by Rick Warren — October 15, 2020
“Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.”
James 1:14 (NLT)
You can’t just throw a hook out in the water and expect to catch fish. You have to put bait on the hook, and a good fisherman knows different fish like different kinds of bait.
Just like a fisherman knows how to bait different kinds of fish, Satan knows just how to bait you. He knows your favorite flavors and what gets your attention. He knows exactly where your weak spot is—that unmet emotional need, that empty tank, that deep desire.
That’s why you’ve got to think about what you’re thinking about. The hook is sin, but the bait is whatever lie Satan wants you to believe he knows you’re vulnerable to: If you do this, you’ll feel better. If you do this, it will be rewarding. If you do this, everything will be okay.
Even when you know there’s a hook beneath the bait, you may still keep nibbling. Why? Because you buy whatever lie Satan is feeding you. If you think you can keep nibbling without getting hooked, you’re just fooling yourself. The idea that you won’t get hurt is another one of Satan’s lies.
One of the most common lies is that, whenever you’re tempted, something outside of yourself has tempted you. But the real problem is not external.
James 1:14 says, “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away” (NLT).
Temptation starts with our inner desires—those vulnerable spots Satan uses for bait. Those desires lead to sinful actions, and those actions lead to death. What you think determines how you feel, and what you feel determines how you act.
Don’t get in the habit of blaming your circumstances. When you’re tempted, you may think you can’t help it. You canhelp it! It starts by changing the way you think.
When you’re tempted, stop and ask the question, “What lie am I believing?”
Then replace it with God’s truth. It will always lead to life.