Boiling a frog is like a lot of other things: taking the short-cut only results in failure. Because if you take the obvious route and get your water boiling and plop him into it, he will immediately show you why his hind legs are so long. Not only will you not be able to have a boiled frog, you probably will have no frog at all. Frog’s seem to have an aversion to being boiled and who can blame them? Then your time will have been wasted. And the first step of the recipe is the most difficult and time consuming one: you’ve got to catch a frog!

To boil a frog right is really rather easy. Put your cool water on the stove in a large pan. Within this place our friend, the frog, (he’ll like the cool water), then, and only then, turn on the heat. Not too high. You want it to warm up very slowly until the water bubbles and before you know it (and, more importantly, before he knows it) you have a boiled frog. That’s the end of the recipe. What you do with the boiled frog is none of my business. I do like frogs’ legs, but I like them fried and that’s a different recipe entirely.

One of Satan’s tactics that is most successful for him and most deadly for us is similar to the Boiled Frog Recipe. You take a zealous, effective, working Christian and instead of giving him a full dose of “in your face” temptation, give it to him in little doses, so minute that he doesn’t pay attention to what is happening. Not too much heat! Satan doesn’t want it to be obvious enough to make the Christian fly the coop or, to keep our similes consistent, jump from the pan.

The Holy Spirit tells us “We must give our full attention to what we were told, so that we won’t drift away.” Hebrews 2:1, Contemporary English Version. The King James Version says, “Lest we should let them slip.” Young’s Analytical defines the Greek original word as meaning glide away. All of these ways of explaining the threat add up to the same thing: our most dangerous inclination is not to move from being a solid, faithful Christian to being a reprobate sinner in one giant frog-like leap, but, rather, to take tiny, almost imperceptible steps until we find ourselves in a position we would never have dreamed possible.

Any thoughtful Christian would have to admit that, as the church, we have moved, and are still moving, to positions that would have appalled us two decades ago. Those engineering the move have been well aware of the frog boiling principle. And we have not been very aware of the temperature change. The same principle applies to our personal lives. If Satan can get us to become less faithful a little at a time, he rejoices. If he can lure us into sin a little bit at a time, he wins. We lose.

As a roaring lion seeking those he can devour, the Devil gets some results. He waylays us and overwhelms us. But a roaring lion is easy to spot. The sound is a dead give-away. What we have to watch out for is the cool water.

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