Mark 12:14 “They came to him and said, ‘Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?”
Here we find the so-called leaders of Israel trying to trap Jesus in making a stupid remark so that they might use that against Him. Today we see the same thing in the political realm as well with main stream media asking questions that are what they call ‘gotcha’ (got you) questions.
They came to Jesus to trap Him. And what they said about Him was true: “You are a man of integrity; you pay no attention to who they are; you are not a man to side in with the powerful or wealthy – not a respecter of persons and you teach the way of God in accordance with truth.”
However, we have the traps of the enemy. What are they?
Traps can be anything that would tend towards our weakness. Part of the trap for the young would be in the area of sex. When we were young and the sex drive was strong this is where the enemy would set his traps.
Paul knew this and he was warning his young protégé Timothy about this danger when he said: “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6:11
“Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22
Peter tells us that we are to resist the devil and he will flee, but often we do the opposite and flee the devil and try to resist the flesh, and then we wind up trapped. Might we learn from the instruction manual that the Lord gave us: the Holy Bible!
“Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.” Proverbs 7:2
“They will keep you from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words.” Proverbs 7:5
Another trap of the enemy is to focus on the negative instead of the positive. Because of the fallen nature of man, we have the tendency to think of the worst-case scenario. However, Paul gives us some good advice when he says: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
A trap that the enemy has been using with success is that God is not concerned or cannot be bothered with what we are faced with or that He is unable to do what He says. Along with this is what Napoleon Hill describes as the six basic fears.
- The fear of poverty
- The fear of criticism
- The fear of ill health
- The fear of loss of love or of someone
- The fear of old age and
- The fear of death
The common denominator on all of this is the word ‘fear.’ Why this is such a trap is that fear creates what it fears. Job said it well: “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.” Job 3:25
We must come back to the Word of God and ask ourselves some important questions about God. God says that He is not a man that He should lie. Do we believe that? Will He do what He says He will do? We know that many people have come to us saying that they will do certain things and have let us down and we tend to think that God will do the same thing. But is this true?
What did God say that He will do? First, we see that He will accept us. One of the greatest human needs is to be accepted and what do we hear the Lord saying? “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37) We are accepted in the Beloved. “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6 KJV)
Secondly, Jesus conquered death and because He lives we too shall live. “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:40
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44
Thirdly, Jesus has not left us as orphans, because He said that He will return. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:3
Fourthly, we see the promise of answered prayer. What a privilege we have that we can to go to Supreme Being of the universe and ask for our daily bread; for guidance in this life that we might miss the deadly traps of the enemy. “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” John 14:13
The question is: DO WE BELIEVE THE ‘I WILLS’ OF THE LORD?
When it comes to old age and retirement people have asked me what my retirement plan is and I point them to Isaiah 46:4 “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” What better plan can one have than that?
The common denominator in all of this is the word – FAITH!
Do we believe what God says?