October 29, 2004
Encouragement for Today

Web of Sin
Ramona Davis - Member of Proverbs 31 Speaker Team

Key Verse:

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)


Devotion:

The spider was still and patient as it watched from its web draped under the awning. It had its eye on an unsuspecting little moth as it flew closer and closer to the trap. Suddenly the moth was caught in the web and unable to escape. The moth frantically tried to free itself but to no avail. The spider moved in for the kill.

This little display of nature almost moved me to tears. The little moth reminded me of myself as I thought of the times in my life I have been caught in a web of sin. Often I have been oblivious to the traps laid out before me. I was also saddened by the thoughts of others who are caught in a web of sin with seemingly no way out. How frantic, frightened and desperate they are to be freed.

Ensnared and dead in sin, Jesus knocked on the door of my heart. When I asked Him to be Lord of my life, I asked for forgiveness for my sins. He washed me clean and forgave me completely. Unlike the little moth, we do have a way out of sin. The enemy has no dominion over believers.

Yes, I still fall short and sin but with His grace and mercy He always leads me to the Truth, I am able to agree with Him about my sins, ask and receive His forgiveness.

The enemy knows our weaknesses and devises a plan and a trap to lure us to sin. Attacks from the enemy are really temptations to pull us away from God. These attacks come to everyone. It is a fact of life.

Believers need not be anxious or fretful about these inevitable attacks. Jesus is our most effective "weapon". We need to turn our eyes to the One who already defeated the foe. As we spend time getting to know Him through the Bible and through prayer, our relationship with Him grows deeper. The closer our relationship to Jesus, the more alert and aware we become of the enemy's tactics. We can recognize temptation quickly.  We are more prepared for the battle and armed to stand firm.

The Bible gives us explicit warnings regarding attacks from the enemy. Peter compared the devil to a roaring lion looking for someone to devour and warned us to "Be self-disciplined and alert". Jesus told His disciples to watch and pray so they would not enter into temptation. He warned, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

We also find many instructions in the Bible when we are in the midst of a spiritual battle. Paul tells us in Ephesians to put on our spiritual armor and explains each piece. He then tells us to pray always. James tells us to submit to God and resist the devil.

We can also find many references to comfort us in difficult times. God is our Protector and Defender. We belong to Him - therefore the battle is the Lord's. God is our strength in time of trouble. Praise Him during difficult times as well as in good times. Praising Him declares your faith in the One who holds you in the palm of His Hand.

When we stand firm during attacks from the enemy, God builds a solid foundation in us that makes us steadfast and immovable. God tells us that we are blessed when we endure temptation because when we have been approved, we will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to us because we love Him.

Spend time pouring over God's Word and spend time in prayer. Take heed to the warnings, follow His instructions and look to Him for comfort. Run to Jesus when you need forgiveness.

If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, don't spend another minute in that web of sin trapped for eternity. Acknowledge Him as Lord, believe that He died for your sins and confess your need for Him. There is a way out of that web of sin. His name is Jesus.


My Prayer for Today:

Lord, please forgive me for my sins of _________. Help me to grow in my relationship with You. I want to know You better and love You more. Make me keenly aware of temptations that come my way and help me stand firm and immovable. I want to live a life that honors and pleases You. Amen


Application Steps:

If you are a believer, ask yourself if you honestly allow Jesus to examine your heart each day for sins. Are you quick to confess and turn from them?

If you have just accepted Jesus, tell a trusted Christian friend, contact a pastor or email us at Proverbs31 to help you grow in your wonderful new relationship.


Reflection Points:

Read Ephesians 6:10-18.  Mentally place each piece of the armor on your body each morning.

Spend time in the Word of God.  It is the sword of the Spirit. It is your offensive piece of armor. In your journal, make a list of warnings, instructions and comforting scriptures regarding times of attack.

Spend time in prayer asking God to make you keenly aware of sin and temptations that come your way. Confess your sins regularly asking for forgiveness. Pray for His protection and strength to stand firm.


Power Verses:

All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 (NIV)

I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the Lord" and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Psalm 32:5 (NIV)

He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. Proverbs 28:13 (NKJV)

The Lord saves the godly; He is their fortress in times of trouble. The Lord helps them, rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them, and they find shelter in Him. Psalm 37:39, 40 (NLT)


Additional resources:

Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God by Sharon Jaynes
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/womanlistens.html

Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed by Lysa TerKeurst
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/radical.html

Coming Out of the Dark by Mary Southerland
http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/outofdark.html