Sermons

Summary: How to recognize and escape the traps that Satan sets for us everyday.

“Trapped in Freedom”

A couple of years ago, I told a children’s story about a certain fox that one day, found himself caught in a trap. But today I want to use that same illustration for us adults.. Now the type of trap that caught him is known as a “steel-jaw” trap, and it’s called by this name because that is essentially what it is--a steel jaw. As you can imagine just from the name of this contraption, this is NOT a very humane trap in fact it is far from humane. It will many times spring shut with such force that it will not only trap it’s victim, but also break it’s bones.

Now as the story went; our friend Mr. Fox was walking through the forest one crisp winter’s morning, and as foxes usually are, he was probably very alert, always looking for any signs of food or enemies. But what he didn’t know was that there--just ahead of him was eminent danger. And without realizing it, he takes a very wrong step....

As his foot engages the trigger device, those cold steel jaws spring to life and crunch tightly into his leg. No doubt a piercing bolt of pain shot through his entire being, and for a moment anyway, he was in total shock. He had to be wondering; “what kind of monster was this that sprang up from out of nowhere to inflict such pain on him--and why?

And to add insult to injury, not only was he badly hurt, he couldn’t even run because this thing that had hold of him was securely chained to a stake driven deep into the ground....What could he do?

Now we, as intelligent human beings a lot of times have the tendency to think that animals are “dumb”---but are they? You see THIS particular fox could teach US a thing or two. Because after the initial shock wore off, this little guy started to evaluate the situation. Oh he saw that his foot was definitely caught the trap and all the yanking and pulling that he could muster was not going to change that. And somehow he knew that if he stayed there for very long..., he would surely die. So, he is faced with a dilima; You see, even though he was very fond

of having all four of his feet, he had to prioritize his life as it stood at that moment. It would be either; keep all four feet and die......or, lose one and live. He, of course opted for life by knawing

off his own foot.

Now, why in the world am I telling you this seemingly gruesome story? Well, because it’s one that we can all learn from. Jesus uses a similar illustration in the gospel of Mark 9:43-47

“43 If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into

hell...”

You see, just as the fox had to separate himself from a part of his physical body because it stood between him and life, we too have to separate ourselves from things in our life that hold us captive to this sinful world.

You know, the steel-jaw trap that we’re talking about is designed to “latch on” to an animal’s foot........the traps that Satan sets for us are designed to “latch on” to certain parts of us as well; parts like greed, envy, hatred, pride, and prejudice--just to name a few. We were all born into a sinful world and thus inherited a sinful nature as a result, now all of these things are a part of that sinful nature--part of us, but we-like the fox have to make a decision to sever these things from our lives.

But guess what; we can never even begin to do that until we realize that they exist and that they are indeed holding us captive. Now the steel jaw trap is but one type of trap that I want to talk about today. The second type is even more simple in design--but just as effective- if not more so.

I was watching either the discovery channel or public television one night, and there was a documentary on a certain tribe that was native to some rein forest region. Now it seems that these “very primitive” people were trying to catch monkeys for some reason or another. Anyway, by observing their behavior for some time, these people devised a very simple yet very ingenious trap; First of all, they would acuire a hollowed-out log, then they would bore a small hole in it about two inches or so. Then they would place a tempting piece of fruit inside the

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