Catch and Release
I like to fish. Let me rephrase that. I like to catch fish. The old casting and reel for hours is not my favorite cup of tea. I have better things to do with my life than trying to entice a fish, even though I have a great respect for those who have the patience and talent for catching those fish. They really have to be very well versed in the habits of fish and how to get them to take the bait. Also, it is very difficult for me to catch a fish and not clean it and put it in a pan and eat it. Oh I believe in one kind of catch and release, but it involves this. Catch and release it in my mouth...Guess who else doesn't believe in "catch and release?" You got it. Satan!! The enticements of satan are real and very well researched and he tries to get you over a period of time by hitting you where you are vulnerable. Then you are hooked!!! Catch and keep!!
The enticements come in many forms and the bait appeals to that unsurrendered part of our heart and mind and then BOOM, he has hooked us. James speaks to the problem as he writes to the church at Corinth and warns them of the "drifting" away from solid teaching being corrupted by false prophets. In 2 Corinthians Paul writes 1 I hope you will put up with a little more of my foolishness. Please bear with me .2 For I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ. 3 But I fear that somehow your pure and undivided devotion to Christ will be corrupted, just as Eve was deceived by the cunning ways of the serpent.4 You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed.
It seems that Paul kept guarding the converts to keep them on track because he knew that the Holy Spirit in one of those converts can spread the message of Christ to many people and Paul was "all about" the message of Christ. Paul's words show us that the serpent did not stop at Eden and that constant enticement from satan continues on and we have to be on guard. Here are some examples: Example 1 - You have a bad temper and God is doing some major changes through His Word to give you a more loving way of thinking. The "quick spark" of temper has become more subdued and replace with love, understanding, and patience. But....satan entices you through self pride to fall back into thinking you have a "right " to get mad and then you are no different than before you were born again. CATCH AND RELEASE. When satan catches, God does the releasing and that is done with the blood of Jesus. Romans 8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. In other words, come back to God and ask Him to show you ways to not get enticed by your temper. This is an ongoing problem for me, but God is faithful to give me the release so I don't get eaten (spiritually that is). Example 2 - You love spreading information (gossiping) and you can't pass up a good story and the desire to make it even better!! So satan entices you by tempting you with some information about a person and you want to connect with other people and it seems the best way to connect is to give them this information. So you give it to them in the form of a prayer request. NOT GOOD. What seemed so "spiritual" ends up being one in a long line of gossip incidents and satan has caught you and he is not wanting release you because he can cause more hurt and dissension and use a born again believer to do it. When we let him catch us with this temptation we don't realize the "ripple" effect that it. has. on the kingdom work. I have been on the end of some of this and it is very hurtful when it happens. To make it right it is best to go back to the person you spread the false information to and tell them what you did and then go to the person you spread the false information about and ask for their forgiveness. All in all it is a major mess that could have been avoided. I actually know some people who have been caught and kept by satan who have continued to make this a "way of life".
We are not called to be fish, but fishers of men ourselves. And we need to get in the boat and do some fishing ourselves and keep our mind on our purpose as believers. If these storms of temptation come upon us keep in mind that Jesus calms all storms that come our way and that keeps us in the boat and not becoming the catch. Jesus is really good at calming those storms and in Matthew 8 Jesus does just that 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
Guard your heart and mind and God will come through every time when you are tempted. Then walk out of the life that is so easily entangled before satan catches you.
In the Australian bush country grows a little plant called the "sundew." It has a slender stem and tiny, round leaves fringed with hairs that glisten with bright drops of liquid as delicate as fine dew. Woe to the insect, however, that dares to dance on it. Although its attractive clusters of red, white, and pink blossoms are harmless, the leaves are deadly. The shiny moisture on each leaf is sticky and will imprison any bug that touches it. As an insect struggles to free itself, the vibration causes the leaves to close tightly around it. This innocent-looking plant then feeds on its victim.
The Pilgrimage Continues.....