Do you remember that little old lady in those commercials who would come in and say, "Where's the Beef?" Who knew how that little statement, intended to sell hamburgers, would catch on?! Of course the point was to show that the "beef" was at Wendy's and also to show you where it wasn't, those "other" hamburger joints. So, the bait was more beef and it was intended to get you to come to their restaurant.
Bait has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Commercials, info-mercials, political ads, they are all the same. I remember watching the old black and white movie, The Swiss Family Robinson. Do you remember that? The family that got shipwrecked on an island and built these elaborate tree houses to live in and had all these exotic animals for pets? Every kid's dream! In that show they caught a tiger. They dug a hole in the ground and covered it with branches, etc., then they hung some bait from a tree right over the center of the hole. The tiger was so interested in the bait that he didn't pay attention to the hole, until he was in it.
I think that Satan has mastered bait. He is so good at making the bait too tempting to pass up. Satan designs his bait to do two things.
1. It's designed to catch and keep our focus. He knows if we so busy looking at the bait, we won't see the hole.
2. It's designed to be so desirable that its determined to be worth the risk. You hear a lot of, "yea, butt..." kind of statements.
I think you see this in the life of Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus. When that father/daughter duo started out a few years ago they were very focused on remaining a Christan witness and not letting the "lime light" of fame and fortune distract them. Billy Ray made several statements about how he was going to keep his daughter grounded. But you probably know what happened if you've seen Miley lately.
I know so many Christians who have started out in their faith walk well, only to fall in the trap. Usually it is money. Satan baits his hook with dollar signs, a better job, a bigger salary, more power or popularity. They are so focused on the bait that they simply can't see the downside, longer hours means less time for bible study or personal growth. Pretty soon Sunday is the only day they "don't have to get up early" so church attendance starts to slip. And having money is a big deal today so I hear things like, "yea butt, if I make more money I'll be able to give more to God." News flash for you, God isn't depending on you alone to meet the needs of His church.
So what do we do? We continue to point out the scheme. We look at the surroundings and not just at the bait. We explore possibilities AND potential problems. We desire to be used of and know God so much that the bait can't compare.
And maybe we in the church take a lesson and put a little more thought into how we attract the lost. Since were calling them to experience not loss or pain or death, like Satan, but Real Life!