Jul
19

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

By

On an overcast Saturday morning in June, three friends and I arrived at a nice middle-class neighborhood near Georgetown to fish the San Gabriel River.  Mark Dillow parked his truck between two houses, next to a trail that led downhill into some woods.  Mark, Kevin Wall, and James Bean gathered their fly fishing gear while I grabbed my modern gear.

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 very shallow.  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 about 15-inch-long largemouth bass and were slowly cruising about ten yards in front of me.  I immediately threw the Heddon Baby Torpedo (a topwater lure with a rear spinner) that I had tied on my baitcasting rod and reel 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, threw 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 Blakemore Roadrunner (a small single blade spinnerbait, this one with a grub tail) and slow-rolled it.  The bass remained unmoved – they could see that those lures were fakes and rejected them.

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

Did you know that Jesus understands fishing?  One-third of his disciples were fishermen and two of his miracles related to fishing.  Unfortunately, the devil also understands fishing.  He uses the lures in his tackle box to catch people who don’t know the Lord so he can keep them as slaves to sin and uses the same or different lures to catch Christians to keep us from growing and being effective for the Lord.

Some of the lures that Satan has caught me with time and again are named CiCis Pizza, Mr. Gattis Pizza, Sea Dragon Chinese Restaurant, and many others.  I’ll be eating like I’m supposed to, and maybe even losing a little weight.  A friend will then suggest 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 bad 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 that you went deer hunting – you need anti-fog ones!” or “You have to sharpen your hunting knife too frequently when you dress and skin 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 that 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.

Other lures that Satan catches men primarily with are named Playboy, adult videos, and internet porn.  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 an adult book store or a strip club to lust after women.  Now, men can lust in the privacy of their homes by doing a web search and clicking a mouse or touching their smartphone a couple of 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.’”  Just like with 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.  James 1:16 says, “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.”  If James had used fishing terms, he would have used the word “lured.”  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 are 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 and ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Their disobedience resulted in broken fellowship with God, removal from the garden, difficult work, and pain during childbirth.
  • Abram was lured by impatience. God had told him that he would be the father of many nations.   When his 90-year-old wife Sarai didn’t give birth to a son, he took matters into his own hands and impregnated Hagar, Sarai’s handmaiden.  Hagar gave birth to Ishmael.  About thirteen years later, Sarah (God had changed her name) gave birth to Isaac, Abraham’s heir and father of the Israelites.  Ishmael, who Abraham (God had also changed his name) exiled, became the father of the Arabs, according to both Jews and Arabs.  Abram’s impatience resulted in the Arabs and Israelites being at each other’s throats ever since.
  • David was lured by lust.  It led to adultery, murder, and ultimately the deaths of two of his sons.

God has also blessed us with tools that 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.”

Those San Gabriel River bass were not in the habit of hitting what was fake to them.  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 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.”
  • If we know what forgiveness looks like, we can keep from being lured by anger, hatred, and bitterness.
  • If we know what a Godly man looks like and know what loving a woman 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 bad food, cigarettes, alcohol addiction, or 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.  We need to ask ourselves every day, “Is Satan luring me in any area of my life?”  If we are allowing Satan to lure us, we need to use the gifts that God has given us and reject Satan’s lures, just as those San Gabriel River bass rejected mine.

James, Mark, and Kevin

Categories : Devotionals

Bible verse of the day

The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.

Today’s Devotionals and Blogs

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

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