daily devotional

We had a plague of chipmunks at our house. They were making our yard “hole-y,”
gnawing wiring, and making a general nuisance of themselves. When one family of chipmunks moved into the space between the basement ceiling and the floor above for the winter, I took great offense. Something had to be done! I baited my Hav-a-Heart trap with irresistible morsels– sunflower seeds. Within minutes, I had my first victim, and my re-location project began taking them to a nice wooded place far from my house. Thirty-six chipmunks later, it seemed the colony had been de-populated. However, the next year, I had to exercise the same due diligence when I saw those cute little critters scurrying around the lawn again. I had to keep alert to re-invasion. That season, more chipmunks were dispatched to another place. This year, I know what they can’t resist, and my snare with the irresistible sunflower seeds keeps watch near their runs.

The analogy is clear. If the chipmunks had assessed the danger of the snare as being more important than the instant gratification, they would not have been caught.

The Bible describes Satan as a hunter who sets traps (Psalms 91:3, 1Timothy 3:7). His traps take us by surprise (Ecclesiastes. 9:12).  Snares are hidden and catch us unexpectedly (Amos 3:5, Obadiah 7). They hold fast their catch (Job 18:9). It takes someone else to get us out, in our case, God.

Can God’s children be captured? The obvious answer is “Yes” (Psalms 140:5). What are the snares that hold us captive and hinder us from going on with God? What prevents our freedom in Jesus? What is keeping us from liberty in His Holy Spirit? What does the Bible say about what entraps us?

What snares tempt us and entrap us?

-Alliances, making peace with the world  Exodus 34:12

–  False gods, idols, serving other gods, or serving God like others serve their gods  Deuteronomy 7:16

–  Desire for riches  Deuteronomy 7:25, 1 Timothy 6:9

–  Enemies of God  Joshua 23:13

– Relationships not ordained of God  1 Samuel 18:21

–  Good things  Judges 8:27

–  Leaders  Job 34:30, Jeremiah 5:26, Hosea 5:1

– Prosperity and security  Psalms 69:22

– The wicked  Psalms 119:110, 141:9; Proverbs 22:5

– Proud men  Psalms 140:5

 –  People  Psalms 142:3

– Words of our mouths  Proverbs 6:2, 18:7

–  Sexual seduction  Proverbs 7:23, Ecclesiastes 7:26

–  Sinful talk (transgression of our lips)  Proverbs 12:13

–  Ill-gotten fortune  Proverbs 21:6

–  Our own sin  Proverbs 29:6  

  – Fear of man  Proverbs 29:25

–  Reliance on religious tradition and wisdom of man instead of the Word of God  Isaiah 8:14-15

We avoid being captured in the snares of sin by being warned by the Word of God and not straying from it (Psalms 119:110). To get out of the trap of the evil one, we must ask God to grant repentance, so that we can escape from being held captive to do the will of our adversary (2 Timothy 2:25-26). Then we cry out for God’s mercy, receive God’s forgiveness, and ask Him to empower us by His Spirit to obey from a heart that is totally His.

By Sylvia Gunter

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