Pat’s Praise: Lures, Live Bait, Temptations, and Enticements

Published 7:00 am Friday, March 4, 2022

There is a multitude of bodies of water covering our planet earth.

I am blessed to live on the Inner Banks of the Albemarle Sound, where most of the water is brackish or fresh, as opposed to the saltwater of the Atlantic Ocean. Here you may fish with crab pots, lures (artificial bait), or live bait.

“Then God said, ‘Let the water under the sky be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And it was so. God called the dry land earth and the gathering of the water he called seas. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1: 9-10, CSB.

There is another type of lures and live bait that hovers on the darker side – and that is the world of prostitution and human trafficking. Human bodies (most often women and children) are used to engage in sexual activity in exchange for money. Scripture is clear about prostitution: “Don’t you know that your bodies are a part of Christ’s body? So should

I take a part of Christ’s body and make it part of a prostitute? Absolutely not! Don’t you know that anyone joined to a prostitute is one body with her?

For Scripture says, The two will become one flesh. But anyone joined to the Lord is one Spirit with him.” 1 Corinthians 6:15-17, CSB.

What say you about those abducted (human trafficking) and forced into heinous sexual acts by their “handlers.” They become enslaved people at their hands. The exploitation of women and children (and sometimes boys) is real and goes back to ancient times.

Peter talked against corruption and misrepresentation in his second letter to the Church at large. “And in their greed, they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. 2 Peter 2:3 ESV.

In Isaiah 61:8, ESV, we read, “For I the Lord love justice; I hate robbery and wrong; I will faithfully give them their recompense, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.” When we suffer because of injustice, God is angry, and He will reward those who suffer because of injustice – He WILL settle all accounts. Back up to Isaiah 5:20-21, ESV.

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and shrewd in their own sight!”

Our standard of living is God’s Holy Word, so if we do not follow it as written, all moral choices will appear fuzzy or “gray.” We must consider our own actions. Do we make excuses for our behavior; is there a gray area wherein we break down the distinction between right and wrong? “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 ESV.

How do we resist temptations? Again, lean on God’s Word. “No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 CSB.

Wrong desires and temptations happen to everyone, but any lure can be resisted because God will help you fight it. Develop a circle of friends who love God and can offer help when tempted. Recognize those people and situations that tempt you and immediately withdraw from them and that scenario.

Running away sometimes may seem like cowardice, but wise people realize that removing themselves physically from temptation can often be the most courageous action.

The Apostle Paul encouraged his young protégé, Timothy, to hold to sound doctrine, reject error, avoid godless chatter, and keep his life pure. “Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22 NIV.

Two forces conflict within us – the Holy Spirit and sinful nature. Being filled with the Holy Spirit gives us the courage to push back against temptation allowing us to do what is pleasing to God. It is wise to utilize God’s supernatural strength in resisting temptations and not merely by our own strength.

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other so that you do not do what you want.”

Galatians 5:16-17 NIV. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 NIV.

A retired nurse, Pat Throckmorton is a published author and columnist whose work appears in multiple newspapers.