By: Tim Laughlin
In this day and age you don't hear much about snares and traps because this form of hunting has all but become obsolete. Even the famous mousetrap has fallen by the wayside. Webster's 1828 dictionary defines a snare as an instrument for catching animals, particularly fowls by the leg. The snare consists of a string or cord with a slip not in which when the unsuspecting prey steps into it and it tightens around the leg entangling its victim.
From the beginning of time Satan has trapped and ensnared millions of unsuspecting souls that have fallen captive to his trap. This master hunter is experienced beyond comprehension and is skilled in the art of hunting in the endless forest of mankind. The question is not if he will trap you, but when you will fall prey to one of his schemes. Powerful men of God throughout the Bible have become trapped and ensnared by this formidable foe and God wants us to know our enemy so that we can overcome him and defeat his purpose toward man.
To have a successful trap you have to use the right bait. Hunters and fishermen pride themselves with their collection of lures, feeders and whistles to attract their prey. Satan is no different. He uses what’s already in your heart to seduce you into his snare and he knows what it is because he studies his prey and can read their body language so as to bring them down through their own weakness.
Skilled hunters and fishermen study wildlife to find out how they move; what they eat and what their habits are so they will know exactly how to have a successful hunt. It is really very simple when you look at it from Satan's point of view. If you have a problem with lust, he knows how to draw you into a trap with whatever you are lusting for. The Bible says whatever is in a man's heart will ultimately come out of his mouth, so you see, Satan only has to listen and observe his prey until he discovers what turns you on, and then it is just a matter of time.
THE NATURE OF THE BEAST
Satan is referred to as a lion because of his violent nature and his ability to attack without mercy and kill his prey. Most of the Christian community misunderstands him and his tactics, and makes the fatal mistake of discounting his mission to rob, kill and destroy. Wild animals cannot be domesticated, although at first when they are young they look so cute and cuddly, but when they mature there is a deadly instinct that is activated deep within them that instructs them to kill.
The things we allow to grow up in our heart, such as pride, greed, lust, anger and bitterness will later become Satan's bait and will eventually turn on us and bring us down. Remember - wild beasts cannot be tamed and sin is no different. It may start out as a harmless temptation, but allowed to feed, it will grow into a violent murdering beast. If you willingly walk into a lion's cage he will instinctively kill you, when you allow sin to dwell in your heart it will do the same. "Cut off the food supply!"
Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! (Romans 6: 12-15)
A few years ago a famous Las Vegas illusionist came on stage with a white tiger that he had raised from a cub. Being very sure of himself and confident that the tiger's upbringing and training would allow his safety, he proceeded to bring the animal on stage to perform. When he got in front of the audience, something went dreadfully wrong. Either the illusionist had a stroke, stumbled, or perhaps made some unfamiliar gesture. None the less … something triggered an ancient instinct and the tiger with the full force of his 600 pound body grabbed the man by the neck and dragged him offstage to the amazement of all.
The illusionist survived but he will never perform again because of the severity of the attack. We would do well to take this illustration of the power of a wild beast to heart and remember that Satan cannot be tamed nor domesticated and sin, no matter how cute and cuddly, must be dealt with. Your very life depends upon it!
Many of us have done the same thing as the illusionist. We have allowed something that we thought we had control over to grow until it attacked us. Secret sins hidden deep within the heart eventually will surface and begin to control you and lead you on a path that you don't want to travel.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5: 8)
In the early seventies I experimented with drugs, starting with grass, pills and eventually cocaine. I had it all under control, and I could quit any time I wanted, or so I thought. Not remembering my track record of being addicted to cigarettes at sixteen and alcohol at twenty, I proceeded to play with a drug not unlike the famed King Cobra who could strike at any time without warning. For three years I thought I had it charmed, not realizing that it was about to sink its fangs deep within by heart, and at thirty years of age I was hopelessly addicted.
This beautiful white lady who started out so smooth and gentile turned into a wild beast over night and took me down like a wounded prey, and for the next three years literally choked the life out of me. I would stay up four days at a time drinking straight scotch whiskey, popping pills and smoking opium and hash just to try and stay somewhat mellowed out. When the sun came up on that fifth day, I can tell you it was pure hell!
My life was in control of the trapper and I was hopelessly ensnared by his deadly scheme to totally destroy me. Night after night I would cry out in my mind for help, all the while continuing to poison my body with drugs and alcohol. It came to the point that I had sold everything I owned of any value just to get another bag of dope. I lost my friends, my family inheritance and what little self esteem I had left. I cheated, lied and stole to support my habit. Nothing was to low or disgusting if it meant obtaining coke.
