Good morning. It is Thursday, January 27, 2022. Jeanette Stark here. Another cold morning. We had 22 and clear skies at 5 this morning.
I belong to a widowed group on social media and one of the members posted a video. It shows boiling water, pieces of corn on the cob and a crab. The small crab is picking bits of corn off the cob and eating it, while he sits in this boiling pot of soup.
You probably have heard the story of the frog in hot water. The story goes something like this. If you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, the frog will quickly jump out. However, if you put a frog in cold water and slowly heat the water to boiling, the frog will not notice and will be boiled to death.
Now, I am not sure if that story is true and I am not sure if the video was photoshopped, but it struck me, isn’t that the devil’s plan for our life? Isn’t that just what sin does to us? It seems to offer something tasty, all the while the plan is to take our life, to kill us and keep us from the life God intended for us to have. Not just a life worth living here and now, but a life with Him, for eternity.
Satan is constantly trying to lure us away from Christ. He will use any available method to attract us to the world. Food, drink, money, drugs…any number of things. He wants to excite our senses and draw us ever so slowly into his trap.
I read something at bibletools.com that caught my attention: The verbs "drawn away" and "enticed" derive from the activities of fishing and hunting. "Enticed" usually describes the drawing of fish out of their original retreat. We are tantalized, as fish are with bait.
Of course, at the end of the bait is a hook. We are also told that Satan is like a roaring lion. 1 Peter 5:8 “…your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” NKJV
God wants us to be overcomers. He wants us to have victory over sin. Temptations will come, but we have the power, through Jesus Christ, to resist.
James 4:7 tells us, if we resist the devil, he will flee from us. Can it be that simple? Resist the temptation and Satan must leave you alone? It seems so.
I think we have all heard the expression “get thee behind me Satan.” Did you know Jesus said it to more than just the devil?
Matthew 16:21-23 “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” NKJV
Why would he say something like that to Peter? Peter was a beloved follow of Christ. Could it be that Peter was being influenced by Satan? I am not a Bible scholar, but I know Satan can influence our thinking. He can also influence other people’s thinking who in turn try to persuade us of what is right or wrong. Perhaps Jesus saw this in Peter.
He said it again, this time to the devil, in Luke 4 where we see the story of Satan tempting Jesus in the wilderness. Jesus was tempted for 40 days by the devil. He had nothing to eat in all that time, so by the end, He was hungry. “And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’” Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” Luke4:3-8 NKJV
Jesus was tempted. At not just tempted in the wilderness. Hebrews 4:15 tells us that He “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
There is no sin in being tempted. It is when we give in, that it becomes sin.
If we look to Jesus as our example, we know how to handle the devil. If we look at the story of the wilderness, we know we a) rebuke the devil. We tell him he has no place in our lives. We b) quote scripture. We cannot quote scripture if we do not know scripture. It is vital to get into the Word.
This life is like a race. If you are a runner, you train, you strengthen, you get up early and run. In the same way we are encouraged to run through life.
“Therefore…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV
If you are a runner, you do not put all the hard work into training with the hopes of coming in last. You train with the hopes of coming in first.
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NKJV
So, do not be like that frog in boiling water. Don’t be like that crab in the pot of soup. You train with a prize in mind.
Live your life with purpose and intention. Keep the prize of eternity in your mind, and constantly strive for that crown.
James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” NKJV