Jesus’ miracles caused Him to gain a large number of followers besides the twelve apostles. Many gathered to listen to Him preach. One day, He taught they must eat His flesh and drink His blood to have life (see John 6:53-60). Upon hearing this, many were offended and turned away from following Christ. The disciples who stuck by His side learned Jesus was talking in the spiritual sense and not the literal sense, but those who turned away lost the opportunity to learn from the living God!
Have you been offended by God? Is there a Scripture that causes you to question the authenticity of the Word? Don’t turn from the living God or His Word. Taking offense is simply a spiritual trap set by the enemy to get us out of relationship with God. Choose to trust in Christ today and stand by His side. Ask for a clearer understanding. Let’s pray together, “Lord, forgive me for taking offense to You and Your Word. Help my attitude and mindset toward these offenses to match Yours. I trust You and know that You are more righteous than I am. I praise You and thank You for being a loving God who wants what is best for us. In Christ’s Name, Amen.
The Pharisees and chief priests of Jesus’ time were familiar with Scripture, but they denied the true spirit of the law. Since they had no relationship with God, they were unable to recognize Him when He appeared right before their eyes in the man of Jesus. They were caught in a trap of a religious spirit.
Someone caught up in the spiritual trap of a religious spirit is more concerned with following the rules than following Christ. He or she is quick to criticize anyone who fails to follow their own moral code, but they fail to fulfill the greatest commandments to love God and love others (see Matthew 22:36-40). Sadly, this spiritual trap fills the one caught in it with pride and blocks a genuine relationship with the Lord.
For the most part, I am painfully aware of my inability to live up to God’s standard. However, I have with much effort been somewhat successful at living up to my own set of rules at certain times in my life. It is then that I feel a self-satisfying pride that is particularly ugly, leads me far from God, and quiets His voice. When I confess my sins and humbly call on the Lord, He is eager to hear my prayer.
Are you guilty of having a religious spirit? Jesus is patiently waiting for you to get back on the right track today so He can live in a close relationship with you. Let’s say this prayer together: “Lord, forgive me for my religious spirit. I confess I have been more concerned about rules than following You. Help my heart to seek after You and love You above all else. Help me to love others instead of criticizing them. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (see Romans 3:23). From this day forward, guide me to operate in a spirit of grace to myself and others. Thank You, Lord, for the grace You have shown me in Your great mercy. In Christ’s Name, Amen.
Sexual sin is a spiritual trap that includes a wide variety of activities from viewing pornography to premarital sex and various forms of sexual perversion. God has made it clear in the Bible that sex is for one man who is married to one woman. Any sexual activity outside of that constitutes sin. Sex can create spiritual bonds that are difficult to break.
Just like the other spiritual traps, persons are first tempted, then try it, and soon are caught in it. In order to be delivered from it, one must first admit they want help. Some people are proud of their sexual sins and delight in them. This is not the type of person that will find release. One must acknowledge that it is a sin, decide they want to be freed from it, and ask God for deliverance. Then our merciful God will reach down and set the person free.
Are you caught in the spiritual trap of sexual sin? Start the process of getting free with this prayer: Lord, I admit I guilty of sexual sin. Forgive me and deliver me from it. Help me to live a pure life according to Your plan for marriage and sex. In Christ’s Name, Amen.
Since creation, men and women have been tempted to do wrong against God and others. James 1:13 tells us God does not tempt us to do evil, but we know the Enemy of our souls does tempt us. The first time we sin, we feel conviction. The second time, it is a little less. After the sin has become a habit, we no longer even think it is wrong.
Nearly everyone of us can identify with some spiritual trap. One is pursuing money as a main goal in life. Another is rebellion against authority and God. Yet another is sex outside of marriage or other forms of sexual perversion. Drunkenness and/or drug use is yet another spiritual trap. Dabbling in the occult, witchcraft (regardless of intent), and New Age practices are some others. Trusting in other religions is one more, and this is not an exhaustive list.
All of these spiritual traps lead us away from God. They are types of unfaithfulness. God has the power to deliver people from these traps if they call on Him. If you are stuck in one of these sins, confess your sin to God and call on the Name of Jesus Christ for deliverance. God is waiting for you to call on Him. Do it today!
Ev’ry sin is a kind of escape room,
Sometimes Satan leads you in a wrong door,
Sometimes you are in the room from the womb,
People spend years in there staring at the floor.
Then a friend lifts your head,
Instead it could be a blunt confession,
Or a heartfelt prayer opens your eyes to see,
Else a verse frees you from the oppression.
You wait for the doorway to be unbarred,
Refuse to take the devil’s communion,
Sneak courageously past the demon guard,
And run for your dear life from loss and ruin.
In the Spirit of the Lord, there’s freedom*,
He restores what the locusts have eaten**.
*See 2nd Corinthians 3:17.
**See Joel 2:25.
Like fish to water,
Like a husband to a wife,
Like the closest friend,
That’s how tight God aims to be,
How close have you let Him in?
“…but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”—Proverbs 18:24
Admit they harmed you,
so you can forgive,
Admit the severity of the pain,
so you can be healed,
Admit you need a Savior,
so you can be saved.
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'”—John 14:6
Ruth and I go to lunch,
David and I dance sometimes,
I am blind with Paul,
and often weep with Jesus.
In the Scripture, I make my bed,
I live there and sleep there,
among the words,
I believe them,
They are all I see.
You can find me,
in a pasture of Psalms,
swinging from a fig tree,
When the branch breaks,
I fly into the Lake of Galilee,
And swim in God’s mercy.
I hoist the sails,
for the Holy Spirit,
See, I have become part of the ship!
Look at my palm and you see
w o r d s.
*Draw Near offers free Christian ebooks here: https://drawneartochrist.com/ .
I am not in a
race with you.
I am just looking for a friend.
Will you accept my unconditional love?
I am not
or despising you
in my head.
Will you accept my unconditional love?
I am only expressing the love
the Father has bestowed on me.
He taught me how to
love others unconditionally.
Will you accept His unconditional love?
“But God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful.”—Romans 5:8
Faith is not an intellectual pursuit,
It's not what natural senses perceive,
It does not require scientific proof,
It is what our hearts and souls believe.
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what
we do not see."—Hebrews 11:1
*Draw Near is now accepting poems for Blessed Creation: A Christian Poetry
Collection. Details here: Call for Submissions.