Traps and Pitfalls
“O Lord, fight those fighting me; declare war on them for their attacks on me… Blow them away like chaff in the wind—wind sent by the Angel of the Lord. Make their path dark and slippery before them, with the Angel of the Lord pursuing them. For though I did them no wrong, yet they laid a trap for me and dug a pitfall in my path.” (Psalm 35:1, 5-7 LB)
Yesterday we looked at the believer’s lifelong journey. Today we will extend that analogy out to consider some of the “dangers, toils and snares” that believers are certain to encounter along the path of life.
Our lifetime is a long road which is overseen by the Lord. Nothing escapes His notice. Since He abides in the eternal realm—outside the realm of Time—in one glance He can view everything that has or will occur in our lives. It is comforting to know that the Lord takes such care for His children.
But there are other eyes scrutinizing our lives as well—hate-filled eyes. Because earth-life is probationary in nature, the Lord has allowed the enemy a certain degree of freedom to influence, allure, oppose and even attack believers.
Although devils don’t live outside the realm of Time as only the Lord does, they can still predict much of what will befall us in life. Through careful observation they knew our areas of vulnerability. Demonic entities are laying in wait along the path of life.
The first thing they attempt to do with a believer is to influence his thinking. In the day in which we live, they primarily do this through the area of entertainment: i.e. television, the Internet, secular radio, etc. Whenever a Christian participates in such practices, he is allowing the enemy—through their godless followers—to shape his thinking.
Devils are also in the business of tempting believers into various forms of sin. An apt picture is a naïve young man strolling down a street in Tijuana. Along the way there are pitchmen whose sole occupation is luring unwary travelers into their seedy bars where they will be accosted by brazen prostitutes. Sexual sin is a fitting picture of someone being tempted into sin, but the truth is that the same spiritual transaction occurs with the person tempted to indulge in gossip, pride or any of a hundred other vices.
Also laying in ambush for the believer are demons whose primary purpose is to emotionally and even physically harm the person. This can occur by the biting tongue of a coworker, a humiliating experience, an illness or an injury of some sort. Satan and his minions are malevolent creatures whose sole satisfaction comes through causing others to suffer—especially the godly.
First and foremost, David had spiritual enemies and he pleads with God to take up his cause in the spiritual realm. “Blow them away like chaff in the wind—wind sent by the Angel of the Lord,” he pleads. “Make their path dark and slippery before them, with the Angel of the Lord pursuing them.”
Every true believer has spiritual enemies as well. We too may ask the Lord to take up our cause and overcome the attacking enemy in our lives.
And how about you? Is there an area of your life that you feel vulnerable to the enemy’s temptations? Is there anyone in your life the enemy uses to hurt you? Then begin to ask the Lord to destroy the works of the devil in your life.