Hooked Kendall Lankford
April 23, 2018
Growing up, my grandpa and I did a lot of fishing. That is one of the things we would do to spend quality time together. We would fish in lakes, in rivers, off piers, and would even go miles out into the ocean and fish from sun up till sun set several times a year.
In case you have never been fishing, one of the core principles that makes it work is deception. A great fisherman will use the desires and inclinations of the fish he is trying to catch against them. He knows exactly what the fish in those waters enjoy, and readily gives them what they are looking for, but with one major metallic twist.
The whole idea behind fishing is to take something that is good – something that the fish cannot resist – and then hide a barbed dagger inside of it that will hook them once they indulge. Their own ignorant desires lead to their tragic demise.
They are lured in with the bait, and then dragged away to the plate. The whole process is pretty gruesome.
I think Satan uses this tactic with human beings as well.
In the garden, Satan presented the bait to Eve
“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”– Genesis 3:5
He dazzled her eyes with something she wanted more than anything, while hiding the barbed hook of guilt, shame, and death that would come once her and Adam sunk their teeth in. The same is true for us today, Satan lures us away by own own unholy desires. Like a good fisherman, we have been studied well and thrown the exact right bait that attracts us.
But make no mistake, the hook is always the same.
Every temptation we sink our teeth into, regardless of what it is, leads to the same destination; being dragged violently away from God.
Our greatest defense is not trying to get off the hook, but to never take the bait. Why? Let me give you three reasons
1. Scripture defines what sin is
We should avoid sin, first and foremost because it is dangerous. Scripture teaches us that sin is not a shiny treat we may nibble on here and there; it is piercing evil that will drag us away from where we want to be with God. Paul and others talk about sin as something we must detest, run from, avoid at all cost, because it is utterly reprehensible and thoroughly dangerous to the soul of man! (Rm. 12:9;1 Thess. 5:22; Heb. 3:13).
We would do well to share the opinion of the puritans, who through their study of Scripture, made vivid claims as to the nature of sin.
"Sin is a plague, yes, the worst and most infectious plague in the world; and yet, ah! how few are there who tremble at it--who keep at a distance from it!" - Thomas Brooks
2. Sin is spiritual Poison
We should also avoid sin because the temporary pleasures that sin promises will quickly fade into soul eroding sorrows, miseries, and shame that hang around far longer than the enjoyment. Like a cup of poison may go down sweet at first, its effects will soon wreak havoc upon the drinker. For those who are in Christ, sin will not permanently separate us from the Lord, but it will drag us away; wreaking havoc on our relationship with Him.
The ultimate penalty for sin has been paid, but we would be wrong to believe that the temporal effects of sin would be any less devastating.
To be sure,
the very best thing we could do would be to avoid sin at all costs, lest we get hooked into something we really do not want.
3. Sin leads to accusations
We should avoid sin because giving into it gives Satan free reign to accuse us. His name, “Satan”, in Greek actually means “the accuser”, which is more than an appropriate title for him. When we sin, in addition to the guilt and shame we already feel, Satan is nearby ready to hurl accusations on top of us. He lies with a silver tongue while tempting us and then pummels us with scathing lips once we have fallen. Like a concentration camp for captured soldiers, sin gets us caught behind enemy lines waiting to be tortured by our captor. And with one lie after another, the enemy loves to attack us when we are in a weakened state.
Again, our greatest defense against the enemy is simply avoiding the bait he offers. We must understand the true nature of what sin is (it is dangerous), how it will damage us, and how intently we must avoid it. We must remember what Scripture teaches:
“Detest what is evil; cling to what is good.” – Romans 12:9
- Detesting what is evil is cultivating a hatred for sin.
- Clinging to what is good is growing in our affections for Jesus.
Both are necessary!