Sitting at my desk one day, glancing out of the window, my attention was aroused to see a spider in its web. There`s nothing unusual about a spider in its natural habitat, nor about a fly trapped in its web. But there was something more to observe.
It was fascinating to watch the fly as it struggled to free itself, but the spider had got it trapped, and was able to do just as it desired, just as the devil seeks to do with us all. In the web the fly was first stripped of its wings, then its legs. It was increasingly powerless to defend itself or escape.
How this reminded me of the work of the enemy of souls as he goes about seeking whom he may trap and render ineffective and powerless to overcome him. When we slip into ungodly ways we become vulnerable to his wiles and devastating schemes as he robs us of our ability to be a true witness of our Lord and Saviour Jesus. This is why Peter reminds us that we need to be self-controlled and alert.
I meet a number of Christians who seem to have `lost their wings and legs`, and have been so damaged through sinful practices that they`ve become almost spiritually lifeless. We all need to have those around us to whom we are accountable, whether they`re church leaders, elders or friends. To have someone who is able to speak the truth to us in love, and warn us of approaching dangerous situations or relationships, is a healthy safeguard. For me it was a blessing to have an elder who sensed the danger of relationship developing with a secretary. There have been all too many church leaders drawn into an ungodly relationship with someone of the opposite sex, which has ruined their ministry. I didn`t wish to add to that number and thanked that elder for being so courageous in alerting me.
The spider`s natural habitat is a snare for the unobservant and unsuspecting insects the spider wants to make its prey. And the subtle wiles of the devil are just like that spider making its web. Peter is aware of the devil`s tactics, so he continues, `Resist him, standing firm in the faith` (1 Peter 5:9).
Prayer: O Lord, my God, I thank You for every time You`ve sent someone to make me aware of the snares of the devil, and prevented me from grieving You by falling into some sinful practice. Please develop in me a sensitivity and awareness of pitfalls, and strengthen me to honour You in every part of my life, I pray, in Jesus` name. Amen.
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