Snares and Traps

Do we want to be free?

God holds the power to set us free

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Mt 5:6)

A snare or trap was set for me the other day and I fell in, because the bait was something I was surprised to find strangely appealing. The bait was pride that was cloaked in an opportunity to judge others simply because I did not approve of their behavior.

It happened just the other day when a driver passed our minivan in a “no passing” zone. I thought, “Hey buddy I don’t mind you endangering your life, but don’t pull my family into your foolish behavior.” I noticed that as he flew by, he gestured with his hand out the window as if I had done something wrong.  As much as I tried, I could not shake the experience from my memory. It felt like I had a smoldering fire inside that made me watch this car the rest of our trip into town… it provoked me. Well, into town we went, but at the first stop light there we were side by side, both of the vehicles waiting for the light to turn green. You could cut the tension with a knife. Fortunately he turned left across traffic into McDonalds and I journeyed on to my destination without any further problems on the road.

Yet the irritation inside remained.

 It sat just below the surface and festered like it was alive… I couldn’t seem to let it go. I put on my Christian face and walked into the fellowship with a smile and a sweet little “how do ye do”. My guess is that nobody noticed; ’cause like most of us, offences are something we ignore and assume they will simmer away into nothing more than a distraction in the routine of life.

Yet with God, nothing is routine!

As our gathering concluded, we jumped into the minivan and started toward home. Little did I know that the spiritual lesson of the night was about to reach a lot deeper. We had gotten no more than three miles from town when once again someone passes us in a “no passing” zone. Now I am back in amazement, looking at the car in front of me, saying… “what kind of crazies drive these roads?”.

That’s when I heard the voice of God say, “Snares and traps are only effective when they are baited with the stuff you have an appetite for.” I immediately realized that I was caught; snared by anger and trapped, because of a pattern of wasted opportunities. God was saying, “I am showing you this, for it to end tonight.”

 I had become used to living as the victim of circumstances. In allowing myself to become lazy in my thoughts, I had formed an appetite that was reactionary, natural and fleshly. What God was impressing upon me was that He wanted me to be spiritually minded and supernatural, drawing upon heavenly resources. Rather than settling for the fat little baby food of “just gimme what makes me happy”, God wanted me to become proactive in my thoughts and stronger in the inner man (2 Cor 10:3-6)(Eph 3:16).

God wants us to become spiritual people.  

  The Holy Spirit was quick to remind me that Jesus said to love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who spitefully use you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven (Mt 5:44-45). The Holy Spirit wanted me to allow His power to work in and through me so that I could respond to circumstances without a loss of peace, joy or love.

 By allowing resentment and anger to rule me, I was deceived into thinking that the fruit of a selfish lifestyle would not effect me.

 Well, it was effecting me and it effects us all when we are ruled by our selfish desires, rather than being ruled by Christ. This was the night when snares and traps began to lose their entisement… the night when I began to hunger and thirst for righteousness.

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