I enjoy fishing. I’m not what you would call an avid fisherman though. I don’t own a boat with a fancy fishfinder that shows me where all the fish are hiding. I rarely, if ever, fish with live bait either. I like the challenge of finding the right lure to trick the fish into biting. It’s a game of sorts and almost always, I’m smarter than they are.
Like most animals, the main job of fish is to eat. It’s just a matter of convincing them that the lure on the end of your line is exactly what they are looking for. The choice of color, how fast or slow you work the bait, the depth that you fish at, and the time of day all play a role in convincing them to bite. The trap, though, is in the hook. That fish will take the lure into his mouth having no idea that a hidden hook is about to trap them. One strong pull on the line and they’re mine…hook, line, and sinker!
The temptation in our lives works exactly the same way. Satan uses the very fancy and colorful lures of the world to entice us into taking the bait. He uses our natural, God-given desires and distorts them in order to capture us and once we’re hooked, it’s hard to break free (James 1:14-15).
Satan uses all kinds of bait and each one of us have to struggle with a different set of temptations, but Satan’s bait primarily falls into one of three categories:
- Lust of the flesh
- Lust of the eyes
- Pride of life
Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life-is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
It’s extremely important that we are aware of the bait that Satan uses to lure us away from God. The passage above reminds us that these worldly desires are fleeting, that what Satan promises has no substance and is only successful in bringing death upon us. Once caught, we’ll begin to feel powerless, to feel as if God has abandoned us when in reality, it is we who abandon him.
Just like the fish I catch from time to time, we sometimes are caught and bring sin into our lives. It does us no good to deny when we fall for Satan’s bait. Instead, Christians are called to confess and repent. 1 John 1:8-9 says, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Through the grace and forgiveness of God, we are released to another day.