(From a sermon of Bro. Julius Adewumi , 5/10/96)
"Surely he shall deliver thee from the snares of the fowler". (Psa.91:2).
Snares are traps the enemy set up for folks. The enemy will usually coverup the snare with
something attractive to the victim. Just like birds. If there isn't any bait in the trap, no bird
will ever fall for a snare. Sin is the snare for souls. The devil will always glamorize sin so
that the victim will not see it as sinful.
I can visualize a snare in changing of employment. If the devil sees a believer who is effectively
witnessing or doing something for the kingdom of God by virtue of one employment, the devil
will like to get him out of that employment. If it takes a bigger salary somewhere else the devil will
do it, but he will make sure the new place will not be conducive to free witnessing for the gospel.
It will be a snare if the new employment takes so much of your time and you have no time for prayer
meetings nor bible studies anymore. A snare doesn't have to be sin all the time. Such salary increase
and job change can become a snare. But we can overcome all things with the Lord's help.
Surely, the Lord shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler.
"In vain is the net spread in the eyes of a bird."
In real life also, the devil does not spread snares which can be easily recognised by people. He will use normal day-to-day activities to set up snares.
We have to watch for those snares. That is why I usually don't just change jobs without the Lord's
approval. It's not just my decision to accept a new job somewhere. It's always the Lord's decision.
There has been many occasions when I could have stepped out on my own and start a consulting company
to be self-employed. But the Lord spoke against it. I am his servant! Once he said "No", I cannot do it.
As recent as two months ago, I got an offer of employment from another employer for 6% increase in
my salary. I could have been tempted if the increment is bigger than 6%, but I sensed from the Lord that
I should stay where I am, and I did. Some weeks later I was promoted where I am at. We need to be very sensitive to the Lord as he guides us. He is expected to lead us through life. The devil would have snared
me away from the promotion but the Lord promised: "Surely he shall deliver thee from the snares of the fowler."
There are other snares which may look as if the devil doesn't set it up; perhaps we human beings found ourselves in such self-made situations. For example the scripture says our mouth can be the snare to our soul. That is, we say something and we couldn't withdraw the statement. A proverb says "words are like eggs, once they fall to the ground they cannot be gathered". That is how the mouth can be the snare to the soul. We should watch for such snares, which is not often caused by the devil, but caused by the flesh. Of course the devil can set up an atmosphere whereby you will speak in reaction to the situation before you think. A good verse to always remember is "leave off contention before it be meddled with." ( ).
The bible also said (in Eccl.5:6) that we should watch what we say before an angel. That is, even in our dreams and visions. Remember Zachary, the father of John the baptist. The devil didn't cause him to be dumb. It was Angel Gabriel who did. Remember also, the devil didn't cause him to say what he said before the angel. It must have come from his own fleshly doubt. (Lk.1). God did not set him up to be snared. He was ensnared by the word of his own mouth. That kind of snare we must watch against as we walk with the Lord.
"The fool uttereth all that is in his heart, but the wise keepeth it in till afterwards."
It could be a snare in what we say to friends, in what we say before the Lord, and even in what we say to our spouses.
Another example is the story of a counsellor to the king of Israel in the days of Elishah, who spoke against
what the prophet of God said when Elishah had said " tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria." The man replied: "Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be?" Elishah told him, "Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof." (2 Kgs.7:1-5). The man was ensnared by the words of his own mouth. That was caused by forwardness of the counsellor and his unbelief.
The Lord wants us to be mature so that we have control over our mouth.
"Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin, neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God." (Eccl.5:6-7).
You see, the bible said, it is in "many words" that the mouth will not be easily controlled. Don't be quick to speak. Watch what comes out of your mouth. Someone can be snared by the words of one's mouth. In another example, when Elishah was going up from Jericho to Bethel, the bible said some children came out of the city and called him "baldhead". Those children were snared by the words of their mouth. Parents are expected to train their children to respect adults, never make jest of people, and especially to not call people names by their handicap or any physical situation. Those children
at Bethel called Elishah "baldhead", and he cursed them in the name of the Lord: Immediately two she-bears came out of the wood and tore forty-two youths. Yea, be not ensnared by the words of your own mouth.
Not only in the daylight, even in our dreams we must watch what we say. I remember in a vision where I was in the midst of a discussion and one angel was speaking. A thought came to my mouth which if I had said, it could have been construed as opposing what the angel said. And immediately, before I could say it, the Lord woke me up to the physical. He is our Father and he watches over us, and as the good shepherd, "surely, he shall deliver us from the snares of the fowler". When I woke up, I knew it was because the Lord did not want me to say what came to my mind before the angel. I immediately remembered Ecclesiastes 5:6. All I could say was "thank you Jesus."
We also have to watch our children as we bring them up, training them in how to speak and what speech is acceptable and what is not.
Revival is coming and many preachers and believers will oppose things they see or hear that God is doing in other ministries. They will oppose it from their own pulpits. Let's pray for the body of Christ, and for ourselves that the Lord will guard our mouth that we should not offend by what we say.
Let's watch for the snares one can get oneself into, and watch for the snares which the devil sets up. Let's also watch for the snares in opposing doctrines unless one is very certain that the doctrine is false. Even then, it is better to keep our cool, and let's just preach what we believe to be the truth.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I pray for all the saints. Help us to bridle our tongues so that we will not offend. Many times people don't know an angel is standing before them until the angel suddenly disappears, that is the more reason I pray that the Lord will help us to control our tongues and watch our words closely in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Bro. Julius Adewumi
GOSPEL DISTRIBUTION MINISTRY.