CAUGHT! Are you trapped?

CaughtThe Global Financial Crisis, along with bad government policies and several other factors, has caused upheaval in many families.

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.

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So how does this help us?  We all too often hold onto something we should release.

Ephesians 4:22
That you put off, concerning your former conduct,
the old man which grows corrupt according to deceitful lusts

Colossians 3:8-10
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.”

monkey jar 2Are there beliefs or habits or things that we’re holding onto,
ones that are not moving us forward
but are in fact holding us back from enjoying God’s best? 

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.

John 8:36
Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.

James 4:7
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.

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About meetingintheclouds

I am Cloudwatcher, a 76 year old Christian lady, happily married to a wonderful man for over 50 years. We have five wonderful sons, all with at least one University degree and in top positions in their chosen fields. One son is still single but four have found perfect wives and they have given us five lovely grandchildren. I was born in England and while I'm proud of my English heritage, I am doubly proud to be a true-blue, fair-dinkum Aussie. My husband and I are committed Christians whose first priority is to love and serve our risen Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. My life story will tell of my journey from abuse to peace. I suffered 22 years of abuse, being constantly told I was totally evil and an ugly freak: no one would ever want me, so I might as well do the world a favour and kill myself.
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25 Responses to CAUGHT! Are you trapped?

  1. jelillie says:

    AmenAngela! May we continually pray ” Lord if there be any wicked way in me’, reveal it and teach me to walk in my freedom from it.”

    Like

    • “Search me O Lord” is my constant prayer. I am so useless of myself that I NEED His continual presence and guidance so that I can be an effective instrument in His hand.

      What an enormous privilege to be used by such an increibly amazing God!

      Like

  2. mtsweat says:

    I loathe the times when I must admit that I’ll steal… no, no, I mean borrow :) someone’s illustration for a lesson I’ll teach in my home church, but good friend, this one will be in a lesson soon. First though, I must be willing to let go of the bait myself. It’s no wonder Paul so easily said, “Let us lay aside the sins that so easily beset us…” We all have them. If we truly want to see victory in Jesus, we must set them aside. Amazingly, it is as easy as you describe. Turn loose. Thank you and blessings good friend.

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    • No need to steal or borrow Mike. What the Lord gives is for everyone and to be shared with everyone. Yes, I have so often had to set aside a prepared blog until the Lord has finished dealing with me first. None of us is perfect, but once the Lord has revealed something, we must put it right before we pass it on. After we have “let go” we are left wondering WHY we held on, because God outgives, and the freedom, joy and peace we experience is worth more than anything that claimed out affection before.

      What an incredibly amazing God!

      Like

  3. Good day. I have nominated you for a Wonderful Team Member Readership Award. Here’s the link
    http://truthseldomheard.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/nominees-for-wonderful-team-member-readership-award/

    Hoping you will participate.Thank you.

    Like

  4. Debbie says:

    Oh Mentor Angela, you did it again, with that perfect analogy to help us see clearer what is going on. There was something about your words, explaining how satan appeals to our flesh, and it leads to our spiritual downfall , that touched me. I might not always see the connection, might not think it’s a ‘big deal’, when of course, it is. So thank you for helping me pray and seek Him today, for what in my life needs letting go of, so I can go on and grow closer to Him! God bless you and yours!

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    • Debbie, there are so many times when I have been convicted of hanging on to something, and I have tried to make excuses and tried to keep hanging on . . . but thankfully, my amazing God never gave up. Holy Spirit kept convicting, opened my understanding, and enabled me to let go.
      THEN – after letting go, I wondered why on earth I had held on for so long! It was actually a relief to let go. Spurgeon was right when he said we can’t outgive God because God always uses a bigger shovel.

      The sad thing is that we are slow to learn, and the next time we again try to hold on. Roll on that day when we will serve and obey Him perfectly! We are one day closer!

      We serve an incredibly amazing God who desires the very best for us and will one day make us perfect!

      Like

  5. Ann says:

    Oh thank you, Angela :-)

    It seems greed was the monkey’s demise. Simple escape, yes, but he didn’t see it.

    Sometimes the way out He has for me is really simple, but I don’t always trust His divine providence when I think I have the answer in my hands! Like the monkey, I don’t have to allow my desires to paralyze me. Nope. Who the Son sets free is indeed free! So thankful for the freedom that comes with trusting Him :-)

    Blessings
    ann

    Like

    • Hi Ann. We are all in the same boat. Oh how I long for the time when we shall be free from the very presence of sin, and there will be no more thought of self or self will and no distractions from concentrating our thoughts on our Redeemer God. We are one day closer!

