The Amplified Version of this verse reads, “But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited to commit sin by his own worldly desire (lust, passion).”
This version is why I used the picture of a fisherman. The fisherman baits that hook with the perfect thing that will entice the fish he wants to bite on the hook to be captured.
Believer, our worldly (read: ungodly) desires, lusts, and passions bait a hook in the same way. It’s not always Satan who is tempting us or leading us astray. It’s the past us. God says when we enter that salvation relationship with Him through Jesus, we are a brand new, never-before-seen us. Still, that old us lurks. And while it’s lurking, it’s baiting the hooks that capture us and take us back into the old ways.
There are three hooks our flesh uses: a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. Sound familiar?
We see that thing that we just can’t live without, even though we have several other things just like it and we go get it even if we can’t afford it or it belongs to someone else. We don’t feel satisfied in this relationship or that and we see someone who we think would fulfill us and we go after it even if it’s adulterous. We have our stuff and think it’s better than their stuff so we lord it over them, even though it’s haughtiness and pride… and on and on it goes.
Our flesh knows which hook to use in which situation and the exact bait to draw us back to the us that existed before Jesus was our Lord.
When we learn where those temptations are coming from and why, it’s much easier to swim away from that bait back to the safety of the Savior and His ways for us. The only enemy we are battling then is the old self and the way to silence that one is to remind it we’re now new and not bending to the old ways.
It’s not necessarily easy, but it is possible. It’s a choice. We must make that choice to leave the old behind, the old wants and desires and choose the desires of our King, the ways, words, and actions that will please Him.
The way to start is to notice the hook within the bait. If you’re not seeing it, ask God to make that hook shine like it’s lit from within. He’ll help you. Then turn away from it. Even tell it you don’t want it. Once you’ve conquered those desires, you’ll feel stronger and more able to conquer them when they come up again.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.