One day I went out to my vegetable garden to check on growth and found a dragon-fly caught in the fence I’d erected to discourage rabbits. It’s gossamer wings were snared in the fence’s nylon mesh. How sad to see this wondrous creature, created to dart hither and yon, rendered immobile. I carefully freed it and away it flew.
The next day I found a wee sparrow who’d flown through a gap in the insect screen around our gazebo but could not find its way out. It frantically flitted here and there striking the netting but finding no exit until I opened a wide gap. Immediately, it soared away in the blue sky.
We would do well to learn from these creatures to avoid the snares set in our path by the evil one. What is obvious to us from our perspective is well night invisible to the dragon fly and the sparrow. Just so, depending on our temperament and maturity, the devil will craft an almost invisible snare designed specifically for us. To one it will be the lure of wealth, to another the pride that comes from being known as a philanthropist or dissatisfaction with one’s state. “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin” (1 Tim. 6:9). One person will be tempted by the lure of sexual gratification or gambling or devouring a dozen donuts.
Satan has a myriad ways to trip us up. He often uses people who disagree with us to tempt us to anger or resentment. Paul counsels us to “kind to everyone” so we can “escape the trap of the devil” (2 Tim. 2:24,26).
Oh, I know, it’s not fashionable to mention the devil nowadays. But better to watch out for temptations than gloss over the reality of spiritual warfare. “Put on the full armor of God that you may be able to stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph. 6:11). Fortunately, like David we know that our “help is in the name of the Lord…who helps us escape like a bird out of the fowler’s snare” (Psalm 124:7,8). Christ is the Victor!