we are and what we naturally do. We are beginning to glimpse where this seemingly innocent ‘follow-your-heart’ road ends. The bible is clear that our natural hearts are “deceitful and desperately wicked” (Jer 17:9). Only our Creator can perform the heart transplant we desperately need (see God’s awesome promise in Ezekiel 36:25-27).
Paul also agrees that humans are weak, stating in Romans 8:3: “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.”
Praise the Lord! But it gets better:
“That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (verses 4-6).
Does anyone else feel like this old earth is on the fast track to death and destruction? I took the liberty of looking up the official music video when I returned home and found even more interesting videography.
Destroyed by deception
The official music video for the song Weak takes place on top of a subway. The lead vocalist for AJR is seemingly animated by a force beyond his control caught between what he knows is wrong (nightmarish), and his carnal nature that prefers no restraint. During the entirety of the video the lead vocalist is attracted to and stumbles toward a ‘bright white light’ near the front of the train. In the last scene we find him standing on the tracks only to realize to late that the ‘bright white light’ is the train itself which kills him instantly upon impact. A fitting ode to how the devil would like to see each of us exit this world—deceived and ultimately destroyed.
Train race to destruction
In a small book called Early Writings, we find an applicable dream given to a small frail woman of faith over 130 years ago:
“I saw the rapidity with which this delusion was spreading. A train of cars was shown me, going with the speed of lightning. The angel bade me look carefully. I fixed my eyes upon the train. It seemed that the whole world was on board, that there could not be one left. Said the angel, “They are binding in bundles ready to burn.” Then he showed me the conductor, who appeared like a stately, fair person, whom all the passengers looked up to and reverenced. I was perplexed and asked my attending angel who it was. He said, “It is Satan. He is the conductor in the form of an angel of light. He has taken the world captive. They are given over to strong delusions, to believe a lie, that they may be damned. This agent, the next highest in order to him, is the engineer, and other of his agents are employed in different offices as he may need them, and they are all going with lightning speed to perdition.
I asked the angel if there were none left. He bade me look in an opposite direction, and I saw a little company traveling a narrow pathway. All seemed to be firmly united, bound together by the truth, in bundles, or companies. Said the angel, “The third angel is binding, or sealing, them in bundles for the heavenly garner.” This little company looked careworn, as if they had passed through severe trials and conflicts. And it appeared as if the sun had just risen from behind a cloud and shone upon their countenances, causing them to look triumphant, as if their victories were nearly won” page 88).
No thank you temptation
Praise God there is victory in Jesus! There is no time left. Today is the day of salvation—we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Has the third angel’s message of Revelation 14, a message of Christ’s righteousness, found its mark in your heart today? Do you want victory over your carnal nature? Are you willing to surrender all and labor for the Master and pull others out of this fiery path of destruction? By God’s grace may we say “no thank you” to temptation today.