I’m not a fisherman, but the few times I’ve been out on a boat with I’ve learned that if you want to catch any fish, the lure you choose is very important. It doesn’t even have to be live bait to work in a lot of cases. It just needs to be attractive enough to get the fish’s attention.

We get that, because we use lures ourselves to attract what we want. We use clothes, cars, money, perfume, facades, haircuts, tattoos, gadgets, pick up lines, whatever will help us get what we think will be good for us. But hey, people use lures on us all the time as well. It’s called advertising, and it’s everywhere around us. We process hundreds of advertising lures a day, some without even knowing it. Whatever gets our attention is considered fair game, and there are no rest periods or time outs.

And we have a spiritual enemy who is the master deceiver, and he has so many lures that they would fill a ton of tackle boxes a few times over. Here’s the truth- all of the enemy’s lures target our selfishness. He knows the best way to get our attention is to present something (usually a thought) that will feed our desire to put ourselves first. The evil one hypes the benefits, which look and sound so good and so true, but upon taking the bait, we find it is empty and disappointing, nothing more than a sham that ended up causing you pain. (If you’re like me, you’re thinking of a lure like this that you went after at one point.)

So, like the fish that swallows the hook to its own demise, we have to be on guard so we won’t bite on something that looks really, really good but turns out to be damaging and empty, disillusioning and even shameful.

That’s where time spent with God in prayer and meditation, Bible reading, or openness with just one good trusted friend can help you keep your guard up. Your heart is under attack, and the enemy will use whatever lure he can to rob you of the life God intends for you. I like what Solomon had to say in Proverbs 4:23 (NLT), “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”

Rev. Greg Griffin is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and Forgiveness Coach in private practice in Marietta, GA. His specialty is relationship repair and rescue- helping partners, spouses, and parents and their adolescents. He’s also the author of Dungeon Times Survival Guide, and Vital Faith.

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