by Dr. Mike Zachary

Have I trapped myself?

This is an important question to ask ourselves because the devil is a master of trapping people. Most of the time, the devil traps us by playing mind games with us.

I John 1:9 couldn’t be any plainer. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” In spite of this crystal clear Bible teaching, the devil often convinces people that their lives are hopeless because of something they did years or decades ago.

Years ago, I met a lady who was extremely discouraged. She felt that she would never be able to serve the Lord in any way because she had been divorced fifteen years ago. It is not, of course, my purpose to minimize the pain and suffering that accompanies divorce; but I am willing to say that there is life after divorce. If divorced people were somehow useless or permanently broken, then God would end their lives on earth immediately, but He doesn’t do that.

The Bible is clear that we are not to use God’s mercy and His forgiveness as clever ploys to continue in sin. But God has provided us with forgiveness and grace because He wants us to be able to move forward in our lives! In John 10:10, Jesus clearly stated, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

When we tell ourselves, “There just is no way to get this done,” we are trapping ourselves. When we say, “This is hopeless” or “I am hopeless,” we are falling into Satan’s snare and trapping ourselves.

Because of God’s grace and because of His forgiveness, we have solid biblical grounds for thinking, “I can do this. I can get this done.” It is always dangerous to limit ourselves by thinking, “Only other people can do this, but not me” or “We’ve never been able to do that before, so I’m sure we won’t be able to do it in the future.” When Christians think that way, the devil jumps up and down with glee because he knows he is winning the war in the battle for our minds.

As we approach today and as we approach tomorrow, let’s be sure that we are not victims of self-entrapment! Some say, “Think outside the box.” Some say, “Have a can-do attitude.” Perhaps the Apostle Paul said it best when he wrote, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Corinthians 15:57).

Whatever the case, let’s not live in traps we have built for ourselves!


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