Jul
19

Rejecting Satan’s Lures by Randy Rowley 7/19/08 ©

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On an overcast Saturday morning in June, three friends and I arrived at a nice middle-class neighborhood near Georgetown for an FCS self-chartered fishing trip on the San Gabriel River.  Mark Dillow parked his truck between two houses, next to a trail leading downhill into some woods.  Mark, Kevin Wall, and James Bean gathered their fly fishing tackle and I grabbed my baitcasting tackle.

We were soon standing at the banks of the ultra-clear river.  Mark and Kevin went upstream, and James and I went downstream.  As we trekked along, the river became shallower.  James stopped there, but I kept going.  In about 100 yards, the water careened over a big rock shelf into a pool.  And that’s where I saw my quarry.

Two largemouth bass, about 15 inches long, were slowly cruising about ten yards in front of me.  I immediately threw a clear Heddon Baby Torpedo (a topwater lure with a rear spinner) right at them.  Neither bass paid any attention to it.  I spent the next few minutes casting the lure on top of them and futilely reeling it back in.  I tried every retrieve I knew.  All resulted in the same thing – nadda.

I then tied on an Xcalibur XR50 lipless crankbait in Foxy Shad color, cast it over their backs, and retrieved it at a medium pace.  The bass were still unimpressed.  Again, I tried every retrieve I knew and got the same results – zilch.  Next, I tied on a white Blakemore Roadrunner (a small single blade spinnerbait, this one with a grub tail) and slow-rolled it.  The bass remained unmoved – they saw those lures were fakes and rejected them.

My companions fared better.  Mark and Kevin caught about ten perch each, and James caught two.

Did you know Jesus understood fishing?  One-third of his disciples were fishermen, three of those fishermen were his closest friends/inner circle, and two of his miracles related to fishing.  Unfortunately, Satan also understands fishing.  He uses the lures in his tackle box to catch people who don’t know God so he can keep them as slaves to sin and uses the same or different lures to keep Christians from growing and being effective for God.

Some of the lures Satan has caught me with time and again are named CiCis Pizza, Mr. Gattis Pizza, China Buffet Palace, and many others.  I’ll be eating like supposed to, losing a little weight, and feeling OK.  Then a friend suggests eating at an all-you-can-eat joint and BAM! – I’ll suck that lure right in and end up in Satan’s livewell.  Too often, my story is like Paul’s in Romans 7:19 (NLT), “When I want to do good, I don’t.  And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway.”

Satan catches other people with lures named Camel, Budweiser, pot, cocaine, and many more.  He uses those lures similarly to how he uses his food lures – he makes it look very appealing.  Then he sets the hook.

Satan has also caught me with lures named Remington, Winchester, Browning, Beretta, Vortex, Burris, Leupold, All Star, Lew’s, and Shimano.  I’ll say to myself, “Your binoculars fogged up the last time you went deer hunting – you need anti-fog ones!” or “You have to sharpen your hunting knife too frequently when dressing and skinning hogs – it’s time to buy one that stays sharper longer.”  A trip to Academy, Bass Pro Shops, or Cabela’s later, and I have a new prize – regardless of whether I’d budgeted the money for it.

Many of us become obsessed with the accumulation of things.  We say to ourselves we’ll be happy if we get a new house, truck, boat, 4-wheeler, gun, bow, etc.  Then we make the purchase and discover that, although we might be happy for a while, we quickly go back to feeling like we don’t have enough and need more.  Lusting after things and envy is indicative of us not surrendering to Jesus’s Lordship in every area of our lives.  We have a God-sized hole in our hearts, and we’re trying to fill it with things.  Until Jesus is enough for us, no gadget ever will be.

Satan catches men, especially, with other lures named internet porn, adult videos, and Playboy.  According to Why 68% of Men Watch Porn (The Conquer Series, May 6, 2014, https://conquerseries.com/why-68-percent-of-christian-men-watch-porn/) (accessed December 29, 2020)), “The survey conducted over the past five years revealed that 68 percent of Christian men and 50 percent of pastors view pornography regularly.”  “The Survey” was “a national survey among churches.”

Men used to go to adult bookstores or strip clubs to lust after women.  Now, men can lust in the privacy of their homes by doing an internet search and clicking a mouse or touching their smartphone a few times.  Some men think they’re not hurting anyone by viewing porn in their own homes.  But Jesus said in Matthew 5:27-28, “‘You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’  But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.’”  Like materialism, porn addiction is a major heart issue of not being content.

Satan lures us into addiction one step at a time.  He catches us by the scores and throws none of us back.  1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  When a fisherman succeeds in luring a fish, it can result in its death.  And when Satan succeeds in luring us, it can result in the death of our souls.  Satan wants to have a fish fry, and we’re the fish!

Fortunately for us, the Bible is full of examples of people Satan successfully lured, along with the outcomes.  Some of the better-known ones include:

  • Adam and Eve were lured by envy of God.  They ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil after God told them not to. Their disobedience resulted in broken fellowship with God, removal from the garden, difficult work, and pain during childbirth. (See Genesis 3:1-19.)
  • Abram was lured by impatience.  God told him he’d be the father of many nations.  When his 90-year-old wife Sarai didn’t give birth to a son, he impregnated Hagar, Sarai’s handmaiden.  Hagar gave birth to Ishmael.  About 13 years later, Sarah (God had changed her name) gave birth to Isaac (Abram’s heir and father of the Israelites).  Abraham (God had also changed his name) then exiled Hagar and Ishmael. (See Genesis 16:1-4 and 21:1-14.)  According to both Jewish and Muslim history, Ishmael became the father of the Arabians.  Abram’s and Sarai’s impatience resulted in the Israelites and Muslims being at each other’s throats ever since.
  • King David was lured by lust, which led to adultery and murder. (See 2 Samuel Chapter 11.)  Afterward, his life fell into chaos, ultimately resulting in the deaths of two of his sons.

God has also blessed us with tools we can use to fight Satan.  Ephesians 6:13-17 (NLT) says, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”  (The “gospel” is the good news of redemption of sin through Christ.)

At least on that June fishing trip, those bass didn’t hit what they saw as fake.  They knew what the real things looked like and what I threw at them wasn’t them!  We also can reject Satan’s lures by knowing what the real things look like and fixing our eyes on what God intended.  For example:

  • If we know what contentment and gratitude look like, we can keep from being lured by materialism, envy, and jealousy. Philippians 4:12b-13 says, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
  • If we know what forgiveness looks like, we can keep from being lured by anger, hatred, and bitterness.
  • If we know what being Godly and loving a spouse as God intended looks like, we can keep from being lured by impure thoughts, lust, pornography, and adultery.
  • If we know what Jesus’s joy, peace, and abundant life look like, we can keep from being lured by substitutes like too much or bad food, cigarette addiction, alcohol addiction, and illegal drugs.  If we’re in love with him, we won’t do anything to defile his temple.  1 Corinthians 6:19a says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?”

Don’t end up in Satan’s deep fryer or mounted on his trophy wall.  Ask yourself every day, “Is Satan luring me in any area of my life?”  If we’re allowing Satan to lure us, we need to use the tools God gave us and reject Satan’s lures, just as those bass on that June fishing trip rejected mine.

James, Mark, and Kevin

Categories : Devotionals

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Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

Kent Crockett’s blog – www.kentcrockett.blogspot.com

Mark Dillow’s blog – http://noclearline.blogspot.com/

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