The Hook of Sin
"But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death." – James 1:14-15 (NASB)
The word "enticed" in James 1:15 comes from the Greek word deleazō which means "to catch by bait" or "to beguile by blandishments, allure, entice, deceive."
When our desires and longings are not kept in check, when we are not guarding our heart through the daily absorption of God’s word and vigilant prayers, we will easily disregard the warning lights from the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. When the allure through the lusts of our flesh exceeds our discernment, we, like fish, will bite into the delectable prize, to be snared by Evil’s trap.
“For when they speak great swellingg words of emptiness, they allure (deleazō) through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.” (2 Peter 2:18)
There was once an elder pastor whose service to God was well loved and admired. God abided powerfully in all his sacred work. When asked what the secret to his faithful service was, he spoke of six principals he followed to keep himself sinless in front of God:
$11. Do NOT be proud.
$12. Do NOT be greedy for riches.
$13. Do NOT lust for sensual pleasures.
$14. Do NOT preach anything against the Bible.
$15. Do NOT sin.
$16. Do NOT compromise with the world.
This elder knew that sin can sap our spiritual strength, contaminate our sacred service to God, and make us lose our discernment of good and evil. How God hates it when we let sin take a foothold in our heart! God says: “When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes.” (Isaiah 1:15-17)
Everyone is vulnerable to certain weaknesses. God knows and Satan knows what they are. They have been common to humans from the beginning. For this reason, Satan exploits these weaknesses by using the same old hooks to trap our souls. He hides the hook with a delicious piece of meat. If our weakness is an ambition for success, status, or fame, Satan will attack us using our pride. If it’s lust, then he will be sure to plant opportunities to hook us into committing a sexual sin.
Through the past year, I learned how easily one could be hooked by sin without even realizing it. I day traded in stocks and thought I was earning money legitimately. I spent countless hours researching companies and stocks, waking up at 5 a.m. to catch the news in the pre-market hours. I was so proud of making thousands of dollars.
One day, I lost everything. I awoke to find I not only had lost money, I had almost lost my God and my family. I’ve learned how well Satan can hide the hook of sin. My weakness, greed, had caused me to latch onto this hook and compromise with the world. God calls us today to discover the hooks of sin in our lives and to “put away the sin that is in our hand” so we may rebuild a new relationship with Christ.
Lord Jesus, do not hide your face from me so that you do not hear. Help me to deal with my sins—the iniquities that separate me from you. Heal my callous heart. Help free me from the hook of sin so that I may be truly righteous and obtain life everlasting.