I was now in the throws of death, with a $2000.00 a week habit. My nose was completely destroyed from snorting this awful poison and losing fifty or so pounds -- I looked like death warmed over. The only semblance of peace came at three or four in the morning when the bill collectors and the drug dealers were not hounding me for money or threatening my life, not to mention the possibility of being busted for selling drugs.
Keep in mind this all started with just one joint, one stink-in reefer and my whole life was about to go down the drain, and I thought I could control it. The devil is very patient. He's not in a hurry and all he does is feed the line of temptation and we do the rest. The bait is taken and the prey falls captive to another demonic scheme.
Then one night everything was about to change. A man came to my home as I was putting together a half a million dollar drug deal. I had never met the man before. He was just a friend of a man that had previously worked for me. The stranger proceeded to tell me about Jesus Christ and asked me if I believed He would save me. That was the key word that struck my heart. If anyone needed saving it was me -- a hopeless wretch addicted to a deadly poison that was slowly draining my life away. I dropped to my knees and gave my life to Jesus and immediately I was washed in His blood and set free from the bondage of sin.
That night the devil lost his grip on my life. I was set free from drugs and became a brand new creation in Christ; born again and blood bought. I was loosed from the bonds of the snare of the trapper.
That they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:26)
For the past 31 years (as of 2011) I have served God in many different arenas and have seen countless miracles as well as attacks of the enemy on the unsuspecting. The purpose of this writing is to give the reader a glimpse into the life of an average believer that has experienced the snares and traps of the devil on a firsthand basis, and to expose his schemes to the church. Throughout history man has fallen into the snares of the evil one and succumbed to his plans of destruction.
Jesus said, we have authority over the enemy and nothing shall harm us, but multitudes have been deceived into the lie that Satan has more power than God. Satan is called the father of lies. He is a deceitful schemer and will tell you anything you want to hear. There is absolutely no truth in him. Every man in the Bible was seduced and tricked by his schemes and many others were made to believe a lie instead of the truth.
Recently a well known charismatic preacher, a bishop and pastor of a congregation of six thousand made a startling announcement. He said that he no longer believed that a person needed to be saved and that there was no hell. It only existed here on earth. Now for some cult leader to say something like that I could understand, but for a well educated man from generations of Pentecostal preachers to say it made no sense. This man was on the board of regents of one of the most respected Christian universities in America. Sounds like someone lied to him!
As the news went out about this man's new found doctrine of which he named “the gospel of inclusion,” the Christian community dumped him like a hot potato and deemed him a heretic. Needless to say, the man lost everything and fell into a deep depression, but still believed what the devil told him was the truth. One of the major networks did an interview with him and he told them a story of how his grandparents, both of which were Pentecostal preachers, had fallen away from the faith into adultery and became totally backslidden.
The man's family told him that his grandparents went to hell for their deeds and they had rightly received God's punishment of eternal wrath. For a young man to hear of someone he loved deeply to now have to come to the realization that they are sentenced to eternal damnation was more than he could comprehend. How could a loving God send someone that served Him faithfully for years and then slip, be condemned forever? This question haunted the young minister all through his schooling and his pastorate until one night the devil whispered into his ear. ‘God wouldn't do that. He loves mankind and would never send someone to a place of eternal punishment, especially your grandparents’.
It sounded so right. The young man was wounded and needed an answer, and Satan saw that the time was right to deceive him and draw him away into deception. Just like the hungry beasts in the jungle patiently waiting on their wounded prey to weaken so they can attack and kill, the devil takes advantage of those that have been hurt and brings them down at an opportune time. He does not have to kill; he just takes them out of the battle. With the young preacher's message compromised and watered down to where it no longer had any power, Satan won the victory one more time.
We would do well to acknowledge this scenario as an example of how the enemy can deceive us and take advantage of our wounded heart. It is important to seek healing and restoration from one's hurt and pain so that we are not preyed upon by an unseen enemy that never relents of trying to destroy us. The enemy can see your wounds and hears what comes out of your heart, if there is unforgiveness or bitterness in you. He will take the advantage to use it against you at the proper time when your guard is down. Just like the preacher that was hurt over his grandparents fall, the enemy only had to wait and watch until an opportune time to take him down.
For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to there works. (2 Corinthians 11: 14,15)
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THE SNARE OF THE TRAPPER