Text: “Moreover he (a leader in the Church) must have a good report of them which are without (non-Christians); lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the Devil.”
1 Timothy 3:7.
“In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the Devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”
2 Timothy 2:25-26.
Good morning, snare/net-avoiding Christian! There is not a day goes by that you and I - who seek to serve the Lord forthrightly - are not presented with some type of hindering snare; some subtle net of Satan, the world, or our own too-prone-to-sin flesh.
The dangers often present themselves even before we manage to get our first foot out across the threshold of our homes! It often seems that we are under a particularly critical microscope; one that is constantly scrutinising our every move, our every word - in the hope of discovering something that might be used as adverse criticism of the Christian faith we profess to hold and practice in Christ Jesus. Thus, as we mature in the faith, we naturally become ‘snare/net-avoiding Christians’.
“Woe unto you, when all men speak well of you! For so did their fathers unto the FALSE prophets.” (Luke 6:26)
But, how then can we prepare ourselves each day for the snares and nets that are laid out by our enemies - Spiritual and temporal - to trap our fallible feet? Verse fifteen of Psalm twenty-five gives us God’s answer.
Verse 15. “Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for He shall pluck my feet out of the net. The writer claims to be fixed in his trust and constant in his expectation; he looks in confidence and waits in hope. We may add to the look of faith and hope the obedient look of service, the humble look of reverence, the admiring look of wonder, the studious look of meditation, and the tender look of affection. Happy are those whose eyes are never removed from their God.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 129)
Fixing our Spiritual eyes upon the Living Lord Jesus reminds us of the constancy of His Holiness and encourages us to emulate Him if we are serious in our profession to be Christians. Looking ever to Jesus, our feet can avoid many of the snaring nets.
“For He shall pluck my feet out of the net. Observe the conflicting condition in which a gracious soul may be placed, his eyes are in Heaven and yet his feet are sometimes in a net; his nobler nature ceases not to behold the glories of God, while his baser parts are enduring the miseries of the world.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 129)
Note, dear Christian, it is the Lord Who shall pluck our feet out of the traps set before us daily, as we walk as pilgrims through a sinfully dry and dusty life. God the Holy Spirit condescends to dwell within every soul that has been ‘quickened’ by the Lord God; granted repentance and faith in Christ; and redeemed by His precious and sinless Blood. All Spiritually regenerate souls are indwelt and watched over by God the Spirit, Who Divinely prevents evil in this present world. God Himself is within us who are saved by Christ Jesus.
“And now ye know What (the Spirit of God) withholdeth that he (the man of sin) might be revealed in his time. For the mystery (new revealed truth) of iniquity doth already work; only He Who now letteth (prevents and continues to prevent) will let (prevent), until He (God the Spirit) be taken out of the way (I believe, with the translation, or Rapture, of the church).” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7)
When we are ‘quickened’ from Spiritual death by the Lord God, and though His grace alone, and the Divine gift of faith to trust completely in Christ’s Sacrifice at the Cross alone - we are Spiritually ‘baptised’ into the Body of Christ Jesus. This has nothing to do with ‘water baptism’, it is a Spiritual miracle of regeneration performed by God alone within the souls of those whom He has ‘elected’ to save before time, in Eternity. (1 Corinthians 12:13)
“And you hath he quickened (made alive), who were DEAD (Spiritually dead) in trespasses and sins…Even when we were dead in sins, hath He quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (Ephesians 2:1;5-9)
With God the Holy Spirit thus living within us, we have a Supernatural nature that Supernaturally detests sin, and sinful practices and appearances; and this Supernatural nature reacts adversely to the very presence of sin daily. Unfortunately, we are fallen creatures, and sin is powerfully ensconced within us, so we DO SIN, in spite of this. We WILLFULLY put our feet into sin’s net/snares - but, praise God, we cannot remain in it for long, for God’s Spirit within us rejects all sin, and we very soon repent and confess our failings to the Lord God of all grace. Our feet are plucked from the snares.
Thought: “An unfortunate dove, whose feet are taken in the snare of the fowler, is a fine emblem of the soul, entangled in the cares or pleasures of the world; from which she desires, through the power of grace, to fly away, and to be at rest with her glorified Redeemer.” (George Horne1730-1792)