The Lure of Temptation

Years ago, when Michele and I were beginning our lives together as a recently married pastor and pastor’s wife, we lived in a beautiful ranch style parsonage, right next door to a large wheat field, far out in the country.

It was an introduction to a completely new way of life.

A big surprise came when the farmer harvested the wheat and mowed down the field. Suddenly, all of the field mice who had been making their home in the field began to make a beeline (mouseline?) to the parsonage. They found a small hole in the wall outside of our laundry room and wormed (moused?) their way into the house.

This was not a satisfactory situation to say the least. So, we ran out to the local hardware store and purchased a bagful of mousetraps. We set the traps in the laundry room, closed the doors, and waited. In a matter of seconds we heard – in rapid succession – Snap! Snap! Snap! Opening the door, we found massive mouse carnage on the laundry room floor.

Two things strike me about what happened that day: (1) Every mouse made what seemed like a desirable decision, right up until the time the trap snapped shut. (2) Every trap seemed attractive because we used bait to appeal to the mice.

Most Christians who find themselves trapped by sin do so by making desirable decisions. God never tempts us. But temptation comes when we follow the natural sinful desires of our own hearts.

James writes:

But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. (James 1:14, NKJV)

Two words here describe the power of temptation: “drawn away” and “enticed.” Both of these are fishing terms that referred to using some type of bait to attract a fish from his hiding place of safety and luring it a place where it could be caught. What catches us? According to the text, it’s our “own desires.” Temptation snares us by using bait right out of our own tackle box.

Each of us has desires, whether they may be for pleasure, for power, for freedom, for recognition, for money, for acceptance, or some other thing. While some of these desires may not be bad in themselves, any of them has the potential to lure us into temptation and sin.

Have a great day and keep moving forward!

Suggested Bible Reading

Psalm 7:1

Prayer Guide

Today as you pray …

Think about your desires that are most likely to make you vulnerable to temptation.

Pray for God’s grace to lay aside those sins so that you can live the life God has for you.

As you pray today, ask not only for forgiveness for sins you have committed in the past, but also for deliverance from sins you may be tempted to commit in the future.