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“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)
I live in the Sunshine State of Florida, so I see many people fishing from piers, boats, and sandy shores. Some use imitation lures while others prefer live bait, hoping to entice and catch some fish for the day. If the fish falls for the bait, he is more or less a goner. He is snatched from his thriving environment, placed in a bucket, and is held captive for whatever comes next. If the fish did not fall for the alluring bait, he would be free to live in the water.
In Genesis 2 & 3, God instructed Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Satan lured Eve to disobey God by enticing her to eat fruit from this same tree. Adam and Eve had it made, but they fell prey to the enemy. Instead of living freely in a divine environment, God banished them from the Garden of Eden to toil in foreign territory.
When Esau sold his birthright to his younger brother Jacob, he demonstrated how fleshly impulse and an uncontrollable appetite could thwart future blessings. In Genesis 25, Esau returns home famished and demands that Jacob give him something to eat. Jacob, the trickster, agrees to give Esau a bowl of stew in exchange for Esau’s birthright. Upon making an oath to Jacob, Esau relinquishes his future leadership position and double-portion inheritance in exchange for immediate gratification. Had Esau taken a few moments to count the real cost of that “bowl of stew”, he would not have made this unwise decision.
In Mathew 4:1-11, Satan tempted Jesus three times in the desert. Jesus overcame all three temptations by using the Word of God. Jesus did not use his divine power to defeat Satan nor should you try to use your own strength. The same weapon that Jesus used, the Word of God, is your best defense in overcoming the enemy who seeks to entice and entrap you.
If you do not use caution when temptations come, you will fall prey to the enemy, your fleshly desires, or enticements from others. In James 4:7 we read, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” At all times, be on alert so no form of enticement can entrap you. It is imperative that you watch out for the ever-so-subtle temptations that come your way. Choose to stay far, far away from the fisherman’s hook, so you do not end up in a bucket of dire consequences.
God’s word says, “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.” (Deuteronomy 30:19b-20a) Seek daily to stay close to God, resist temptation, and choose life for you and your loved ones. Remember, momentary pleasures never outweigh future blessings God offers to those who overcome temptation.
Father, Keep me close to You so that when Satan tries to tempt me I’ll see his lies for what they are and not be tempted. Amen.
Questions: Have you been forfeiting God’s best for momentary pleasures? Is there any particular bait the enemy dangles in front of you?