“Don’t Be Trapped!”

My Project 415-001

“Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,

for You are my strength,” Psalm 31:4, NKJV.

 

I would venture to say that no one intentionally falls into a trap.  Or, at least, I hope not.  As our verse indicates traps, by nature, are devices designed to work secretly.  That’s their goal.

A few years ago we started having a critter issue.  You know, the kind that only looked cute on cartoons when outwitting cats, but in your house they are the scum of the earth.  Yeah, that kind!  Once they’re in, it’s hard to get them out.  I mean, really hard!

We tried every conceivable thing from poison to sticky traps to snap traps.  While some snap traps seemed to work it never eliminated the problem while in that residence.

There was even times when the little critters would amaze me.  One little smart guy did everything possible to avoid the traps that were laid for him.  I even watched it climb over a snap trap without it shutting because he used the baseboards.  Genius little guy!

Eventually, we acquired cats.  A lot of good they did, but that’s a whole new story.

Traps are no more fun for us than they are for those critters we try to catch in them.  No matter the cause or the reason, traps are designed to steal, kill and destroy.

Now, where have we heard that before? O yeah, when Jesus warns us that, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy . . .” (John 10:10a, NKJV).  And, a thief is a master at being sly enough to set those unforeseeable traps so that he can obtain what does not belong to him.

It is so easy in the day to day scurrying about to become victim to the many insidious traps that are laid to snare the unaware.  With technology the way it is one would never have to even see the thief or the trap set in order to be robbed.

That’s why, we as a people, go through great lengths of installing anti-virus’ and firewall protection.  We try all sorts of password protected ways to keep what is ours.  We can now even hire a service to watch over and safeguard our valuables because we realize that we don’t have eyes in the back of our heads.  We realize we are not omniscient (all-knowing).  And, we realize we can’t be omnipresent (everywhere at the same time).

Because we are so limited in capacity and strength, we outsource the responsibility to others to help keep us from the snares.  Our spiritual life should be no less protected.

How often do we go through our days completely oblivious to the spiritual dangers that have been laid in our pathway?  And, before we know it, our feet are in a “net” of trouble and we don’t know how to get out.

That’s when the reality sets in that we don’t know everything and our own personal strength is very limited in trying to pull us out and keep us out of those nets.  That’s why the psalmist recognized the only escape from the net was by the strength of God.  He who knows all and who has never floundered in anything can keep our feet on solid ground.

How many traps in life could have been avoided if we had gone in His strength first?  How many times would our eyes have been opened to the devices of the enemy, (2 Cor. 2:11), if our spiritual eyes had looked first to Him who is able to “pluck my feet out of the net,” (Ps. 25:15b, NKJV)?

Spiritually speaking, I don’t want to see those traps rob us of life like it does for those little critters.  Especially, when Jesus, after giving the warning of the thief, admonishes us to believe, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly,” (John 10:10b, NKJV).

I like that thought better.  How about you?

“My eyes are ever toward the Lord . . .” (Ps. 25:15a, NKJV).   That’s how we have abundant life and avoid the traps!

“I AM THE LORD!”

my project 410

 

Reading in Leviticus this morning, particularly chapter 22, in the midst of what seems to be a bunch of rules, regulations and requirements for offering, these four words kept jumping out at me: I AM THE LORD.  As a matter of fact, these words appear in this exact order seven times in in this one chapter alone.

Many shy away from thorough reading of books such as Leviticus because they can be lengthy and somewhat a boring read to some.  In a book that is filled with details and sacrifice, commandments and consecration’s, what to eat and what not to eat, cleanness and uncleanness, relationships and feasts, laws and penalties – all was laid out for the purpose of worshiping God in holiness; because, as He said, “I AM THE LORD!”

As a matter of fact, these four words appear throughout this entire book, not just chapter 22, many, many more times.

The gist of it all is what I think most, even in our modern churches and lives forget about, everything we do we do for the Lord.  Our lives; our worship are not our own.  We are to be dedicated to Him and give Him what is due His holy name.

When we come before Him we are to have a devoted mindset and a devoted heart.  Our worship is to be as pure as any sacrifice that was offered unblemished before the Lord in the Old Testament.  Our lives are to be pure and open vessels ready to receive of His Spirit in us and ready to pour out of His blessings into the lives of others.

What are we really giving to God on a daily basis?  What are we really offering to Him in our times of worship?

God wants the best of us!

He wants holy lives that recognize and live for Him because of who He is: the LORD!  He is God the Author and Creator of the universe and beyond.  He is as supreme as supreme can get and He deserves to be reverenced as such.  “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy,” (1 Peter 1:15-16).  Other parts of Leviticus tells us, “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God,” (20:7).

God wants holiness in our lives and in our worship.  I love a message that pronounces blessings just as much as the next person, but without holiness, it means absolutely nothing in His sight.  As a whole we need to come back to the central theme of holiness because the LORD requires nothing less.

I am not talking about rules and regulations, but rather hearts fully dedicated to Him because they recognize that He is the LORD and they want to give Him the best of themselves.  And, that’s a holy life.

We must never lose sight of, diminish, or bring down to our level the glory and honor He deserves.  He is the LORD!  He is Sovereign over all!  He is Master!  He is Savior!  He is King!  “I AM THE LORD!” he exclaimed, and holiness before Him is what He desires.

Amen!