How Provoking Can A SNARE Be?
(May we be challenged to see a snare for what it is, as we read this guest post from a friend)
My companion and I were driving to the farm of a conservative Mennonite to chat about the details of some furniture he was making for us. Most of the trip was spent driving on highways, then city streets, until we got closer to his farm where we found ourselves on country roads. At the final intersection, we needed to make a left turn onto the street where the farm was located. Although, a left turn at this intersection was legal in the past, it wasn’t now. You see, the city had built a slight raised concrete mound (like a wide speed bump) in the center of the road that allowed only horse drawn carriages to cross. For the purposes of this story, the raised mound will be referred to as a ‘barrier’. No longer could cars make a legal left turn from any direction at this intersection. We witnessed other drivers of automobiles crossing the barrier to make a left turn illegally, but as Christians we could not. We passed the intersection, found a safe place and turned the vehicle around and approached the intersection from the East, where we made a legal right turn onto the street the farm was located on.
The placement of the barrier is odd and causes what seems like unnecessary frustration to drivers and residents of the area. Likely the civil engineer who designed the intersection and the manager who approved the design thought they were being logical and practical. Although I am not convinced that many drivers or residents would agree. This type of barrier is rare, as left turns are necessary to get from one road to the next. So why did the civil engineer design this road with this barrier?
When we arrived at our destination, my companion, whom had previously made mention of his frustration surrounding the barrier, was now lamenting to the farm owner, a fellow believer. While they are discussing this illogical barrier, I found myself in inner thoughts pondering 1Chronicles 21:1 “And satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel” (KJV). While this thought is running in my mind, another thought is added: God hates complaining. I came back from my inner thoughts and listened to the conversation; the two men were speaking about the frustration this barrier creates and its lack of logic. The conversation only lasted a few minutes, but during that time, I felt that they believed they were ‘just making small talk’. However, as an observer, it’s easy to recognize the complaining that was going on. I asked myself; don’t these two believers believe in the sovereignty of God? Wasn’t God there when the civil engineer designed the plans to create this barrier, and also when his manager approved it? Couldn’t God have stopped them?
Later, as I reflected on the conversation I had overheard, I was sad this barrier was created. I can see that this barrier is a snare, causing man to sin. The Bible tells us that the devil can only be in one place at one time, and therefore the devil must be cunning in the devises he creates to provoke man to sin long after he is gone. Discernment from my Lord showed me how the devil uses snares such as this, to take believers out of the ‘will of God’. When believers complain, they are sinning, which places them outside of ‘Gods will’. The ‘serpent of old’ is cunning. If he did inspire the civil engineer to create this road in such an unusual way, in a Christian (Mennonite) community, the barrier is well placed. Well placed, in that it functions as a snare for many present and future believers who encounter it and its frustration, allowing the devil to be somewhere else provoking other people with other snares, as his legacy continues to ‘trip’ or ‘entice’ believers into sinning due to this barrier.
Discernment, in many instances, isn’t as complicated as believers believe – basically there are only two spirits: the Holy Spirit and the spirit of the anti-christ. Reading the Holy Scriptures provides the believer with understanding into the wonderful character of God, along with details about the devils character. With this knowledge, we are able to recognize God and what comes from God. Keep in mind that overcoming sin is more complicated then discernment.
Did satan really provoke the civil engineer to build such a provocative barrier to snare believers as he once did with King David? Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” NKJV.
Did God really allow the devil to provoke the civil engineer to build this illogical barrier? Bible believers understand that testing comes from God, but temptation comes from the devil. Is this barrier a temptation from the devil, hopeful in his hatred that it will cause believers to sin against God? Is this barrier a test from God, to see which believers love Him enough to overcome their desire to complain and trust in His sovereignty?
I challenge you to think beyond your logic, beyond your reason, knowing how easy it is for the devil to puff believers up on pride. Look beyond the temporal the next time you experience your ‘barrier’. Discern is there a spiritual battle going on, provoking you to sin against God. Do your best to follow Ephesians 6:10-11 “10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” NKJV.