The Devil's Bait Box

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At the Sea of Galilee, Jesus called Andrew and Simon Peter — fishermen both — to His ministry with these immortal words: "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:19, Mark 1:17)

Lucifer, whose burning ambition was to be like "the Most High" (Isaiah 14:14), has been fishing for the souls of men for thousands of years. Not having God's grace and omnipotence at his disposal, the prince of this world avails himself of the carnal to snag what is beneath the surface — the spirit.

James warned believers of the devil's fishing expeditions (James Chapter One):

13 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
14 But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.
15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
To the devil, Christians are big fish in a sea of souls. This cunning fisherman knows precisely which kinds of bait work for which kinds of fish. The devil plies souls with bait for the mind and body. These are the three lusts of 1 John 2:16 (KJV): "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."

If a Christian, once ensnared, relies on his own strength instead of God's to break free of the hook, he will find his strength sapping away to the point of spiritual dissolution. Likewise, if that Christian's life is oriented to morals, works, blessings, and guilt rather than to God's Truth and Grace, he will find himself carried away. He can be broken down the same as the smaller fish.

Inside the devil's bait box we can find:

Possessions (the eyes): Materialism. More than ever, the world is filled with amazing things, from the finest of fine arts and food to the highest in high-tech gadgets. This bait performs quite well: big moral issues are seemingly absent (the moral neutrality argument), while material excess can be disguised as blessings. (See prosperity gospel.) Blessings are worshipped; debt and disillusionment follow.

Pleasure (the flesh): Hedonism. Very colorful and seductive. The most obvious bait, yet still very effective on Christians (particularly the weary or worldly). Attached to an especially deadly hook. Aided and abetted by the internet and relaxing social codes, pornography has become the drug du jour of the 21st century, cutting a swath through churches. Drugs, gambling, alcohol, and sexual promiscuity also get their fair share of bites. Cycles of addiction and guilt reel in its victims.

Power (pride): Vanity. Power can be big or small, but is always defined by the illusion of control. It can be based on intellect, looks, ambition, money, or anything that the self can use to its advantage. Subtlest of all the baits. It circumvents danger receptors by turning the victim's gaze onto itself. Christians high on their morality might find themselves on the hook here. Sufficiently weakened, they may succumb to the other baits.

Multiple baits may be required to get that lethal hook in, and the devil will use all of them if he has to.

3 comments:

womanoffaith said... on 11/20/2005 8:10 AM  

thank you for your excellent view of the bait box that Satan uses to hook people. While the internet has been a source of information and connection for many, it is also the Devil's playground, whereby many become addicted to all manner of evil pasttimes. I ask for prayer for my husband who is hopelessly addicted to on line gambling, computer games, and other things I probably don't want to know about. Please, in Jesus name, join me in prayer that he will be delivered from this bait he has taken. Pray that he will turn his face to God, and throw himself at the LOrd's feet, ask for forgiveness, and chose higher ground in his life to walk on, with God through His Son, Christ the LOrd, as His Shepherd. Pray that any strongholds that grip him, will be broken in Jesus' name. Pray that His Holy Spirit will fill him to the fullest, making no room for sin in his life. Pray that he will return to the Lord, and hold only on to Him. Pray when you get up and again when you sleep for the soul of my husband. I thank God for you, amen.

Rev. Eric Melby said... on 1/06/2006 3:43 AM  

Dear 'womanoffaith',

I have said a prayer for your husband. I know of a website you might not be aware of, it's called Setting Captives Free. I have referred other people to this site and I recommend their free help.

God's grace be with you,

Rev. Eric Melby

Annette said... on 1/22/2006 12:06 PM  

Your thoughts of the bait box of the enemy are very good. We give him as much freedom in our lives as we choose to. Choose Jesus and His word, aided by the Holy Spirit and we will live life in peace and safety.

Annette

 

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