LURES OR THE LORD?

5 07 2017

LIFE-IS-HARD

What lures us has the potential to lord over us. We all have our own unique cravings. What whets my appetite may repulse yours. Some days I begin to get a hankering for “Liver and Onions.” Others, I might yearn for a “Pizza Pie filled with Anchovies.” I can already imagine some of my readers responding with words like, “Oh yuck! Not me.” And I totally understand it. God loves us all the same but we have not been wired in unison. Diversity is the spice of life. It is the reason that Crayola makes many colors of crayons.

Many people have told me that they would die if they had to get up and speak before a group of people. Personally, I thrive on it and passionately come alive. But if you made me sit in an office all day and crunch numbers, I believe I would put my head in a blender before the day was through! I can play Baseball but not Backgammon. I can sing but can’t dance. I can talk all day and never run out of something to say. You might practice the old adage that silence is golden. My point is that God dished out strengths in many shapes and sizes. All have one even though all don’t have them all. Are you able to identify where you excel? If you don’t know, are you willing to ask someone who knows you to answer that question about you?

 With the pluses also come the minuses! All God’s children are created with natural talents and abilities and then, with their coming to Faith, are also bestowed Spiritual Gifts. But just because we are given the Spirit doesn’t mean we don’t act stupid every now and then. Last weekend at The Lighthouse, we were studying the exploits of God’s Judge Samson. Let’s just say that Samson was a very stubborn individual who may have been more clueless than cued in to what God was hoping to accomplish through him.

 In Judges 14:15 we read, “On the fourth day, they said to Samson’s wife, ‘Coax your husband into explaining the riddle for us, or we will burn you and your father’s household to death.” Judges 16:5 informs us, “The rulers of the Philistines went to Delilah and said, ‘See if you can lure him (Samson) into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can over power him so we may ties him up and subdue him…” The Hebrew word for “Lure” means “to find an opening, the point of a person’s greatest vulnerability.” We might refer to it as “The Achilles’ Heel.” The same word is used in the New Testament in the Book of James 1:14 where it says, “Each one is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” The Greek word for “Enticed” adds the imagery that we are drawn to be trapped and caught by specific “Bait.”

It’s the picture of a fish that is nestled away, quietly resting underneath a sheltered place. All of a sudden a cunning fisherman drops the bait. Now a tried and true Fisherman changes the bait depending on the waters and the fish he is looking for. The sad reality is that many a fish will lose its life by trying to feed itself with an artificial dish. Just think about swimming to your finality by attempting to satisfy your inner hunger by chomping on plastic. Something tells me that too many human beings are doing just that as I write this sentence! Bait is specifically designed to the nature of that fish. Bait is meant to entice, deceive, fool and do it in!

Jesus called us to be “Fishers of Men.” But Christians aren’t the only one reaching for their Poles. Hell is also “Going Fishing.” But while Believers are hoping to lure someone to life, the enemy is longing to hook you to hurt you. I believe there is a wall in Hell with Lures that have our names on them. We need to be aware that we are all vulnerable to being duped by the devil. Samson followed his glands over his God. How about you? What has the capacity to take you out in a moment if you attempt to operate within your own power?

 One of my buttons is my inability to shut up and walk away from someone antagonizing me. If an individual challenges my competence in doing something that I know I am passionate about, I become susceptible to a verbal battle. I need to walk away. I don’t. The longer I stay, the better the possibility that I am about to get myself in trouble. When I am being baited, I need to run to Jesus. When I am being lured, it is time to call on the Lord!

 None of us will ever get to a point where temptation will become a thing of the past. Life is hard, but God is good! When we are weak and we will be, it is the perfect point for God to be strong. When we humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, He lifts us up so that after the trolling net comes and goes, we are still swimming free in faith!  Whose arms are calling you? Whose arms you running to? Whose lap are you laying your head upon? Stop looking into the mirror to find your purpose and start trusting in the Master!


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