Galatians 5:19-21 – Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
In full confession, I don’t fish. If you want fish, you have two options. One, you can get up early, drive to the water, drop your boat in, bait your hook, wait a long time, and maybe get a fish. Two, you can sleep in, drive to the store, and immediately get whatever fish you want. I prefer category two over category one every day.
One thing that my friends who fish tell me is that the key to fishing is knowing what bait the fish will like. Despite having a school, fish never seem to learn that behind the bait is always a hook.
The flesh in your life is the hook. Satan’s temptation is the bait.
The flesh is a person minus God. It is the standard, off-the-shelf, fallen sinner bent on folly and ruin. Living in a fallen world where the spiritual gravity only pulls us down toward hell, and this decline can pick up momentum quickly. How do you know if the flesh is ruling you instead of the Spirit filling you? Here’s the checklist for the kinds of bait that various fish like:
- Sexual immorality – porneia (Greek)/pornographic, anything outside of heterosexual marriage
- Impurity – any moral filth that separates from God and causes ungodly shame
- Sensuality – lack of restraint or decency so that sexuality becomes a public commodity
Spiritual Sins – ruin relationship with God
- Idolatry – someone or something other than God is the center of our life
- Sorcery – spirituality without the Spirit
Social Sins – ruin relationship with others
- Enmity – hatred and unforgiveness, which creates enemies
- Strife – conflict and drama that can become exhausting
- Jealousy – coveting someone else and what they have rather than being content with what you have
- Fits of anger – emotionally untethered and moody
- Rivalries – ladder climbing and unholy competing so that we win, and they lose
- Dissensions – an “us vs them” mentality as people are recruited much like soldiers for a battle
- Divisions – 2 visions rather than having one vision, God’s vision, for life
- Envy – passive-aggressive seething
- Drunkenness – can be any abused substance
- Orgies – partying/dating, relating, and fornicating
- And things like these – any other naughtiness that did not make the list as sinners can get creative
Which of these is tempting bait for you? What has the hook been for you?