Years ago, a friend and I would go fishing for rainbow trout in Shetland, the most northern islands in Scotland. My friend who was from Shetland, and a much more accomplished fisherman, had many lures. He explained that various conditions would determine which lure might be most effective in a given situation. Let’s be clear. We were trying to deceive the fish. We wanted the fish to see the attractive lure, thinking it was going to have its supper, only to end up being our supper!
This is the nature of temptation. It is so easy to be “lured and enticed by our own desires” (James 1:14). Temptation to sin focuses on the immediate pleasure. It lures us, entices us, attracts us, deceives us, and hooks us!
All of us have sinful desires, and all of us are tempted, whether to unkindness, laziness, dishonesty, gossip, lustful thoughts or vengeance. While temptation itself is not a sin, yielding to temptation is a sin, and sin always has serious consequences.
Did you notice the end result? The hook is deadly! The wages of sin is death. Sin and Satan always promise the best now, but hide the painful consequences. Don’t be deceived. The consequences of sin are disastrous — for you and others.
Don’t dismiss the seriousness of sin and the reality of temptation. Yet neither should we be defeated. In the midst of temptation, we can absolutely rely on the integrity and faithfulness of God.
Remember these great promises in Scripture: In your temptation God always faithfully gives you the help you need. “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). God will also not allow you to be tempted “beyond your ability.” No temptation is greater than you can bear, or so overpowering, so alluring, that you must yield to it. And God will always provide a way of escape that you may be able to endure the temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Finally, God is faithful in His forgiveness when we do sin (1 John 1:9). No sin is too bad, no situation too horrible to disqualify us from God’s love and God’s forgiveness. There is always forgiveness for those who acknowledge their sin. When we are genuinely repentant and confess our sin, God is faithful to forgive us our sins. Forgiveness and salvation are offered through the death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary.
When temptation next comes don’t be deceived by the lure!