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