“Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers: The snare is broken, & we are delivered” (Ps. 124:7).
God made us alive in Christ even when we were dead & encaged in our sins. We were raised with Christ through faith in the working of God (who raised Him from the dead) & made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Col. 2:12-15, Eph. 2:4-6). “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).
So why do many of us choose to live with a mindset captive & encaged to the world instead?
It may have something to with a spiritual foe that’s a master of camouflage (disguise, concealment, blending in w/the surrounding). I remember watching a chilling scene in the Viet Nam war era film “Platoon” years ago. In the scene an American infantry platoon was walking though the dense jungle and unbeknownst to them were unseen assailants & booby traps. The enemy was so camouflaged as part of the jungle that only their eyes could be seen. It reminded me of the verse in 2 Cor. 11:14 that Satan himself transforms as an angel of light. The same disguise he donned in the garden as “the serpent” (Hebrew for Nachash, a shining one) when he beguiled Eve and Paul feared for the Corinthian believers that their minds could be corrupted in the same way from the simplicity in Christ to the crafty duplicity of those preaching another Jesus, with a different spirit, & a different gospel (Gen. 3:1, 2 Cor. 11:3-4).
The whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one (1 John 5:19).
We, as believers, should not be ignorant of our enemy’s schemes & devices (2 Cor. 2:11). “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ” (Col. 2:6, 8). Satan’s expert use of subtlety (defined as: hard to notice or see; not obvious; clever & indirect; not showing one’s real purpose) should put all believers on alert.
Satan wants us to become distracted away from God, His Word & ways and focus instead on the ‘things of the world’ —the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life—that are not of the Father & that pass away (1 John 2:15-17). These were the same 3 areas that he used to tempt Eve in the garden with as well as Jesus in the wilderness after Jesus had been fasting 40 days & nights. The difference being, Eve succumbed where Jesus withstood by using the Word of God (“It is written…) which caused the devil to leave (Gen. 3:6, Matt. 4:1-11).
Some of the devil’s other snares include: the fear of man (rather than of God) & a desire to be rich (Prov. 29:25, 1 Tim. 3:9-10). That’s why the mandate in Col. 3:1, “IF THEN YOU WERE RAISED WITH CHRIST, SEEK THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE ABOVE, WHERE CHRIST IS, SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD” is crucial to living the risen life along with daily transforming & renewing the mind with God’s truth and way of thinking (Rom. 12:2, Eph. 4:23, 1 Cor. 2:13-14).
We did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but we received the Spirit of adoption (Rom. 8:15, Eph. 1:5).
Satan is a counterfeiter & substitutes God’s original purpose & intentions with his own corrupt, perverted version. He’s a liar at the core (father of lies) & a murderer from the beginning (John 8:44). Due to the coexistence of the 2 natures in the child of God, the old nature (which all are born with -Rom. 5:12) that leads to captivity & death and the new nature (which is a gift of God to be received-Eph. 2:8) that leads to life & peace, there is an opportunity for the devil to get a foothold if he can appeal and entice the flesh (the old fallen nature). If he’s effective he can keep them captive to sin & away from the victory & purpose they already have in Christ (Rom. 7:14-25, 8:7, Eph.2:10, 4:17-27, Col. 2:10).
Although the devil may be compared to a roaring lion, seeking about whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8), it’s far more likely that he’ll come under the guise of an angel of light, an as his other titles indicate, “Prince of this world” and “god of this age” (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11, 2 Cor. 4:4), it shouldn’t be surprising that his most potent sphere of activity will be most present in the realm of politics, world government and in the church with its doctrines and ministry. This is why Paul warned Timothy to not become entangled in the affairs in this life (2 Tim. 2:4).
God has provided the believer with everything needed to live a risen, victorious life. We can have faith, not fear as we stand against the wiles of the devil, with the mighty weapons of warfare in God (Eph. 6:13-17, 2 Tim. 1:7, 3:16-17). They are effective for pulling down strongholds, casting down imaginations and all the thoughts & lies that try to exalt themselves against the knowledge of God, as we bring them into captivity to the obedience of Christ (Eph. 6:11, 2 Cor. 10:4-5). For the word of God is living & powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul & spirit, joints & marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12).
When we know, believe & act on God’s truth, in His strength, it sets us free and allows us to live the victorious, risen life in Him (John 8:32, 1 Cor. 15:57, 1 John 5:4, 2 Cor. 1:9-10, 2 Tim. 1:10).
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, & do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage (Gal. 5:1).
Live Risen! Laura