October 13, 2005 – ESCAPING THE SNARE!

Read the word of the Lord:

Psalms 91:1 he who dwells in the shelter of the most high will rest in the shadow of the almighty.  2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”  3 surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. Psalms 91:4  he will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  5  you will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,  6  nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7  a thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.  8  you will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.  9  if you make the most high your dwelling – even the Lord, who is my refuge. 2Timothy 2:25  those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,    2Timothy 2:26  and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Satan sets a snare for us and deceives us into making choices that are contrary to God’s will for our lives. These evil suggestions seem all right to us, they even make sense to us, but our life immediately becomes a prisoner of our mind and emotions.  What better way for us to be immobilized and get our mind and Spirit off of God than to be caught up in emotional and spiritual entrapments? All satan has to do is to push our “buttons” and cause memories of past hurts to flood our being. Our faith and trust quickly go out-the-window when we constantly relive everything that is wrong in our lives. We become so concerned with our frustrations and memories that we cannot do the work that God has called us to do. We stay in our sorrow, self-pity, anger, etc. because we choose to do so.

Many are saying, “This is my life and I must make the best of it and smile when my heart is breaking; I’ll make the best of what life has dealt me.”  There are times when our poor decisions land us in difficult situations that we must endure in order to be taught spiritual lessons.  But God does not want us to reap the consequences of our bad choices forever.  Repentance is always available and it is necessary for change.  It is never too late for God to take over a situation and make our life glorify Him.  Each of us is a work in progress and God wants to finish us in His image.  God can give us joy and abundance regardless of our circumstances. I am speaking from experience.  Look at Job for an example!  Job received great blessing and usefulness out of complete tragedy and uselessness.  He could have continued to wallow in his circumstances, but God blessed him after he lifted his eyes from his own circumstances and prayed instead for his friends.

Last week, God showed me a situation that was very sad. He introduced me to someone whose life was not enjoyable for it was wasted on (“what ifs” and “if onlys”).  My heart breaks as I realize that there are many people stuck in a similar “time warp” of their own making.  Living in the past will never bring us into the new and blessed future Christ alone has for us.  We cannot depend on another person to bring us inner peace and true happiness. Nor can we trust in our own righteousness.  Ezekiel 33:13 if I tell the righteous man that he will surely live, but then he trusts in his righteousness and does evil, none of the righteous things he has done will be remembered; he will die for the evil he has done.  We cannot trust in anyone but Christ; only He is all-knowing, all- wise and understanding, and filled with a love for us that will never leave us or forsake us. He has the power to stop satan in his tracks if we ask him to do so.

We are called to be victors over satan! Colossians 1:21 once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.  22  but now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you Holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation –  23  if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. When we truly decide we are tired of the old life and want a “new life” created in us by God, He will put His joy and purpose into our lives.  There are great rewards awaiting those of us who “overcome” adversity through our Lord.  The key is that we must “ask, seek, and knock on his door.”  He never fails us!  There are those that have a “suffering” mentality as though that is the only thing life brings.  I knew someone years ago that weekly came to my prayer meetings. Each meeting she asked our group to pray for her to overcome a chronic and incurable illness and we did, over and over again. One day, she came to my bible bookstore and asked me to pray for her healing.  I took her into the prayer room and just as I was about to pray, God spoke to me, “SHE DOESN’T WANT HER HEALING. SHE LIVES FOR THE PITY AND ATTENTION THAT SHE RECEIVES.”  I repeated God’s exact words to her.  She never denied it, but merely looked at me with anger and walked away.  I knew positively that it was the truth.  She was wasting her time on earth for the crumbs of self-glory when she could have had pure gold and the joy of glorifying Christ and our Father with her life.

Another time, I went to pray for a lady who was sick for years and the doctors could not find a cause.  She was bedfast most of the time and her family was worried about her.  I really didn’t know what to do or how to pray because I was a stranger to the lady.  The Lord told me to tell everyone to leave the room.  I felt uncomfortable doing that, but I  knew God was in charge. When everyone left, God told me, “SHE HAS A FEAR OF BEING REJECTED BY HER HUSBAND AND SATAN HAS DECEIVED HER INTO THINKING SHE HAS TO REMAIN ILL SO THAT HER HUSBAND WILL REMAIN WITH HER.” The Lord said,  “TELL HER TO ARISE, GET DRESSED, AND NEVER FAKE ILLNESS AGAIN” and I did. She admitted to me that it was true and she repented and arose from the bed.  Everyone thought she had been instantly healed and rejoiced with her.  No one ever knew the reality of what satan had done to this dear one. I received a letter from her once a year until she died telling me she was well. She and her husband remained together and seemed very happy. She was totally delivered and Christ did it!  Satan has no shame! He will use whatever lie our minds will accept to ensnare us.

Are you besieged? Have you greived away the fellowship, power, and presence of the Holy Spirit? Take heart! Christ will deliver you for greater is He that is in you than is in the world. 1John 4:4 you, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.Christ knows the way out and it will be a way that will bring glory to God! David did not defeat the giant in his own strength, but he was mighty through God. God will deliver you from the snares and give you an abundant life; it is His will for every one of us. To truly be free we must know the truth of why we do certain things.  John 8:32  “then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.  Go and stay upon your God and He will bring you truth.  Ask God to show you your life as He sees it.  You will be surprised how your perspective changes. Jeremiah 33:3 ‘call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’  Jeremiah 42:12  “I will show you compassion so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your land (to your rightful place). Psalms 31:21  praise be to the Lord, for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city.  Trust in God and live through Him. Ask God to set you free. Be willing to repent and change the things that are ungodly in your life. His truth will help you escape the snares and provide you with a life of abundance and victory.

God wants us to be on fire for Him! We cannot afford to be immobilized through hopelessness, nor can we be victorious if we continue to relive memories that wound our soul and Spirit. We do not have permanent problems when they are given over to God.  Fight for your abundant life through Christ! Act 17:28  ‘for in him we live and move and have our being.’ as some of your own poets have said, ‘we are his offspring.’   Proverbs 8:32  “now then, my sons, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways.  33  listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it.  8:34  blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.  35  for whoever finds me, finds life and receives favor from the Lord.