Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
In James 1:14, we find the strategy Satan uses to deceive us into disobeying God. Here is that temptation equation: corrupt desires plus the right bait plus the wrong choice equals sin. The first factor is corrupt desires. We inherited from Adam and Eve the tendency to try to satisfy our desires in our own way.
The second factor is the right bait. Remember what James said: “Each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust” (v. 14). That word “enticed” in Greek is a fishing term that means “to hook a fish.” I had not been in my church in Wichita Falls but a few months when an older deacon invited me to go fishing with him one Saturday morning. He obviously did not know me very well. But I got up at some unseemly hour to go out on Lake Wichita with him. I sat there for several hours with my line in the water, and there was not even a tug on the line. But my friend was pulling fish in the boat one right after another. It was getting ridiculous–I thought we were going to sink with all the fish he was putting in that boat. Finally, out of frustration, I said, “Bob, what’s the secret? Why are you catching so many fish and I don’t have any fish?” He said, “Preacher, if you’re going to catch fish you have to know two things. Number one, to catch fish you’ve got to smell like a fish. This morning when I got up, I didn’t shower, shave, or put on any deodorant.” (These facts were easily verifiable by my own nose, I might add.) Then he said, “Secondly you’ve got to use the right bait. Not all fish bite at the same bait.”
Satan is a master fisherman. He knows exactly what bait to dangle in front of you. No, he is not omniscient–he cannot read your mind. But guess what? He does not have to. All he has to do is observe you in order to know which lure to take out of his tackle box. Perhaps you are going through a particularly rocky time in your marriage and you have a craving for intimacy. Guess which lure he is going to dangle in front of you? He will bring a special somebody into your life and tempt you to seek intimacy outside of marriage. Or maybe he sees you miss that promotion you think you deserved. Knowing your need for recognition, he dangles in front of you the possibility of a transfer to another job that is outside of God’s will for your life. Or maybe he sees that you are in financial difficulty, so he lures you in with the temptation of dishonest financial gain. Then he hooks you.
By the way, my fisherman friend said you also have to know when to go fishing. He said, “The reason we’re not out here at noon, is the fish don’t bite then. They only bite in the early morning.” Satan not only knows the right bait–he knows exactly what time to dangle that bait in front of you. That is how he entices us into sin.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Blueprint For Your Destruction” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.