Snared

I first learned how to set a snare in Africa. A guinea fowl, because it likes to run across the ground, was a relatively easy target.

But in the spiritual world, I am the target. And it happens far more often than I’d like to admit. Sin snares me.

Jesus points out to his disciples, as he teaches them about the error of the Pharisees, that their tendency was to focus on outward behavior. But far more frequently, spiritual snares are set internally, in our hearts: “He went on: ‘What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person'” (‭Mark‬ ‭7‬:‭20-23,‬ NIV).

Look at that list closely. See how easy it is to get snared?

Really easy, because snares come in many forms. You teach yourself to recognize and avoid one. But then a whole new one waits for you. And like a true snare, once you’re caught in it, it is really, really difficult to extricate yourself.

Almost impossible, really.

Which is why King David writes what he does in Psalm 25. You have to believe that growing up out in the field as a shepherd boy, this man knew intimately what a snare was. And for him, there was only one way to get un-snared from the kinds of sins that live inside of us, that snare our very hearts.

Keep your eyes on the Lord. He alone will release you.

“For the sake of your name, Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great… My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare” (‭Psalm‬ ‭25‬:‭11, 15,‬ NIV).

Our Bible reading for Monday, February 23, is Exodus 33:7 – 34:35, Mark 7:1-30 and Psalm 25:8-15.

Lord Jesus, you are my Lord and my God. I look to you. Please release me (and my heart) from the snare of my heart’s sins. I have many unclean things residing in my heart. For the sake of your name, forgive my iniquity. Thank you for washing all my sins away by your blood shed for me on the cross.

Header image based on "Custom Setting a Trap" by Hollis, CC By 2.0

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pastorjeffgunn

I'm married to my beautiful wife Julie and have five kids whose names all begin with the letter A. I'm a pastor at CrossWalk Church in Phoenix, AZ. I love Jesus, my wife, my kids, and my grandkids. Huge Arizona Cardinals fan! Reading, hiking, camping, travel, and fishing are my top 5 downtime pleasures.

One thought on “Snared”

  1. Our Bible reading for Monday, February 23, is Exodus 33:7 – 34:35, Mark 7:1-30 and Psalm 25:8-15.

    Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them. ” (‭Mark‬ ‭7‬:‭15‬ NIV)

    He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” (‭Mark‬ ‭7‬:‭20-23‬ NIV)

    Heavenly Father, you made a perfect world. You made mankind in your image. We found sin as it was offered to us by the enemy. We continue to sin against you and will sin until you come to take us home. Our hearts are full of things that defy your word. The list is as long as our thoughts can create them. You are perfect and gave us, a perfect cure for our hearts of sin. Continue to teach me your ways Lord. Every moment I spend in your care are the moments when what is inside me is good.

    Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. (‭Psalm‬ ‭25‬:‭8-9‬ NIV)
    ~Paul Montenieri

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