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Just a Nibble of Sin Will Get You Hooked 
By Rick Warren

“Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.” James 1:14 (NLT)

For my dad, a day without fishing was a wasted day. He would manage, no matter what was going on, to go fishing for at least 30 minutes every day. As I watched my dad catch fish after fish (while I caught nothing), I learned really quickly that no fish will bite a bare hook.

You can't just throw a hook out in the water and expect to catch fish. You have to put bait on the hook, and a good fisherman knows that different fish like different kinds of bait.

Just like a fisherman knows how to bait different kinds of fish, Satan knows just how to bait you. He knows your favorite flavors and what gets your attention. He knows exactly where your weak spot is—that unmet emotional need, that empty tank, that deep desire.

That's why you’ve got to think about what you're thinking about. The hook is sin, but the bait is whatever lie Satan wants you to believe. He knows you’re vulnerable to ideas like: If you do this, you'll feel better. If you do this, it will be rewarding. If you do this, everything will be okay.

Even when you know there's a hook beneath the bait, you may still keep nibbling. Why? Because you buy whatever lie Satan is feeding you. But if you think you can keep nibbling without getting hooked, you’re just fooling yourself. The idea that you won’t get hurt is another one of Satan’s lies.

One of the most common lies is this: Whenever you’re tempted, something outside of yourself has tempted you. 

But here’s the truth: The real problem is not external.

James 1:14 says, “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away” (NLT). 

Temptation starts with our inner desires—those vulnerable spots Satan uses for bait. Those desires lead to sinful actions, and those actions lead to death. What you think determines how you feel, and what you feel determines how you act. 

Don’t get in the habit of blaming your circumstances. When you’re tempted, you may think you can’t help it. You can help it! It starts by changing the way you think. 

When you’re tempted, stop and ask the question, “What lie am I believing?”

Then replace it with God’s truth. It will always lead to life.

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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