Summary: Having taken the title from a message that I heard over 20 years ago, this message teaches about the ’hook’ of temptation.

How to Do Life

Look For the Hook

James 1:13-16

* Fishing is a fun sport and I really like it. Dad has a catfish pond and almost every time we go home, I wet a hook. However, do you know what I’ve discovered about those fish? They’re fickled. The bait that they ‘tear up’ one day will not even be touched the next day. As you know, we have to take a hook and cover it with bait so that the fish will bite.

* Do you know that Satan does the same thing? He works had at knowing what bait we are taking today. One day it may be pride, the next day it may be lust, and the next day it may be money. Never forget Satan knows our weakness (what bait we’ll go after) and he knows when we are the weakest (when our hearts a susceptible to his wiles. Scripture is laced with people who took the bait and fell into sin. We can name David, Ananias & Sapphire, and even Nicolas (Acts 6). These folks and their stories are not told to shame them as much as give us instruction about Satan’s tactics & the danger of succumbing to temptation.

* Satan has all kinds of bait. When we get serious about our walk with Christ Satan will pull out the very lure that, he believes, will catch our eye. As a general rule, it will not be a frontal assault on our faith, rather it will be a side door or back door approach where he can sneak into our lives, give us a little immediate gratification and result in long term problem. He’ll simply ‘dangle the bait’ until we take it.

1) The Camouflage of Temptation – I use this ‘hunting’ word because it most of us understand it and because it fits so properly in this context. To wear this type of clothing means you’re attempting to blend in with your background. I remember hunting for dear before we had to wear orange. It was in my younger years, but some of those guys were so camouflaged that they almost got shot! This is how temptation comes. For the believer (James was writing to believers), obviously the thought had come that “God’ was sending the temptation to do evil. James speaks definitively saying, “Don’t blame God!” At this point, we need to make a distinction between trials and temptations. Temptations are birthed in the enemy and are intended to do us harm while trials are sent from the Father to help us mature.

* The Bible says, the God does not tempt and is not tempted. His nature is Holy and Righteous so the allure of temporal things on this earth can never touch Him like they touch us. I have heard people who are in the middle of an adulterous affair say, “God gave him/her to me.” The problem with this is that it doesn’t stand up to the scrutiny of scripture. God never sends anything our way which tempts us to be immoral. He never offers us the way to be dishonest. So we can never say, “God tempted me.” (Adam-illus)

2. The Cause of Temptation – While we recognize that temptation comes from the enemy, we need to take a closer look at what the Bible says.

a) Sinful Desires – (14) This verse gives us a true to life picture for the basis of our temptation. Here is how we are tempted; we are ‘drawn away.’ If you read different translations you get a sense of what they two words actually mean. It is interpreted as carried away, dragged away and lured away. Thus, we find the hook. Our own sinful and selfish desires possess a hook from the enemy which he uses to lure us, carry us, and even drag us. Think about fishing say for bass. The artificial bait is called a lure and has all kind of hooks attached to it. Fishermen use whatever bait will lure the fish and once the hook is set, the fish is literally dragged to the boat and carried inside the boat where the fish does not want to be. The reason he is not where he wanted to be is because he took the bait. The cause of our temptation is that our eyes and thoughts control us more than does our heart so we are dragged away by the hook of Satan. Speaking of Satan;

b) Satanic Deception - (16) At the end of verse 14 is the word ‘entice.” How does Satan entice us? He makes us believe his lure is something good for us. When I lived in Moss Point, MS, I would join other guys in ‘crabbing.’ The cage was set with some kind of ‘food in it.’ The crab is unable to resist any offer of easy food, so he could come into the cage and be TRAPPED! This would cost him HIS life. Satan dangles his lure in front of us and makes it all too appealing only to trap us. Verse 16 gives us a needed warning. Do not ere (I.E. be deceived, mislead), my brothers. Satan big gun is deception & he regularly pulls out his big guns.

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