Summary: Do not be fooled by Satan’s Scheme
The Devil’s Appealing Bait
1 Tim. 1:8-11
There was a world famous animal trainer who gave command performances with his wild beasts. He used lions, tigers, elephants, horses and other animals in his acts. One of his favorite was his pet boa constrictor. He had raised this creature from a little thing and used it for over 25 years. It grew to be 35 feet long. All this time he had fed it and cared for it on a daily basis. In this act he would have the snake wind itself around him and it was strong enough to crush his body but every time it would release him at the last moment which brought cheers from the crowd. It happened one day that this act was being performed when the snake all of sudden took on its true nature and started squeezing the trainer and did not let loose as the crowd saw this man die. He screamed but it was too late for help. This story tells us something of an evil nature may seem harmless at first but in the end cause death.
This is what we find with Satan the enemy of our souls. He coils himself around us with a small seemingly innocent temptation until it gets a hold on us that squeezes out our spiritual lives and ruins our fruitfulness and takes away our goal to be Christ like. Temptation is a powerful force never to be played with. It may seem innocent at first but when it gets a foot hold it can and will crush our spiritual lives. We never are truthful in saying, “The Devil made me do it.” He makes the suggestion but it is we who decide to follow it.
Satan likes to dangle it out like bait on a fishhook.
1. He baits the hook. It looks so appealing. He knows what is best to capture our attention. He is out to catch men to destroy what Christ wants for them.
2. He starts in our minds. He gives us the thought and the more he can get us to think on it the more it seems right. It is a battle of what is known as the flesh against the spirit.
3. We have to decide to take the bait. Adam and Eve had that choice to make and plunged the world into darkness by a wrong choice. If we give into temptation we not only affect our lives but the lives of all others who are watching us. James 1:14, 15
I. Hazardous attraction bait #1 Blind Desire
Christ in His second temptation was to gain possessions of this world apart from doing it God’s way. He offered him all the kingdoms of the world. He said, “It can all be yours, if you will only bow down to me.” It is in the power of Satan so it seems to give the world with its positions of clout, power and influence apart from God’s plan. This bait is to get ahead in the world without the having to go through God’s timing and planning. James 4:4 Jesus said you can’t serve two masters. So our lesson is that every door that is open to us is not necessarily from God. The evil one can open doors for us also. Listen to a story about a man who has a family and is a businessman. His work is hard, his boss often criticizes him, he has been passed over and over again for promotions and his career seems like a dead-end. Then one day the opportunity of an open door from a major cooperation. All that he wants is there for a path to the top in his career. It seems like so good of a door but he will have to move to a city where there will be no church that can meet the needs of his family spiritually, he will have to travel more and that will keep him away form being a good dad and it will require much stress on his wife which she does not have now. The bait is there for an opportunity but would God open such a door? Then comes MT 16:26
II. Hazardous attraction #2 Immediate Enjoyment
You can have it all now! Satan made no hesitation when he told Christ, “Right now you can have it all. You do not have to go through all the suffering and pain to get it.” And to think Christ had not yet begun his earthly ministry. He had no disciples and did not own anything. This was an offer to gain much and not have to go to the cross. Satan is the temporary ruler of this world. He is the evil behind the kingdoms, rulers and politicians of this world. Now think with me about a young couple that gets married in this day. They hardly have possession of their own. Just enough to set up house keeping. He has low management job and she works part time at a clinic. One day they come into the mall. They come to a furniture store where things are marked down. They really like those things. A salesman comes to them with a deal that is hard to beat. He can knock off a few hundred dollars more and tells them this will not be here long. They hear a little voice saying not on your salaries. The salesman had the answer, a revolving charge account, while you wait and it could be delivered to your house this afternoon. They talk of pro and cons and that they will not get an opportunity like this again. The salesman says he has to go to lunch so they say we will take it. The husband signs on the dotted line and now they have a huge debt because they think they need all that stuff now. What do we want no that we could wait for? With Christ and His deal with Satan He knew that the Father already had plans for him to be ruler over all. He only had to wait on the Father and do according to His will.