Imagine eating in a restaurant and you go to take a bite of the best-looking burger you have ever seen. A huge metal spike stabs you in the cheek and drags you into outer space. Being a fish must be absolutely terrifying. The thing is the fish would never be on the hook if it hadn’t taken the bait. If we think about all the terrible decisions we have made in our lives, it all goes back to us seeing that enticing bait. Then before we know it, we are dragged into outer space and we have no idea how we got there.
Satan is not your friend
I don’t know if you know this, but Satan is not your friend. He will present himself that way. He will be accommodating, empathetic, and caring. All the while trying to destroy you at the same time. Think about someone you know at or near rock bottom. No one wakes up one day and says, “These are the pills I’m going to take to become addicted to and destroy my life”, or “This is definitely the gun I a going to use to shoot myself 7 months from now.”
There are levels to this. And it starts with Satan dangling a little piece of bait in front of us, and we take it. It starts with that pretty co-worker that laughs at our jokes. The seed is planted. We start thinking, “I remember when my wife used to laugh at my jokes like that” or “I just need a couple of pills to sleep at night, no big deal”, or “this company makes millions, they won’t miss a few hundred I take here and there.” Everyone has that thing that Satan can use as bait.
Infidelity, drugs, alcohol, porn, and even those things that we don’t think are bad, such as work, hobbies, and even sports.
Some are horrible and should never be done, but some are pretty good things when used in moderation. My wife doesn’t care if I go play basketball a couple of times a week but when I start neglecting her or the kids to do it then we have a problem.
Satan will use that against you. For example, he knows that drugs are not my vice, so he will not waste time and send a friend to ask me to hit the joint or do a line in the bathroom. But he knows I love sports, so he will plant seeds that the next game is too important to miss. Free tickets will start appearing in my life that conflict with major family events. I will find myself in 4 fantasy football leagues. Buddies will be inviting me to the bar to watch the game instead of attending a small group.
I will place a wager on the games to keep it interesting. What started as a harmless desire to enjoy sports could lead me to neglect other duties and my time with God. Monday night, Thursday night, all day Saturday and all day Sunday. Now I need a drink to take the edge off because I put $1,000 down that I didn’t have on the Cowboys to cover the spread. Now, I am yelling at the family because my son needs new soccer equipment and we need a new fridge.
If the kicker would have just made that field goal, I would have won the money needed to cover all of this stuff. I need another drink. I’ll just go to the bar where that cute waitress rubs my arm and shows me all the attention my wife used to. I took the bait and Satan has that big hook in my cheek and I have no idea how I got here.
God, please help me.
How to fight
How do we fight this? How do we ignore that enticing bait dangling in front of us? Just like it’s levels to destroy your life, there are levels to leading a satisfying, Christ-filled life. It all starts by admitting to God that we are weak, and without him, we will fail.
2 Corinthians 12:9 says:
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Now I am glad to boast about my weakness so that the power of Christ can work through me.
Trust in God and learn to recognize the bait. Ask God for wisdom. Pray. Read your Bible every day. When you remove something bad out of your life, don’t leave that void. Fill it with something meaningful.
Why did the blind man fall into the well? Because he couldn’t see that well. Learn to recognize bait triggers so you can see when you are about to make a bad decision. Surround yourself with people who will love you enough to call you out on your bad behavior. Have people in your life that have your best interests at heart. Isolation is where Satan wants you to be.
Apes together strong. That is from the movie Planet of the Apes. In the movie, the enemy knew the only way to defeat them was to separate them into isolation. Caesar the leader of the apes knew this and in his broken English said this iconic line, “Apes together strong.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9, Proverbs 27:17, I Peter 4:10, Ephesians 4:11, I Corinthians 1:10, and the list goes on and on. Teamwork makes the dream work. Imagine having a buddy that could say, “Hey man watch out for that big metal hook. It looks like it wants to drag you off into outer space.” Being a fish wouldn’t be as terrifying if we had that backup. That is why fish swim in schools together.
Don’t take the bait. Surround yourself with God-fearing friends and family. Pray and read your bible to gain as much wisdom as possible and that will keep you headed in the right direction.
Prescott Williamson is a Bible-believing Christian. He is a husband, a father, and someone who believes that there is a little humor to be found in whatever situation God sends your way. He was born in the small islands of the Bahamas but now lives in the Suburbs of Fort Worth Texas, which is basically the same thing. He enjoys TV, reading, blogging and serving in his church (especially on the days they serve donuts). You can see what I have been thinking about lately on my blog www.prescottascoolbreeze.com.
Great post, Prescott! It’s crazy, but I’ve seen so many Christians fall for the bait of ‘doing the Lord’s work.’ They start believing that God can’t get along with out them, so they neglect their family and relationships. The devil can use even good things to bait us.
So true. Best way is for us to recognize the bait and fill our time with something else productive