Romans 6:16, "Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?"
How do you catch a duck without a gun or bow? No net? No snare? How do you catch the duck with your bare hands? Well, you would have to use your head. You'd need to come up with an ingenious plan. A plan like one African tribe came up with to capture ducks in a river. Catching their agile and wary dinner would be a feat indeed, so they formulated a plan.
The tribesmen learned to go upstream, place a pumpkin in the river, and let it slowly float down into the flock of ducks. At first, the cautious fowl would quack and fly away. After all, it wasn't ordinary for pumpkins to float down the river! But the persistent tribesmen would subsequently float another pumpkin into the re-gathered ducks. Again they would scatter, only to return after the strange sphere had passed. Again, the hungry hunters would float another pumpkin. This time the ducks would remain, with a cautious eye on the pumpkin, and with each successive passing, the ducks would become more comfortable, until they finally accepted the pumpkins as a normal part of life.
When the natives saw that the pumpkins no longer bothered the ducks, they hollowed out pumpkins, put them over their heads, and walked into the river. Meandering into the midst of the tolerant fowl, they pulled them down one at a time. Dinner? Roast duck. [Wayne Cordeiro, Jesus: Pure and Simple (Bethany House Publishers, 2012), pp. 128-129]
If we don't correct our hearts back to Jesus, it won't be long until we start tolerating "pumpkins." They have a seductive way of sneaking into certain areas of our lives. They creep in one by one until we sink beneath them and enter a watery grave. Jesus said, "Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" (John 8:34-36). Christ has set us free from sin. We cannot tolerate the sins which desire to take us down. When you see the pumpkin coming, fly away.
Prayer: Father, how easy it can be to be snared by the "pumpkins" of temptation that Satan floats our way. Help us to not tolerate them at all. Help us to resist them and turn away to the One who has set us free from their power. We do this because we know sin only seeks to take us down to its watery grave. We do this because we love You and want to be pleasing in Your sight. Empower us to withstand what we must face today and do so to bring You glory. In Jesus name, amen.