When fishing, it's useless to throw out a line with nothing on it. Everyone knows that in order to hook a fish, you need to have some bait! But not just any bait. Before you go fishing, you should know the type of fish you'd like to get and select your bait accordingly. For instance, if you hope to hook something in salt water, you need some bait fish like eels, sardines or shrimp. But in freshwater, worms, crickets or grasshoppers are some of what works to trick your prey into swallowing your line.
The Bait of Satan
Do you realize the devil uses these same tactics to get us to swallow his lines of lies? It's true! Because he knows some facts about our histories, he's able to concoct a bait to uniquely get our attention. Like the bait to catch a fish, Satan's bait often appears real and hides the hook. But unlike a fisherman's bait, the devil doesn't use food; he uses bits of truth.
Perhaps you're thinking, "Wait! Time out! The devil is a liar! He cannot tell the truth." And that's fair enough; Jesus affirmed that Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). But in creating a lie, the devil uses what I call "truth with a twist," which is what makes it especially deceptive in getting us to swallow it. Let me explain.
Truth With a Twist
Describing the solution to our spiritual battles, the apostle Paul wrote, "Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God" (2 Cor. 10:4, NKJV). The keyword here is arguments, and the original Greek language gives us incredible insight for how the enemy uses it against us.
As I explore in my book, Activating the Power of God's Word, arguments in Greek is logismos, from which we get the word logic. Of course, logic deals with facts and evidence, which is the stuff that makes up Satan's bait. He uses facts from your past or even feelings from the present to catch your attention so that he can get you to swallow a lie about your future.
For example, if you fell to a sexual sin, he presents reminders about your mistake, which are probably true. But when you take the bait by giving ear to his evidence, he twists it into a lie about your future. It might be something like, "Now you're too dirty to be used by God." Or perhaps there's something you struggle with in the present. In this case, the enemy uses that feeling, emotion or battle to try to define you. In order to change your behaviors and derail your destiny, he insists, "What you feel is who you are."
Avoiding Satan's Hook
Thankfully, just because Satan presents his bait, it doesn't mean you have to swallow it. As Paul wrote, the answer to avoiding the enemy's hook is to respond with the truth of Christ (see 2 Cor. 10:5). Remember, the truth of Christ assures that "old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" (2 Cor. 5:17b). So while the devil can present all the evidence he wants, it will never change the facts about what God declares about you.
Kyle Winkler equips people to live in victory. His mobile app, Shut Up, Devil!, is the #1 spiritual warfare app; and his book, Activating the Power of God's Word, uncovers 16 strategic declarations to transform your life. Kyle holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from Regent University. Get daily encouragement from Kyle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.