Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Animal Traps

Have you ever seen one of those animal traps with the interlocking teeth? Not the homemade kind that boys in the backyard use to catch squirrels, but the nasty, professional ones. These traps are spring-loaded and are so bad that some animals will gnaw their own leg off and leave it behind just to escape the trap.

Unlike Diego, I don’t have the ability to speak to animals. But if I could communicate with them, and I could tell them which paths to go down to avoid the traps, they would probably take my advice. They would be able to walk with confidence without having to look out for snares along the way.

As Christians, we always need to be vigilant because our adversary is out to trap us. But at the same time, when we are following the Lord’s path, we can still walk with confidence. Proverbs 3:26 says, “For the Lord will be your confidence, and keep your foot from being caught.”

There are really just two paths in life: the right way and the wrong way. The wrong way is filled with snares, and if that is the way we choose to live life, then we can expect to be trapped and hurt.

But if we choose the right path then we can expect something different. Again, I am not saying that bad things will not happen, or that Satan will not trip us up. But what I am saying is that we can walk with confidence knowing that we are going God’s way. A proverb is not 1000% true, but is a good rule of thumb. This rule of thumb says that if we are where we should not be, with people we should not be with, doing something we should not be doing, then we can expect a bad outcome.

But if we are where we should be, with people we should be with, doing what we should be doing, then we can expect a good outcome. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Throne of Grace

Most people know what it is like to feel timid around another person. The girl you had a crush on in elementary school made you stutter and forget your name. Being around “Mr. Popular” made you slightly unsure of yourself. Now the presence of your boss makes you speak a little quieter, and perhaps with more thought before each sentence.

For most of us there will always be that person who intimidates us. But God does not intend to be one of those people. He does not picture our relationship as being one based on fear and intimidation. In Hebrews 4:16 we are told that we can “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

We can boldly approach God’s throne with confidence in the fact that He wants to hear from us. I don’t think we need to go overboard with this and make Jesus our “homeboy,” as some have done; we need to maintain a healthy respect for who He is and what He has done for us.

But God wants to have a relationship with us. Just as a child has no problem telling his parents what he wants for Christmas, so we should have no problem making our requests known unto God. That is not to say that God is a divine Santa or Genie, existing only to grant our wishes; but in the context of this verse, God is there when we need to ask for grace and mercy.

And we can ask for them boldly.