Sometimes… people are a lot like fish.
Jesus often talked about fish, and fishing.
“Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” (Mark 1:17)
Considering the parallel…
· Where do you swim?
· What do you feed on?
Do you find good food to eat in pure waters? Or are you looking for an easy meal and a quick fix?
Because, typically, the easy, quick fix is bait—that’s attached to a hook.
The reality is: the enemy knows just how to lure people in. He knows how to bait the hook so it’s not even visible… until you feel the yank, and piercing pain gouges your being.
How does he do it? No one I know would sign up for the pain and emptiness that comes from being bound to him. No one wants the hopelessness and oppression that comes from him. So… how does he snag people?
He doesn’t tempt with wretchedness, repulsiveness, or evil.
No. He understands the principle of a “mixed bag.”
He creates a lure that actually blinds you to the hook.
· He uses humor and quick-witted banter to disguise vulgarity.
· He incites justification, rationalizing profanity, or our holding onto resentment and bitterness.
· He presents enthralling desire and intrigue that masks lust.
· He offers success and prosperity that are infiltrated with ungodly power and manipulation.
· He promises pleasure and comfort that are barbed with addiction.
The enemy’s strategy is to desensitize us to his worldly destructions. He camouflages his vices—offering promises he can never deliver.
And, once you’re hooked, he’ll use the very thing that you fell for, to tear you up.
So, what’s the answer? How do we overcome and not fall into the alluring traps of the enemy?
Our answer starts with understanding a core truth:
· You have a destiny on the other side of your temptation.
Whenever the enemy targets an area in your life, it’s because he is trying to keep you away from fulfilling God’s plan for you.
Let’s look at Matthew 4:1-11 to see the specific areas where the enemy tempted Jesus. And… let’s consider why.
What was he trying to keep Jesus from accomplishing?
~ The devil tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread.
*** Because Jesus is the Bread of Life.
Instead of Jesus falling for the temptation to turn stones into bread,
He turned Himself, the living Word—made flesh—into bread for us to eat.
~The devil tempted Jesus to throw Himself down.
***Because Jesus came to be thrown down… then lifted up.
Instead of Jesus falling for the temptation to throw Himself down,
He submitted to being thrown down as the sacrificial lamb—crucified, died, buried, and rose again—so we could live!
~The devil tempted Jesus with the glory of the earth.
***Because Jesus is the express image of the glory of God.
Instead of Jesus bowing down and giving His glory away, He fills the earth with the knowledge of His glory.
Do you see how satan tried to get Jesus to abdicate His destiny with these specific temptations?
Thank God, He did not.
The enemy’s plan has not changed.
Look at the temptations that he most often dangles before you.
How do these temptations connect to your destiny?
· Ask God what your specific destiny is—that your enemy wants you to abdicate by falling into sin.
· Ask God to keep you aware so you can clearly see the hook underneath the bait.
· Ask God to fill you with His wisdom and strength so that you’ll be able to fulfill your purpose.