It is very important to ask the question, “How does sin trap and hold us”? Quite simply, knowing the answer to this question means you are aware of the trap and can prevent yourself from being caught in it. A trap is designed to capture you and keep you captive. Knowing the trap will be the difference between being caught in it and escaping it.
Let’s look at 3 ways sin can trap us. Firstly, our own evil desires can trap us. Secondly there are snares set by others and finally, we can be enticed by the devil.
Firstly, our own evil desires trap us
James 1:14-15 says “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
This passage clearly indicates that our own desires entice and lure us into sin. We like to blame others when it comes to the consequences of sin. When we do this we have not dealt with the real issue, all of which is birthed in you as a result of evil desire.
We even go as far as blaming God. In fact, James 1:13 says “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.”
Selfishness and a desire to fulfil our own needs with little regard to anyone else is the “lure” that gives birth to sin. And sin, when it is fully grown brings forth death. Don’t allow sin to go unchecked in your life. Scriptures tell us that the flesh sets its desires against the Spirit (Galatians 5:17). This is a constant and daily battle we wage. Victory in this battle is only achieved when your focus shifts from “self” to “Christ”. Set your mind on things above and not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2). When Christ becomes your true desire then there is no room for the flesh. Everything becomes about Him and less about you. Amen!
The problem with sin is its ability to keep you captive. The good news is that once you are born again in Christ Jesus, you are no longer a slave to sin. Instead, you are a slave to righteousness (Romans 6:18). Sin becomes powerless to hold you captive because you no longer serve sin, but you now belong to Christ and serve him. It is the power of the Holy Spirit that keeps you from being entangled to sin, the sin that clings so closely to you. It is the sanctification process of the Holy Spirit that gives you strength to run the race with endurance (Hebrews 12:1). So, allow the Spirit of Christ to rule and reign in your body and not sin. Lay aside every evil and abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul (1 Peter 2:1,11).
Secondly, there are snares set by others
The people of Israel often put themselves in situations that trapped them in sin, especially by others. Exodus 23:33 says “You shall make no covenant with them and their gods. They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.”
This does not mean that you need to put yourself in a bubble and exclude yourself completely from the world. If that was the case then you would need to be taken out of this world (1 Corinthians 5:10b). Rather, you are not to “join” the world in its activities. You are to be an ambassador of Christ and separate from the world. Friendships with non-believers must be one with clearly stated boundaries. This will ensure that you do not fall into worldly activities that can open a door to the enticements of sin.
Our greatest example is Jesus Christ. Jesus never condoned sin nor did He participate in the activities of the ungodly. Instead, Jesus lead a perfect sinless life showing kindness to sinners with the intention of leading them to repentance (Romans 2:4). He spent time with them, not joining their sinful ways, instead presenting the good news.
In like manner, always know where your boundaries are. Examine yourself and know the desires or temptations that can lure you and trap you. It is very important to watch yourself.
I have heard many stories of people, who have fallen back into sinful behaviours they had once overcome. People who had seemingly overcome drinking and living a victorious life, falling right back into addiction because of letting their guard down and placing themselves in a position of compromise.
Friends, be watchful always and do not allow yourself to be surrounded by anything that will cause compromise. Genesis 4:7 says “…sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”
“Sin crouching”, gives us a picture of a predator following its prey. The prey is unaware of its immediate danger, and if not watchful, it will be caught and killed. Likewise, sin is at every turn and corner of your life and its desire is contrary to you. You must rule over it.
2 Timothy 3:13 says “while evil people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”
Do not allow, others in your life, nor situations or anything else to trap you into falling prey to sin. Instead, know who you are in Christ and stand firm in the word of God, putting on the full armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Thirdly, enticed by the devil
The devil tries to entice and trap you in sin. There is a difference between the first two traps and this one. The first two deal with sin that you know exists around you often allowing yourself to be trapped by its lures, whether it be a selfish evil desire or one that presents itself to you by the world around you.
The devil, on the other hand, tries to trap you by deceit. This is how sin entered mankind, and we see the very first example in the garden of Eden. Genesis 3:4-5 says “But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die, For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
The devil tries to deceive by questioning your faith and shaking the foundation of your trust in Jesus Christ. If the devil can get you to question the word of God and His promises, then he is successful in trapping and deceiving you. Satan tried this on Jesus, just as he did on Eve in the garden. The difference is that Jesus used the word of God to fight back. Matthew 4:1-11 shows us that with every deceptive temptation which was presented to Jesus, He fought back with “It is written!”. In contrast, Eve, when tempted, fell into the deception of Satan, rather than trusting God, by faith, and saying “God said!”.
Remember, when Satan tries to trap you, he does so through deception. Often times you don’t see it coming. In fact, the word of God tells us that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). This is a clear warning, given so that you are equipped to identify such tactics. 2 Corinthians 11:3 says ”But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” This is a clear warning so you are not deceived by the cunningness of Satan.
You need to have a solid foundation in the word of God and a close relationship with Christ in order to stand. There are even some in the church who disguise themselves for their own personal gain. In fact, let us read 2 Corinthians 11:13-14 says “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”
How to protect yourself from the traps of sin?
We have seen a few ways we can be trapped by sin. What are some of the ways we can overcome these traps and be victorious over sin?
Begin by examining yourself and your weaknesses. The key is your “eye.” Matthew 6:22-23 says “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
Be careful what you allow your eyes to see. It is the avenue through which an evil desire is birthed. Overcome temptation and rule over sin, the sin that is crouched at the door whose desire is contrary to you.
Next, a child of God is sanctified by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit sanctifies by washing the heart and renewing the mind (Titus 3:4-7). The Holy Spirit sanctifies by attesting to the reality of a believers faith and guarantees his inheritance in the future completion of salvation (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). Allow Christ through His Spirit to rule and reign in your life. He will help you in your weakness and enable you to stand up and escape temptation (1 Cor 10:13).
The Holy Spirit sanctifies by helping believers understand scripture (1 Corinthians 2:10-16). Read scripture daily and its work is powerful in your life. The more you read and meditate, the more your life will be changed. 2 Timothy 3:16 says “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,”
Jesus also prayed for us, that we would be sanctified by the word. John 17:17 saying “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.”
In conclusion, I hope this will equip you to guard yourself against the traps of sin, that you may stand strong on the foundation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Aiming to glorify God in everything you do because you love Him. Don’t do anything out of a religious act because such acts hold no value. When you do it out of pure love for Christ and when He is your treasure then you will be victorious in praising His name.