When I walk in the woods, ticks sometimes intrude on my otherwise peaceful stroll. They like to climb onto me, search for a place that looks tasty, and bite. Ticks are related to spiders, but lack the good qualities of their web-spinning cousins. Instead of ridding the world of pesky insects, ticks want to suck my blood. If I stay watchful, however, I catch them crawling on me and flick them off before they get the chance to chomp.
As we follow Jesus along the path of life, journeying through the forest of this world, the devil sends a menace to stalk us, a menace that bears many similarities to a tick: Sin. Sin licks its dirty lips and watches for opportunities to attack. Of course, just as none of us wants a bloodthirsty critter to bite us, we don’t truly want a sin tick to bite us, either. But the devil, wicked schemer that he is, will do anything to trick us into letting ourselves be bitten by sin.
Here are some of his favorite tricks:
The Ladybug Trick
The devil occasionally paints the little sin tick to look like a cute ladybug, so that if we don’t examine it as closely as we should, we won’t realize what it is until it chomps us. He pulled this trick on Samson, sending a beautiful woman named Delilah to dazzle the muscular hero long enough to steal his secret. We should always make certain that things which look good are truly good, not sin in disguise.
The Butterfly Trick
Sometimes the devil tries to distract us with a pretty butterfly, giving the sin tick time to sink its fangs in. He used this trick on the disciples when they were supposed to be praying with Jesus, getting them to succumb to sleep. He wants to turn our focus to things that are good in and of themselves, but which take our eyes away from what we’re supposed to be doing. Because of this, we should always be on guard against sin.
The Magical Bite Trick
One of the devil’s favorite lies is to say that sin ticks are not truly bad, that instead their bite is magical and will make us happy beyond our wildest dreams. He brought out this trick in the Garden of Eden, getting Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit by telling them it would make them like God. He often tries to make us believe that one sin or another will make our lives better, but it’s always a lie. Sin does nothing but bring misery.
Whenever you see a sin tick crawling on you, don’t give it time to bite. Don’t let the devil confuse you, distract you, or lie to you. Sin will only sicken you and make you suffer. No matter how attractive or harmless a sin tick may look at the moment, it’s really a creepy crawly little monster with a nasty bite. Resist temptation. Ignore the tricks. Flick that sin tick off and keep following Jesus along the path of life.