Do you feel “trapped” in parts of your personal life, or your business or career?
Are you ‘trapped’ by hurts, by grudges, by malice and thoughts of revenge?
Are you ‘trapped’ in the grips of frustration, anger, impatience, despair?
Are you ‘trapped’ in the pursuit of money, prestige and possessions?
Are you ‘trapped’ in the grips of a habit?
There is a way out! Freedom is possible!
Let us consider the phenomenon and metaphor of how hunters in Africa catch a monkey. In Africa, when hunters want to catch a monkey, they use a strategy that understands the monkey’s behaviour patterns: patterns that work against the monkey’s best interests.
The hunter takes a jar or a gourd with an opening slightly larger than a monkey’s hand. He ties a rope around the neck of it using a knot, called a monkey’s knot which is a cradle of the rope around the jar, and secures the other end to a stake or a tree. The hunter places some nuts or fruit in the jar.
The monkey reaches his hand into the jar, grabs the food, making a fist with his paw. Now, the monkey’s dilemma: the monkey cannot get his hand out of the jar unless he drops the food. The neck of the jar is simply not wide enough. Of course, the monkey could drop the food and easily get his hand out, but it won’t. Despite having at his command the means to escape, it does not. It keeps his hand tightly grasping the food until a hunter throws a net over it, capturing it.
It was very easy for the monkey to escape. It wasn’t caught. Nothing was binding it. All it had to do was open its hand, remove it from the jar and leave.
That you put off, concerning your former conduct,
the old man which grows corrupt according to deceitful lusts
But now you are to put off all these:
anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.
Do not lie to one another,
since you have put off the old man with his deeds
and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge
according to the image of Him who created him.
The devil tries to ensnare Christians with his crafty devices. He appeals to the appetites of the flesh which will lead to spiritual downfall. As long as we hold on to the worldly bait, we cannot escape satan’s trap. But he keeps on urging, “Don’t let go! Enjoy the pleasure of your sin just a little longer!” So, listening to the tempter’s alluring voice, we continue on our sinful way.
We need to take a serious look at our life
- our personal life,
our work life,
our home and family life,
our social life,
our ‘entertainment’ life,
our Church life -
and ask the Lord to reveal to us what needs to be “let go.”
We need to ask if we are caught up in sinful practices
that are destroying our testimony
and preventing us from growing in grace.
We need to stop and think it over.
We need to get out of satan’s trap.
1 Peter 5:8
The devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
2 Timothy 2:25-26
If God will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,
and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken CAPTIVE by them to do his will.
Hard to let them go? Yes! but totally necessary. Letting them go – getting our fist out of the jar – is the way to freedom.
Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
When GOD controls the INNER man
the world cannot control the OUTER man.