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Playing with Fire

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By Greg Laurie

Can a man scoop a flame into his lap and not have his clothes catch on fire? 

Proverbs 6:27

When I was a kid I was fascinated by fire. This prompted me to do some stupid things, like taking little green army men and lighting their plastic rifles on fire so I could watch them melt into little green puddles. Once, however, I was doing this on a piece of newspaper, which also caught on fire. So I grabbed the newspaper with the burning green army men and threw it all into a wastebasket. The wastebasket, unfortunately, was made of bamboo and it, too, was set ablaze. Thankfully I was able to put out the fire.

That is how sin works. It starts small, and then it grows out of control. That is what happened to Samson. He thought he could handle sin. He thought he could keep playing the game. But the devil knows how to package his wares. He knows how to sell his stuff. The devil sized up Samson and figured out that he was a he-man with a she weakness. He couldn’t bring Samson down in the battlefield, so he brought him down in the bedroom. And he found a willing accomplice in Samson, who thought he could handle it.

Temptation comes in attractive packages, but for temptation to succeed, we must be willing participants. For temptation to work, there must be desire on our part. James 1:14–15 says, “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”

For the devil to succeed, we must listen to him, yield to him, and desire what he is offering. The devil can throw anything at us. He offers different kinds of bait. But it isn’t the bait that constitutes sin. It’s the bite.



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