James 1:14

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

The 280 yard par four is an invitation for great reward, but is also eye-candy for disaster as it is often surrounded by the risk of bunkers, water hazards or out of bounds. It usually comes along during the course of a round when you feel the need to quickly make something good happen. The safe play is to hit an iron in the fairway, then another short club onto the green and two-putt for an easy par. Instead, we pull out the driver with a slim hope of hitting a green and often find ourselves in trouble.

Our lives often contain invitations for quick and easy gratification or instant success with little need for time or effort. We are to beware and use caution when proceeding toward these apparent mirages in our self-labeled barren life.

The temptation begins when we recognize a supposed need we have in our life. We either feel inadequate or spiritually poor during these “dry times.” The devil then will plant the seed of “deserves” in our mind. All of our lusts are enticed by a lure. We “deserve” to act in a certain fashion because of the need or another’s treatment of us. Second, we then act and throw caution to the wind because our spiritual alert system has been compromised by our lust for immediate pleasure. We, in turn, become ensnared by the bait and then the net.

The determination as to whether an opportunity is of God is an easy one. We must ask ourselves whether the decision glorifies God or strengthens our relationship with Him? The Christian comedian Jerry Clower told of four easy questions to ask ourselves when determining what is right and what is wrong. The first question is whether you have to ask other people about doing it. If we need someone else’s stamp of approval, odds are we don’t need to be doing it. The second question is whether you have to argue with yourself in making the decision. Often times, we wrestle with ourselves into justifying a certain behavior. If we have to convince ourselves we are in the right, we are probably doing wrong. Thirdly, do you feel uneasy when you engage in the behavior or action? Simply put, if you have to act under the cloak of darkness or in secret, you are probably sinning. And finally, can you give thanks unto God for providing this for me? If God can’t be given the glory or uplifted for the opportunity, we are going down the wrong pathway.

We all are tempted and enticed into satisfying our flesh with things of the world. There is no denying that sin is pleasurable to the flesh. However, sin is miserable to the spirit of the Christian. Remember the reason you posted a double bogey six the last time you tried that shortcut over the water.

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