Take, for example, duck hunting. (No, not the Nintendo variety!) Duck hunters frequently employ things that trick ducks into thinking that there are other ducks around. Evidently, ducks love making new friends and if they think there's a duck party occurring, they just can't resist! So one of the greatest tools in the duck hunter's arsenal is the decoy. Decoys are made of various materials and painted with various degrees of realism, but the goal is always the same—fool the live ducks into thinking that the decoys are also real live ducks. And when that happens, the hapless ducks often end up on someone's dinner plate, instead of arriving where they intended.
If we're not careful, we can be easily decoyed too! This past Sunday, we looked together at 1 Peter 5:8-9, in which Peter compared the devil to a roaring lion on the prowl for easy meals. But remember, the devil is sneaky! He rarely employs frontal attacks that are obvious; instead he uses deception and trickery. He is the father of lies (John 8:44) and he masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). In short, he makes great use of decoys! This is why Peter wrote about being alert and self-controlled or sober-minded, because when we're not, we become very easily duped.
One of the specific arenas in which this can happen is in our personal evangelism. As we are actively engaged as a church at getting better at personally sharing the Gospel, if we're not vigilant, we can become distracted by all sorts of decoys. These decoys can seem important, but they often keep us from focusing on the simple message of Jesus Christ and the gift of salvation He has offered to everyone. If we're not careful, we might end up in conversations that really aren't about Jesus anymore. Instead, we often end up talking, (or even arguing) about science or politics or even name-calling. And when we do that, the devil has won...he's managed to decoy us from talking about what really matters: The Gospel. Don't let that happen! Be self-controlled; be alert; don't be tricked by the devil's decoys so that your testimony falters.
- Pastor Paul