online devotionals

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16 (ESV)

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Bible is how God passes on His wisdom to humanity. Just like a loving Father should, He allows His children to fall, make mistakes, and take the wrong path. He then patiently waits for us to come humbly before His feet, repenting of our wayward ways. Then, He gives us His wisdom.

He has done this throughout all of history. First with the Israelites in the Old Testament, and then Jesus did it with the disciples. And God continues to do it now through His Spirit that lives within all those who believe in Him today.

This is what Paul was talking about when He wrote that we should walk as one who is wise, not as the unwise. The unwise fail to listen to the Holy Spirit, and the unwise choose to walk as the world does. The wise however seek His council and rely fully upon His Holy Spirit for wisdom, knowledge and guidance. The wise have ears to hear His Word, and eyes to see as He sees.

There’s a tendency to rely on a spiritual leader for wisdom. God does give wisdom to many who lead and preach; however the wisdom specifically meant and designed for your walk in Him will come to you through the power of His Holy Spirit.

Father, I want Your wisdom, and Yours alone. Lead me, Lord, upon the paths in my life. Help me to hear as You want me to hear, and see as You see. Lead me so I don’t waste my time or my life. Let my days be lived for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Look carefully at your spiritual walk this week. Are you walking in His Spirit, or are you walking in the world’s wisdom?

daily devotional

We had a plague of chipmunks at our house. They were making our yard “hole-y,”
gnawing wiring, and making a general nuisance of themselves. When one family of chipmunks moved into the space between the basement ceiling and the floor above for the winter, I took great offense. Something had to be done! I baited my Hav-a-Heart trap with irresistible morsels– sunflower seeds. Within minutes, I had my first victim, and my re-location project began taking them to a nice wooded place far from my house. Thirty-six chipmunks later, it seemed the colony had been de-populated. However, the next year, I had to exercise the same due diligence when I saw those cute little critters scurrying around the lawn again. I had to keep alert to re-invasion. That season, more chipmunks were dispatched to another place. This year, I know what they can’t resist, and my snare with the irresistible sunflower seeds keeps watch near their runs.

The analogy is clear. If the chipmunks had assessed the danger of the snare as being more important than the instant gratification, they would not have been caught.

The Bible describes Satan as a hunter who sets traps (Psalms 91:3, 1Timothy 3:7). His traps take us by surprise (Ecclesiastes. 9:12).  Snares are hidden and catch us unexpectedly (Amos 3:5, Obadiah 7). They hold fast their catch (Job 18:9). It takes someone else to get us out, in our case, God.

Can God’s children be captured? The obvious answer is “Yes” (Psalms 140:5). What are the snares that hold us captive and hinder us from going on with God? What prevents our freedom in Jesus? What is keeping us from liberty in His Holy Spirit? What does the Bible say about what entraps us?

What snares tempt us and entrap us?

-Alliances, making peace with the world  Exodus 34:12

–  False gods, idols, serving other gods, or serving God like others serve their gods  Deuteronomy 7:16

–  Desire for riches  Deuteronomy 7:25, 1 Timothy 6:9

–  Enemies of God  Joshua 23:13

– Relationships not ordained of God  1 Samuel 18:21

–  Good things  Judges 8:27

–  Leaders  Job 34:30, Jeremiah 5:26, Hosea 5:1

– Prosperity and security  Psalms 69:22

– The wicked  Psalms 119:110, 141:9; Proverbs 22:5

– Proud men  Psalms 140:5

 –  People  Psalms 142:3

– Words of our mouths  Proverbs 6:2, 18:7

–  Sexual seduction  Proverbs 7:23, Ecclesiastes 7:26

–  Sinful talk (transgression of our lips)  Proverbs 12:13

–  Ill-gotten fortune  Proverbs 21:6

–  Our own sin  Proverbs 29:6  

– Fear of man  Proverbs 29:25

–  Reliance on religious tradition and wisdom of man instead of the Word of God  Isaiah 8:14-15

We avoid being captured in the snares of sin by being warned by the Word of God and not straying from it (Psalms 119:110). To get out of the trap of the evil one, we must ask God to grant repentance, so that we can escape from being held captive to do the will of our adversary (2 Timothy 2:25-26). Then we cry out for God’s mercy, receive God’s forgiveness, and ask Him to empower us by His Spirit to obey from a heart that is totally His.