"One Year Bible" New Testament Passage (for Tues., Oct. 23, 2012)
II Timothy 2:1-26
and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. II Timothy 2:26 (NIV)
Satan sets traps and seeks to ensnare every believer. That is his job. As Jesus said in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy" (NIV). Jesus comes to liberate but Satan comes to imprison. It is important that we understand Satan's strategies. II Corinthians 2:11 describes our need for vigilance "... lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices" (NKJV).
The Greek word for "devices" here is noema. This is a construct of the word for "mind" or "thought pattern." Another way of saying it would be "mind games". WE ARE NOT IGNORANT OF SATAN'S MIND GAMES.
So, here's the question: Is it possible for people who really love Jesus and who are seeking to follow His will to find themselves in difficult spots and fall into Satan's traps? This passage today speaks directly to this question -- particularly verses 20-26.
The Bible says that your life is like "a great house" with many rooms and many possessions (vs. 20). Some of those rooms are in fantastic shape. They are clean and well-taken-care-of. There are other rooms that are more cluttered and perhaps have trash in them. There might even be closets where old, useless stuff is stored. THE RATS LIVE IN THE TRASH HEAPS.
Satan will seek to take advantage of those areas of your life that are not yet cleaned up. Paul even lists a few of them here: "youthful lusts" (vs. 22), "foolish and stupid arguments" and "quarrels" (vs. 23), "resentment" (vs. 24), unrepentant sin (vs. 25). The list only begins here.
The instruction is simple: "cleanse yourself" (vs. 21) and "come to your senses" (vs. 26). It is amazing how many times we walk right into the devil's snares. It might be your use of the internet. It might be a lingering thought pattern of jealousy or greed. It might be a small financial short-cut you tend to take.
In order to escape Satan's traps, each one of us needs to do a bit of housecleaning from time to time. Instead of being taken captive by the devil, we can then live in the freedom that Jesus promised.