During one of his trips through the African bush, British missionary and explorer David Livingstone was started by a noise. Turning around to find out what had caused it, he saw a lion in the act of springing. The lion caught Livingstone by the shoulder and began to shake him the way a dog or cat does when it has its prey in its teeth. "It caused a sort of dreaminess, in which there was no sense of pain or feeling of terror, though quite conscious of all that was happening," Livingstone recalled afterward. "It was like what patients partially under the influence of chloroform describe, who see all the operation, but feel not the knife."

Imagine what it was like for Livingstone being caught in the grip of a deadly enemy, with no sense of pain or feeling of danger. Instead, he was entranced and captivated by an agent whose only intent was his destruction. This is what it's like when the believer is captivated by the attraction of sin. It is possible to respond to temptation with the same kind of "dreamy" consciousness that a temptation is occurring but without the sense of distress or fear that would provide a motivation to flee.

Today in the Word, Aug. 2003, p.23