If mice knew there was no such thing as a free lunch, they’d never get caught in traps. Because they lack the ability to reason, it never occurs to them to wonder why someone would leave a perfectly good piece of cheese on the floor. They see the cheese, they want the cheese, they go for the cheese, and the last thing they hear is the thwack of the spring as the trap is sprung.
You can’t be too hard on the mice, though; some adults see their version of a piece of cheese and go to snatch at it, never asking why it was there until it’s too late. A moment’s worth of objectivity would save some people a lifetime’s worth of pain, but the same principle applies to sin as to impulse buys at the grocery store. You know the candy bar’s bad for you. You know you shouldn’t buy it, but there it is at checkout, and it’s either the candy bar or reading the Enquirer.
Up until that point, you did so well. You ran the gauntlet, avoided the donuts and the ice cream, all the stuff that’s so processed you might as well eat the box it comes in, but the checkout aisle got you. You’re not safe until you’re out of the store, with your groceries in the car and the engine on. Some even manage to be strong through the checkout process but get snared up by the Girl Scouts.
Pro Tip: If you don’t want to seem like a curmudgeon and make little girls cry but don’t want a box of cookies either, you can pay for one, and they promise to donate a box to someone. Whether they do it is anyone’s guess, but that’s the risk you take. Even though everyone likes the Thin Mints, I think the caramel deLites are underrated. The Lemonades are okay, but the Tagalongs hit the spot every time. What can I say? I’m a giver.
The enemy is masterful at setting snares, and in order for the children of God to give them a wide berth, they must be able to identify them for what they are. If I see a trap and know it’s a trap, then I’ll avoid the trap.
One of the enemy’s most often used and most successful snares is that of distraction. If he can get the children of God to focus on the things they can’t affect while ignoring the things they can and keep them in that frame of mind long enough, they will prove themselves of no use to the Kingdom or the Gospel.
If your daily priority is not to build yourself up on your most holy faith but rather something related to the passing things of this earth, you may be caught in a snare and not even know it. What do you devote your time and energy to? What do you desire and pursue? These are questions we must ask ourselves because, unlike the mice and the cheese, we have the ability to reason, think, and understand the plans of the enemy.
I started in ministry at the age of twelve. For the next ten years, I traveled throughout America, serving as my grandfather’s interpreter, and witnessed firsthand the prophetic gifting he possessed, and repeated the message of warning, repentance, and judgment more times than I could count. Through it all, even when his body began to betray him, and it got hard for him to travel, even when he appeared on television sharing his testimony and spoke to congregations of thousands, my grandfather’s singular priority was his relationship with God.
Obedience flows out of the relationship, not the other way around. Suppose the foundation is not intimacy with God, familiarity with Him, and a true and lasting relationship. In that case, when God asks difficult things of us, obedience can either be delayed or obfuscated altogether. There’s a difference between a stranger telling you to do something and your father telling you to do it.
It didn’t matter how busy we got; he still made time to spend hours on end in prayer, even if that meant praying through the night, as I would often wake up in the hotel room we shared to find him kneeling by the bed having fellowship with God. Nothing took precedence over that. No matter how tired, burned out, aching, or hurting, there was always a good chunk of the day or night reserved for prayer and supplication because he knew these were things incumbent on him to do.
He couldn’t change men’s hearts; that was God’s purview, but he could pray. He couldn’t determine who would be president, but he could pray. He couldn’t stop the godless from waxing worse, but he could pray.
Every day, things are happening throughout the world that we can’t change or control, and it becomes difficult to reject that feeling of impotence that worms its way into the heart. If you can’t change it, you might as well give up altogether, the flesh whispers. It is then you must remember that no matter where you are, how insignificant you might feel, how out of place in this new world, you can still pray.
Rather than focus on the things we can’t affect, we must focus on what we can. Rather than go through the list of the things we can’t do, be determined to do what you can.
Even though we are commanded to avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, it’s what we gravitate toward most often, not realizing it’s just another snare that the enemy has placed in our path to keep us from doing what we know we ought.
I can’t change the world, but I know God can. I also know that God hears the prayers of the righteous. They cry out, and the Lord hears them, but they must cry out.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.
Posted on 4 September 2023 | 11:08 am
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