Beware of the Snare
Ever felt stuck? Maybe you’ve struggled with an annoying habit or irritating addiction? You wonder how you can break loose. Yes, I get it. For decades, I was unaware I was caught up in a trap expertly designed for me by the enemy. For twenty years, I was hung up by a series of rejections that happened in my childhood. I believed the hurtful lies and owned the labels that had been spoken over me when I was bullied in my ballet class. I didn’t know I was misled. I was naïve about the tricks, traps, and snares that entangled me.
Snares are designed to capture an animal by their leg or neck, and when the snare’s loop is purposefully set in the center of their movement path, the creature is trapped by surprise.[i] There are numerous spiritual parallels to a non-target animal’s unsuspecting capture by a snare and for believers, when we are innocently tempted, trapped, and enmeshed by habitual sin. Daily you and I struggle with the choice to serve ourselves or God. It’s possible to overcome and walk forward in victory. It helps to identify what happens when we are spiritually ensnared.
First, name the snare. I was unaware I had developed a “stronghold.” Dr. Neil T. Anderson said, “Strongholds are mental habit patterns of thought not consistent with God’s word.” Since I was not aware of the areas I’d been deceived, I was not able to understand how to take control of my thoughts or overcome the areas of my struggle.
Here’s why it’s so difficult; when we’re adopted into the family of God,
We have relied on the flesh for so long. Now we must reverse these flesh patterns and be taught how to depend on the Holy Spirit’s guidance. I believed the lie that I wasn’t worthy, acceptable, or good enough.
Second, recognize the trapper. Most of us have first-hand experience with the traps the enemy has set for us, stepping around his traps is easier said than done. It helps to understand what and who we are up against.I Peter 5:8 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Author, speaker and radio host, Peggy Joyce Ruth, in her book, Psalm 91: Real Life Stories of God’s Shield of Protection describes this condition, “Have you ever seen a movie where a fur trapper travels deep into the mountains in the cold climate? He baits big, steel traps, covers them with branches, and then waits for some unsuspecting animal to step into the trap. Those traps were not there by chance. The trapper has taken great care in placing them in very strategic locations. These are pictures of what the enemy does to us. That is why he is called the trapper! The traps that are set for us are not there by accident. It is as if the trap has your name on it. They are custom made, placed, and baited specifically for each one of us. But like an animal caught in a trap, when ensnared, we suffer through a slow, painful process. We don’t die instantly. We are ensnared until the trapper comes to destroy us.”[ii]
. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (ESV) “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” God is more powerful than Satan. God can help us determine the snare the trapper has set for us, and with the Holy Spirit’s help not be victimized by the enemy’s deception. This brings us to our next step.
Third, find God’s truth. Our feelings and pain can be dominated by God’s truth. You and I can make the choice to believe God’s Word and that’s what cuts us free from deception. True belief is not indicated by your words, but whether you put these things into practice. It doesn’t happen overnight, but we can choose to renew our mind with God’s Word. This practice expresses our faith in Christ and helps rewrite our default thinking from deception to faith. We can choose to depend on God’s truth, because He says it, it is true. As we apply God’s Word to areas of deception, we will be amazed of our newfound awareness of the “trapper’s” tricks, we can step over to avoid any snare he puts in our path.
I identified my hurt and rejection, I learned Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” God says, I am not rejected; I am declared not guilty. By God’s grace, I am accepted, secure, and significant. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God has declared me worthy. This is taking an active, instead of a passive stance, to determine to keep your mind set on the things above. This truth is for every believer. Philippians 4:8-10, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” In Christ, we have everything we need to not only beware of the snare, but to overcome any obstacle.
What are you waiting for?