      Meanwhile, we too often fail to ‘Let go and let God’ and we cling to our own will and to satisfying our own desires. How foolish we are! We know that He only wants the very best for us. We know that God’s way is always the best way. We know that in surrender to Him we have true freedom. We know we cannot lose.

      What an incredibly amazing God!

      Like

  6. Pingback: Caught! Are you trapped? | wayneaugden

  7. Wayne Augden says:

    Very well said and written. This is something that needs to be shared and read by many.

    Like

  8. Rob Barkman says:

    How sad it is to see many, many sin blinded people unwilling to set aside the pleasures of sin for a season to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior. Likewise, what a blessing it is to see God’s grace at work, opening the eyes of others, and seeing them turn from their sin to Him and become members of His family. Thnaks for a the warning, and reminder of what He has done for us,.

    Like

    • Yes, Rob, sadness and joy. And the same applies to those who are blood-bought, adopted children of the living God. Too often, we cling to something that robs us of the joy of full surrender and untainted fellowship with our heavenly Father. We need to ‘let go’ of all that would hinder our fellowship. We need to remember that we cannot outgive God. Whatever we give up, He heaps back in blessings. We cannot lose.

      We serve an incredibly amazing God who wants to bless us more than we want to be blessed.

      Like

  9. Anna Popescu says:

    Cloudwatcher, this is great! I am such a visual person that the image of the fist in the jar will likely stay with me awhile. Thank you, Sister, for such a wonderful post!

    Blessings!
    ~Anna

    Like

    • Thanks Anna. “Let go and let God” is a lesson we need to constantly keep in mind, because as long as I hold onto my problem, I am bound by it.

      I remember the time many years ago when I was struggling with a problem. I handed it over to the Lord but still nothing was resolved. Holy Spirit showed me Philippians 4:6 ‘Let your requests be made known unto God’ and I clearly remember saying “Fancy adding ‘unto God’. Of course it is ‘unto God’. We wouldn’t pray to anyone else!”

      Then, I was gently shown that while I had committed the problem to Him, I was still working out in my mind HOW He was going to resolve it. Maybe He would use so-and-so to intervene, or maybe he would cause this to happen or maybe . . .

      Wham! The penny dropped. I ‘let go’ and took my hands off completely . . . and then God worked.

      What an incredibly amazing God!

      Like

  10. evefulton says:

    Very true analogy. We feel trapped even when nothing is holding us back – we trap ourselves by the things we won’t let go of. I have been learning a practical application of this lesson lately while trying to declutter my house. It is really hard to let go of ‘stuff’ but now that I have started the process I have found out just how much my stuff imprisons my my mind. There is a real freedom in letting go – I am learning how little I really need to live a fulfilled life, and how letting go of things frees up my thoughts as well as freeing up space.

    Like

    • Thanks, Eve, for your additional thought.
      We are commanded to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind”. The mind and the heart (or the emotions) are very closely linked. Proverbs 23:7 tells us “as he THINKS in his HEART, so he is” and when we couple this with Jesus’ words in Matthew 15:19 we see that all evil thoughts and actions come from the heart. We need to “let go” of our emotions and the resulting thoughts and allow Holy Spirit to renew our minds, setting us free from bondage to self. While we hold on to self and self-will, we are bound, but when we submit to our great God, He grants complete freedom.

      What an incredibly amazing God!

      Like

  11. Angela, this is an extremely fascinating post. I like the monkey anecdote. It reminds me of a popular saying, “Let go and let God”. If the monkey had let go of the food, it would not have gotten caught. Likewise, Christians need to let go of sinful habits and let God direct their paths.

    Thanks for sharing. God blesses.

    Like

    • Noel, thanks for adding the “Let Go and Let God” saying. When we are willing to “let go” we open the way for our amazing God to undertake for us – and He always will when we look to Him in faith.

      What an incredibly amazing God!

      Like

  12. admin says:

    In order to let go, the focus has to change from what is being grasped in the hand to the Lord Jesus.

    Like

  13. Angie says:

    Messiah has set us free. We take His Yoke and then we are free.
    Galatians 5:1
    What the Messiah has freed us for is Freedom! Therefore, stand firm, and don’t let yourselves be tied up again to a yoke of slavery.

    Like

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