The Great Luring and Falling Away
In the August 25 Daily Bread Devotional, a woman describes her engagement with her niece in the game of "Pokemon." It is a game that can be played on a smartphone, using the phone's camera. The objective of the game is to capture little creatures called Pokemon. When one appears in the game, a red and white ball also appears on the phone's screen. In order to capture a Pokemon, the player has to flick the ball toward it with the movement of a finger. Pokemon is more easily caught, however, by using a lure to attract them.
The Pokemon are not the only creatures or things that can be lured or caught away. The fisherman uses different types of bait or lures to catch all sorts and varieties, and sizes of fish. The more attractive the fish are to the lure, the greater the catch. The fisherman must be very strategic, careful, and skillful in using the fishing line with the lure at its end. He cannot shake, jiggle, move it around too much or it might scare off the intended victim.I think the movement and current of the water make the fish lure seem more normal, as they are made to look like prey they would love to eat for their meal.
The fisherman's luck that day depends upon a lot of things, time of day, when certain species are more prone to bite, depth of the water, the skill of the fisherman, types of lures he or she uses and other factors that I am probably not qualified to talk about, lol. The point that I am making here, as was mentioned above is that; lures are devices that are used to lead you away from something, or lead you to something!
The apostle James, the brother of Jesus, reminds us that we "are dragged away by our own evil desires. Let's read it here: "13 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death ( James 1:13-15) NIV.
James makes it clear that it is not the Lord that tempts us to sin. There is something within our lower nature that fights our sanctification. Our old nature loves to do what makes it feel good, what makes it boast or feel righteously in a negative way, proud of. The Apostle James is telling or warning us to be careful how we walk, because although we are saved by God's grace, our humanity, or flesh can be dragged away by our own evil desires. It is those desires that work with the temptation to lure us down a wrong path. And when we get into deep trouble, we cry out to God for help, but many also blame God or the devil for our problems. The problem, our real enemy, lies within us.
The Book of Hebrews is another example and an admonishment to Christians, regarding being lured or dragged away. This time the subject has to do with our "Faith." Hebrews 6:4-6 says: 4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
The writer is warning the Hebrew Christians to be careful of being led away, drawn or lured away in what they have received from the teachings and doctrines of Jesus Christ, by way of the Apostles. We don't really know for certain if Apostle Paul was the writer of Hebrews, but I bet he or one of his contemporaries had much influence in what these new Believers had been taught, not just in one setting but several. The authors contend that if a person turns away after experiencing five aspects of Christian faith, they cannot be "brought back to repentance" (6:6). Those five aspects are repentance, faith, baptism, laying on of hands and the resurrection of the dead and judgment. The Bible says that when an individual falls away or is lured away, they go back and crucify Christ all over again.
There are many things to contend with in this world. We have our own bodies, our flesh that we have to keep under, lest it gets out of control and leads us back into condemnation and destructive behaviors and problematic circumstances that are unfruitful and can be devastating to our health and our family structure.
Then we have charlatans of the faith, witches, ungodly adversaries, sheep in wolves clothing, lying prophets and shepherds that are lurking and set on leading the ungodly and Christians who profess Christ, back into a world of sin and degradation.
The Bible tells us not to believe every prophet or spirit, but we must discern and rightly judge the voices that we listen to in this season. 1 John 4:1-5 King James Version (KJV)
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
I often say: "A word to the wise is sufficient."
Lord help us to be wise. When I am tempted to sin, show me the way, show me the door of escape. You promised in the Word, that there is a way to run, to escape if we chose to be free. For who the Son sets free, is free indeed! Help me to contend and guard my "Faith." You are the one who gave me my faith, what to believe. And I know that you watch over your word to perform it. The good work that You have begun in me, You shall be faithful to complete it. It is your desire to help me run on to see what the end is going to be. And you have already decreed and d declared in your word that, "I WIN."
It is a Fall like day outside, nevertheless, a Beautiful Day.
Don't forget to say your prayers.