(part 4 of 5)
Lures and bait have the same job to do and they are both useful depending on what kind of fish you are going for as well as what is happening with the weather and how deep the water is. While a fisherman might seem to favor an approach, it is important for them to switch up what they use depending on the climate and circumstances.
I am not a big fan of using the “lure & bait” analogy when I am talking about sharing the Gospel. I wouldn’t want to be accused of “bait & switch” or be thought of as a trickster when sharing what God can do. There is something about luring and baiting that feels sinister to me. I think satan uses lures and bait all the time to hook us on things that distract us from God’s Word and His desires. I don’t think satan is a catch & release guy like my husband, Don, is. Satan would love to keep us on his line for our lifetime.
And for a similar reason, I haven’t been a big fan of the idea of being “hooked on Jesus”. Have you seen colorful construction paper fish with big smiles next to a big hook on the bulletin board at church? That isn’t reality for the fish: it isn’t a happy time. I think my mind never really resolved that part of the analogy. And I don’t know that God meant for it to go that far anyway. Usually being “hooked on” something isn’t a good thing (unless you are hooked on phonics)!
But let’s talk about the fish ~ they are hungry and they are attracted to shiny things. And if you watch any environmental videos you know there is a problem with fish and other wildlife eating trash from our oceans and rivers. It is very disturbing. They are vulnerable. They lack discernment. They are being duped. They are getting caught by things that are not good for them.
I have been in that very same place. Have you?
Do you see people around you taking the bait of a dangerous offer? I find it is often easy to see it when I have been in the very same place and recall being lured into a compromising activity. Once the bait is accepted there seems to be increased offerings and when there is a deep hunger, anything looks like good food.
If you see someone “taking the bait”, you are, at the very least, called to pray for them. I don’t believe God brings things to our attention and expects we will do nothing. The challenge is often what we should do. Prayer is a great way to start. Watch & pray. If you are praying and seeking God on the matter, I believe He will let you know if more is required of you.
For further consideration:
John Bevere wrote a great book: The Bait of Satan. It is definitely worth reading, particularly if you have ever gone through a time when you have been deeply offended by the behavior of another.