Proverbs 1:10 “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.”
We all have something that catches our eye.
It may be clothing, cookware, fashion accessories, or a well-chiseled body of a man for a woman.
It may be that new car, tools, guns, fishing equipment, or woman’s shapely figure for a man.
Our enemy places a buffet table of things before us and sits back to see just what our eyes gaze. He then creates opportunities for us to indulge in that thing to pull us away from God.
The buffet table is Satan’s MO (modus operandi). He used it in the garden to take Eve’s eyes off of her husband, and think independent of what her authority had instructed. That was the enticement.
The fruit was just a tool to draw her attention. The fruit itself was not sinful. It was the command of God, and Satan enticed her to disobey.
Genesis 3:4-5 “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
That new shiny thing that catches our eye may not be sinful in and of itself. What we do with it is.
I can look at my neighbor’s house and wonder what it would be like to have what they possess. The very act of looking can create lust or desire to take it into my possession. Right behind that emotion are envy, jealousy, and covetousness.
The choice to set my heart to want what another might possess, or take that which is not mine, takes me down the slippery slope to sin.
James 1:13-15 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
The temptation will always be there. The opportunity to be enticed will follow. What we do at that point will decide whether we step down the path to sin or take God at His Word and walk away.
Many can testify of the fruit of their bad choices. The law of sowing and reaping will always come to fruition in time. We have a principle in our program that speaks directly to this truth.
“We lose our freedom to choose when we give in to temptation. Our consequences are inevitable, incalculable, and up to God.”
Once we choose to take that step down the path toward sin, we begin a chain of events that only God can intervene and change.
Proverbs 9:17-18 “Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.”
Sin’s enticement is that it looks good on the outside, and that first bite tastes good. It is the second bite and those that follow begin to reveal that it does not nor can ever satisfy.
Hebrews 11:25 “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season“
We know, too, that some will entice us to join in their sinful activity. The adage “misery loves company” is applicable here as well. Sinners love to have others participate in their sin. It somehow justifies it in our minds when others partake.
The outside pressure to sin will always be with us. God, through Solomon, tells us to beware of those who will entice us to join them,
I have found that the key to resisting is to have made a plan before the enticement. When brought to the place where the opportunity to sin arrives, it happens when I am weak and susceptible to give in.
In reading God’s Word, we see the commands to avoid those who will tempt us and draw us away from God.
Psalm 1:1-2 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”
Walking with ungodly men, standing in the way of sinners, and sitting with scorners is an activity God warns us to avoid. In our text this morning, it is the consent to go with them that we are to avoid.
Seeing the temptation for what it is – Satan’s ploy to draw us away from close, personal fellowship with God – needs to be something we prepare in advance. I genuinely believe it pleases God when we choose the path toward Him and refuse to give in to the temptation.
It is a daily, sometimes hourly task to choose right over sin. Making the same right choice strengthens our resolve against that particular sin.
Without God, we will only go as far as our will and character will take us. But, when we engage the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us through our temptation, we will be more than conquerors through Him that loved us.
Romans 8:36-37 “As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
One day, this battle will be over. The fight with our flesh and temptation will end. Until that time, it is how we handle the ensuing struggle that matters. Let us purpose in our hearts to prepare as good soldiers.
1 Timothy 6:11-12 “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”