“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?’” Genesis 3:1
Growing up, my family used to spend time in the summer with my grandparents at their lake house at Lake Hartwell- not too far from camp. My grandfather would take all the cousins out fishing. I didn’t do much but play with the worms, but I do remember his enormous tackle boxes.
You know, the ones that look more like giant briefcases and have more shelves and compartments than any one person could actually need? Inside of it were all kinds of crazy looking contraptions known as lures. There were squishy lures, fuzzy lures, big lures, small lures, coming in all kinds of neon colors. To a young girl who knew nothing about fish outside of the world of Finding Nemo, the contents of the box didn’t mean much to me. But to a good fisherman like my grandfather, each lure was important and unique because it would attract a specific kind of fish.
Pop Pop wouldn’t throw out any old lure for any old fish- he knew that certain kinds of fish would be attracted to one type of lure while another fish would have no interest in it at all. If he put out the right type of lure to bait in a fish, he knew the fish would fall for his trick and end up on his hook- caught and stuck in a bad place.
The devil works a lot like a skilled fisherman. Genesis tells us that the serpent was the most deceitful beast in the garden. The devil throws out the things we will be most tempted by and sits back and waits for us to bite. For the girl who doesn’t believe she is pretty enough, he dangles the lies that if she just lost a little more weight or wore a little more makeup she would be fulfilled. For a girl who just wants to be known and loved he throws out the cute guy in front of her that she knows isn’t right for her. We go take a large bite of the shiny pretty things offered to us, but find ourselves hurt when we realize that the thing that once looked so appetizing leaves us pierced and hurt.
In more ways than one- we are just like the fish. Our intentions seem good when we go after the bait of sin. We are often just hungry for something and end up trying to fill ourselves with something that looks like it could fit our need. The problem is, instead of finding satisfaction in the baited hook- we find our hearts with a hook through them and far worse off than we started.
So let’s be on the lookout not to fall for the hooks- they are pretty and shiny and seem to be just what we need but there is always a hook inside of them. It’s easy to get caught by the devil’s tricks- mostly because as sinful humans we really want the thing dangling out in front of us.
As we begin to know Jesus more and fall in love with Him the desires of our heart begin to change. Instead of asking us to follow all the rules and become perfect before following Jesus, He offers us just the opposite. Once you enter into a lifetime of pursuing Jesus He begins to change the cravings of your heart and those shiny things don’t seem as appetizing and fulfilling as they once did.
Of course, on this side of eternity we will never be perfect and will find ourselves falling for the devils tricks more than once. But unlike the fish stuck in the fate of the fisherman’s hands- the fate of our lives lies in the hands of a Savior. A Savior who was killed and pierced in His side so that He can take the hook out of our side and put us back together one piece at time.