When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when by his own evil desires he is lured away and entices.~James 1:13-15 ESV
My wife and I love to fish. It is relaxing, and we get to spend time together with nature as our backdrop.
We cast our lines, and foresee the tug on the line, marking the first catch of the day. Because fish love the taste of night-crawlers, it is only a matter of time before they are hooked.
Did you know satan fishes also? He tries to lure us with desires, similar to the night crawler on the bait that hooks the fish. When we see an enticing lure in front of us, we need to remember allurement is a risky game, and there are consequences.
Genesis 3:1-6a outlines the consequences of falling for satan’s bait. In this instance, the deceiver questioned God’s Word:
Now the serpent … said to the woman, “Did God actually say”…~Genesis 1:1-6a
With one nibble on satan’s bait, Adam and Eve injured their relationship with God. The consequences sin had on them was grave. Their sin affected their garden paradise, and their future, and they were in strife and turmoil when their eyes opened to what they had done. Not only would they have to leave the Garden, their children, children’s children, and future generations even to us, would be affected. God in His mercy cast them out so they would learn to treasure and maintain a right relationship with Him.
Satan entices us in an attempt to destroy not only us but our relationships with God and others. Giving into temptation is like tossing a stone into a lake. As soon as the rock hits the water, ripples impact the lake farther than what we may think possible. It spreads to the other parts of the lake in a ripple effect. This certainly was the case with Adam and Eve. They had no idea falling for satan’s bait would have such severe consequences.
Is there hope? Yes! We can avoid the ripple effect of temptation by applying God’s Holy Word to our lives. 1 Corinthians 10:13 reads,
God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
Although we experience a daily barrage of enticements, through various avenues such as our televisions, radio, computers, God has given us a strategy to escape every temptation. We must be watchful, and thoughtful in our decision-making. Even so, when we do fail and we yield to sin, we have a Heavenly Father who is waiting for us to request a pardon. Hebrew 4:16 reads,
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and grace to us when we fail.Hebrews 4:16 ESV
I am so glad that when I fall for the snares in life, God is right there to catch me. When I draw near to His throne of grace, He draws near to me. How about you? Do you run to the throne of grace when you fail? God is merciful, and He wants to make us whole. When Adam and Eve fell for the bait of sin, God provided a lamb, symbolic of the Lamb Jesus Christ, as a remedy for their sin. Jesus Christ is still the answer to sin’s enticement, and the love of God also has a ripple effect–except His ripple of love extends farther than we can even imagine.
Name some ways you can avoid sin’s temptation and its ripple effect.
Heavenly Father, thank you that I can draw near to Your throne and receive mercy and grace in times of need. Thank You that when I am tempted, I can be sure You have made an escape route, and that through Your Holy Word. Help me to memorize Your words in my heart so that I can avoid sinning, and its ripple effect.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright 2020: The Ripple Effect: Ed Chappelle: All Rights Reserved