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Seeds of the Kingdom

Hidden Dangers

by John Berry

The proud have set a trap to catch me; they have stretched out a net; they have placed traps all along the way.
Psalm 140:5, NLT

We were returning from Ellel Netherlands, having taught a course there, and it had snowed hard during the last day of the course. We were debating whether to take the train, or accept the generous offer of a ride in a car from two of the guests who live near to the Airport in Amsterdam. As the snow thickened, we decided it would be safer to travel by road than to face the possibility of getting stuck in a train somewhere and missing our flight home.

On the journey our excellent driver remarked on the fact that, despite the motorway being wide, and there being several snow ploughs clearing the surface, we could see there was a layer of ice under the snow, right across the five lanes of the road. The snow looked pretty, but to travel safely on this dangerous surface we needed to be aware of the potential hazard hidden under the snow, and to travel at an appropriate speed.

It made me think of the path of life. There are obvious traps or stumbling blocks that the enemy puts in front of us, which we can avoid with diligent Christian living. However, as King David points out in Psalm 140, there are also hidden snares set along our way, which are intended to stop us fulfilling the purposes of God: ‘The proud have set a trap to catch me; they have stretched out a net; they have placed traps all along the way’. There’s a danger of not perceiving these, as we concentrate on the surface issues of daily living. We can get caught out by the underlying hazards, cleverly disguised by the enemy.

We may feel we’re properly prepared with our ‘snow tyres’ on, but don’t realise we’re driving too fast for the road conditions (to continue the analogy). We fail to realise we’ve got a hidden snare in our life - an icy heart, blurred vision, or unequipped feet. Whatever our particular weakness, the enemy will be aware of it, and will use it to distract us from taking due care. Let’s ask God to reveal to us, through His Holy Spirit, any hidden things that are there to trap us, so we can take appropriate action and put them right. ‘Keep us, O LORD, from the hands of the enemy; protect us from the Man of Violence who plans to trip our feet’, (Psalm 140:4).

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please help me to be aware of any hidden traps in my life so I don’t trip up and become damaged. Amen.

John Berry entered the Baptist Ministry more than 40 years ago, and joined the Team at Ellel Glyndley Manor in 2007 with his wife Jennie. They have both now retired from the team but remain as part of the Teaching and Associate Ministry Teams at Glyndley. John and Jennie have seven Grandchildren.


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