Minding the Webs
There are spiders that occasionally spin their webs across the front walkway to our house. It is unnerving to feel that sticky substance attach itself to my body as I unknowingly walk through one of their webs on the way to my car. Immediately I do the “spider dance” trying to get that web and any possible spiders off of me as quickly as possible. I don’t like being caught in their snare, even though in my rational mind I know I’m bigger than they are and that their web is no real threat to me.
Our adversary is much like a spider that weaves a nearly invisible web to catch its prey. He hopes to “catch” us in his carefully woven web of lies and deceit. Psalm 38:12 refers to the plans of our enemy: “Those who seek my life lay their snares; those who seek my hurt speak of ruin and meditate treachery all day long.”
I was also thinking about spider webs as I read Psalm 31:4 (NASB) which reads, “You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, for you are my strength.” In my own life, I have experienced the “feel” of a web or net that the devil has secretly caught me in, and I am in a hurry to get disentangled from it.
How can we avoid being caught in a web or a snare set for us by the enemy of our souls?
Be alert and of sober mind! First Peter 5:8 tells us the devil goes around looking for someone to devour. When we are alert to this fact, we are aware of and watching for those snares and webs that have been laid for us. We scan the horizon as we journey through life and if we listen to God’s voice, he will warn us so that we can avoid being caught in a trap. It’s as if we are watching radar over our path, seeing where the enemy might be laying in wait. We are to keep a “good lookout” at all times, soberly understanding the “cunning of our enemy” (Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible).
What do we do when we find ourselves caught in a snare?
Again we look at Psalm 31:4 and ask the Lord, who is our strength, to pull us out of the “net” in which we may find ourselves. Also 2 Timothy 2:25-26 refers to repentance that leads to a knowledge of the truth, so that we may come to our senses and escape from the snare of the devil. Often we find ourselves snared by sin, and the way out is through repentance. A soft heart towards the Lord will be sensitive when we miss his perfect will for our lives and cause us to be quick to change our ways where required. Psalm 25:15 says, “My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will pluck my feet out of the net.” The Lord will make a truthful assessment of any situation we may find ourselves in, and as we keep our eyes on him, he will show us a way out.
Some traps and snares are very obvious and can be easily seen and avoided. But we must also be aware of the “gossamer webs” that aren’t so easily discerned. What some would consider small sins such as talking badly about another person can be a web we unknowingly get wrapped up in. We can be vulnerable to these “difficult to see” traps because our heart has hardened in certain areas of our lives or we just aren’t watching carefully enough for those traps. One very good filter to use to avoid walking into hidden webs is to ask yourself, “am I walking in love?” You just can’t go wrong if you love God and others in your daily walk.
I am asking the Lord as the psalmist in Psalm 141:9-10 did to “Keep me from the trap that they have laid for me and from the snares of evildoers! Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by safely.” No more “spider dances” for me!