Lately I’ve been thinking about traps and snares. I’ve thought about trapping animals and I’ve also remembered the feelings I had a number of years ago, when, like a wild animal, I was trapped.
It would be insane for anyone who’s married to believe they are above and beyond ever falling into a snare or crawling into a trap. There are spiritual entities, spirits if you will, whose sole purpose is to cause you and I to let down our guard, run after forbidden fruit, and totally disregard the holy vows we made to our spouse, and thus climb willingly into the trap.
Traps and snares are never placed where they will readily be seen. They’re never marked with big bold red letters saying, “This is a trap. Stay out.” No, they’re camouflaged, blending in with the scenery. We can become so used to the landscape we fail to notice something out of place. For instance, talking with, or working with someone from the opposite sex can begin innocently enough that nothing seems out of order. But little by little, if not careful, the heart may become unguarded and actually addicted to those “innocent” conversations. A trap is being set, and there’s no time to linger. It’s time for action.
But the proud, the arrogant, believe they are strong enough, and wise enough, to flirt around with someone outside their marriage covenant. After all, shouldn’t two adults be able to enjoy each other’s company without someone trying to make a federal case out of it?
One time, years ago, there was a stray cat that kept hanging around our house. It was a real nuisance, and I decided I’d had enough. So, I bought a trap, put bait in it (dog food which the cat seemed to love to eat) and waited.
A couple of days later, my efforts were rewarded. The cat was trapped. I didn’t kill it, because I’m a nice guy. I did, however, take it to a park a couple of miles away where I released it.
The cat got off easy. Much easier than most people who have been caught in the trap of adultery.
Adultery is too common, don’t you think? And it does not enhance one’s life. It only steals, kills, and destroys anything and everything good.
It’s a cage that imprisons its catch until the master of the cage decides what to do with its prize.
It’s baited with things that draw us in. Things like friendships, lust, problems in the marriage, and sharing intimate knowledge with someone other than our spouse.
The cat couldn’t resist the bait. It loved dog food. It didn’t have the wherewithal to reason within itself, or to call on the Lord for help. It couldn’t dial a friend or anyone else; it was simply left up to its animal nature.
But you and I don’t have to take the bait. We don’t need to crawl into the trap. We can call for help at the first sign of a compromise or a threat to our marriage.
“Lord, help me!” That’s a great place to begin.
Call a friend, talk with your spouse, change jobs if necessary…whatever it takes to keep your head out of the trap, do it! Do it!
I personally know what it feels like to be caught in a trap. I am very fortunate, and grateful, that I was finally released from the snare; but it wasn’t without some consequences and personal damage. Yes, my God delivered me, my wife forgave me, and I’m walking free of the enemy’s shackles. But at least two things were affected, things I can never change. My testimony and my walk. My testimony is a great picture of God’s saving power, but it isn’t without the blemish of my infidelity. My walk is a holy walk with God, though I now walk with a limp. A limp, as someone whose legs were almost removed by the powerful jaws of the snare.
Folks, it matters not if you are a committed Christian or not. You are not beyond the reach of temptation. But if you will be wise and humble, you’ll recognize areas in your life that may be a good place for the enemy to set a trap.
What do you hunger for? What kind of bait would you go after?
“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” (James 1:13-15 ESV)
May you remember this verse, and be quick to implement God’s action plan, his way to escape, should your head get just a little too close to the trap.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV)
Action plan? A two part plan.
Ask for help.
Run for your life.