Bass Fishing

Let no man say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God,' for God can't be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then the lust, when it has conceived, bears sin; and the sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death.' James 1:13 WEB

I had spent a quiet morning in my boat on the Waccamaw river, fishing and listening to the Bible. The water of the Waccamaw is as black as coffee. The color comes from the tannins released by the surrounding tree roots and vegetation. They color the water like tea leaves. The white sandy bottom gives it a dark reddish tint in the shallows, and the narrow upper parts make for a beautiful, serene environment. You rarely see anyone else during the week, and it is a great place to be alone, miles from anywhere, and anyone. It is a great place to pray.

At the time, I was laid off from work and on the last week of my unemployment. Sometimes I would spend the early morning fishing and praying, then the afternoons looking for work. This particular morning, I had been fishing hard, but had caught nothing. It was almost noon, and I decided to cast my line one more time, then head back to the boat landing empty handed.

I paddled my boat right up to the mouth of Simpson Creek and made one last cast. Soon after my plastic worm sank into the black water, I felt a slight bump on the line. I thought it might have bumped a log, but just in case, I took the slack out of the line and yanked back on the rod to set the hook.

Whatever was on the other end did not budge at all. The rod just bent double and I thought the line was hung. Then... slowly it started moving off to the right. I began to reel it in and soon a seven and a half pound large mouth bass danced by the boat on its tail. My heart was racing. It was the first fish that I could pull against as hard as I could, and it didn't seem to matter. I had to wear it down. I fought with it for a long time before it finally gave up, and I wrestled him into the boat.

All morning I had cast lures in front of fish, but they would not bite. My lure wasn't tempting, for they were not hungry for what I was offering them. Finally I found one that was, and I caught him. He passionately went after the bait, hook, line and sinker. In this case, it was a five-inch black plastic worm, and the fish deeply desired to have it.

James made it clear that nothing outside of you tempts you; it is what is already inside of you that is hungry. Everyone has a different appetite as well. Eve wanted the forbidden fruit. Sex, drugs, pornography, money, eating, drinking and a million other things, are not the root of our problems. The problem is that the fish is hungry for it. For example, money in itself is not evil, but the 'love of money' is. That is the insatiable desire for more of it. Anyone that has been addicted to something can confirm this 'longing for more.'

God can take away bad desires. At one time I enjoyed smoking. Now smoke makes me nauseous, and It is no longer a temptation for me to be around it. If you are drawn to something like this, pray for the Lord to take away the desire and to deliver you from it. When the hunger is gone, it will no longer tempt you, even if it appears right in front of you like a lure before a fish. If the fish is not hungry, they will not bite.

Prayer: Heavenly Father please remove the desires from me that are not right and deliver me from things that drag me down each time. I want to serve You with my whole heart, but there are things in me that do not. Help me line my desires up with Yours, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

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