So you are just flying along feeling like everything is going your way when, BAM!, you fall into a trap! Just like an unsuspecting critter finds itself stuck in a spider’s web, the enemy can catch us off guard to trap us and hinder our progress. The Lord recently showed me 5 traps that hinder God’s blessings.
Do you have a dream you have been chasing? Maybe it is something you believe God has spoke that He wants to see in your life. It could be finding a Christian spouse, restoration in a relationship, becoming debt free, starting a new business, writing a book, or anything really. Maybe like me, you have had confirmation after confirmation. You have scripture to stand on, promises to claim, and even some investors. The dream is so close you can smell, taste, and feel it. And then…everything seems to spiral out of control.
Here are 5 traps i found in the Word that kept God’s People from His blessings
The book of Hosea is a beautiful love story. It shows how God relentlessly pursues us, His bride, even though we are most often unfaithful. He loves us enough to let us make mistakes, but is always right there with an extended hand to help when we fall.
Trap #1: Forgetting God’s true nature and character.
My people are being destroyed because they don’t know Me Hosea 4:6 NTL
Lets face it. We live in a “give it to me now” society. Everything is instant, quick, and fast. The answers to most of our questions are just a few clicks away. We can receive knowledge about most any subject instantaneously. I guess it should be no surprise that we have difficulty waiting on the Lord, we don’t like waiting for anything. If we adopt the mentality that God is like Santa Claus or a genie in a bottle, disappointment will definitely abound. This is the first of the 5 traps that can hinder God’s blessings because we simply give up before the work is done.
God likes the smell of things in the oven!
He referred to Israel as a half baked cake because they had mingled their thoughts of God with those of false religions. This caused them to unknowingly lose their strength. Although sometimes God does act quickly it is more like Him to let “suddenlies” happen after the waiting. He enjoys the process and wants you to savor the lessons learned along the way. That is not because He wants to hold out or torture you. No, it is because the lessons learned in the oven will be the fundamental layer He will need to build the next blessing, miracle, or level of service in which you will be called.
Don’t despise the small beginnings.
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin… Zechraih 4:10a NLT
Who doesn’t enjoy mixing up the cake batter and licking the spoon? Sometimes the process of baking is the best part! Of course you don’t want to miss the great aroma that wafts through the air.
Do things feel like they are heating up? You may feel like you are being tested or that waiting on your promise is causing some friction in your life. God uses every opportunity to shape and conform us into the image of His Son, Jesus. So just plan on spending some time in the oven! Enjoy the process and send up a sweet aroma of worship while you wait.
Remember, God is GOOD! He loves you and always keeps His promises. He is always true to His Word and is always working things out for good for those who love Him.
Once you fall into the first trap of doubting God’s character, or forgetting who He really is, it is like hitting that spider’s web. From there our enemy will begin to further trap you by wrapping you up in his lies. Only those who are properly wearing the Armor of God have a chance of escaping!
Trap #2: Becoming drunk with mind numbing activities and idol worship
This is the second of the 5 traps that can hinder God’s blessings. It is like being lulled to sleep in the middle of danger.
The children of Israel joined in the foreign culture and drank wine which robbed them of their understanding. When I fell into this trap, I used things other than wine to ease my pain. My ‘wine” was TV! Just a harmless little show that would help me take my mind off of my current situation, turned into hours.Before I knew it the whole afternoon would be gone. It wasn’t always TV, I got to where I could use any activity as an excuse not to do what God was calling me to do. I used housecleaning, calling a friend, or even exercise (I was really desperate then).
Are there activities that you hide behind or drown your sorrows in?
When we look for answers to our problems in the wrong places, Like the Israelites worshiping idols, we become disconnected from God. This disconnect makes it even easier for the enemy to spin more lies and further trap you.
Trap #3: Acting like cows instead of sheep.
Israel is stubborn, like a stubborn heifer. So should the Lord feed her like a lamb in lush pasture? (Hosea 4:16 NLT)
Once the enemy has you trapped in self pity, it becomes hard to hear the voice of the Lord. When we allow ourselves to become drunk on the advice or consoling of the world, the temptation is to give up on the dream and find a different way. A “do it yourself” kind of attitude is sometimes helpful but when it comes to removing God from the lead position you have definitely fallen into another trap. That is why the third of the 5 traps is stubbornness.
Cows are stubborn creatures. They have to be herded, prodded, and roped to get them to go in the right direction. Cows must be fenced in or else they are prone to wander. Sheep on the other hand know the sound of their shepherd’s voice and they just come when he calls. Sheep follow the shepherd’s lead willingly and stay near him for protection.
Trap 4: Blaming others and preferring shame over honor.
The 4th of the 5 traps that can hinder God’s blessings is multi-layered.
When we find ourselves out of God’s will or off the narrow path, the easiest thing to do is to put the blame somewhere else. That’s the way Adam and Eve did it, right? Eve blames the snake and Adam blamed Eve. Knowing that neither of these accusations would hold up, they turned their blame towards God Himself. This goes back to trap number one. The temptation is to redefine God so that it becomes His fault instead of our own.
Then in order for those inconsistencies to stick, we must cloak ourselves with shame.
- God does provide for others, but just not for me because…. (fill in the blank) I’ve disappointed Him, I’m not meant to have this blessing, I’m not good enough, loved enough, or smart enough).
- Some people are meant to live in abundance, but not me because…I can do without it, God wants me to suffer for Him, I shouldn’t desire nice things, wanting good things from God is selfish and prideful.
- I don’t need that promise because God has blessed me in so many other ways.
This false humility is like wearing a garment of shame instead of honor.
God’s desire is to give to His children out of His abundance!
He wants you to be clothed with the glory and honor of Jesus so that we can do the work of bringing His Kingdom to Earth. Of course this doesn’t have to mean the best of everything and riches beyond measure, but it certainly doesn’t mean poverty!
We must break out of the trap of settling for less because we are too lazy or afraid to do the work required and then turn around and blame God for just not wanting to provide.
Trap 5: Taking the credit for yourself
God allows us to go through these hard times so that we will call out to Him. His promise is that He will always meet us in the wilderness, tell you about His love, teach you His ways, and bring you back home.
The last of the 5 traps that can hinder God’s blessings is Pride. In Hosea the author warns that when victory comes or the dream is coming true, don’t forget God and take the credit for yourself.
I have been the LORD your God ever since I brought you out of Egypt. You must acknowledge no God but me, for there is no other savior. I took care of you in the wilderness, in that dry and thirsty land. But when you had eaten and were satisfied, you became proud and forgot me. Hosea 13:4-6 NLT
I believe that God protects us from this trap by allowing us to wait upon Him. If the goal we are setting out to accomplish just fell into our hands, it would be very easy to take the credit for it. Especially as others around you showered you with praise and congratulations.
Getting back on the right path.
If you should find yourself caught in one of these traps, just call out to the Lord and do so quickly! The sooner you recognize the lies of the enemy the easier it will be to break free. The escape plan it easy.
- Repent and confess your thoughts and actions to the Lord.
- Accept His love and forgiveness
- Get back in the oven until the timer goes off!
- Stay in the Word and connected with Him in prayer
- Talk to Him about your doubts and fears when they come
- Claim His promises and remember His character daily
Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall. Hosea 14:9 NLT
It is hard to stay on that straight and narrow path. That is why we need God’s Word and a lamp to guide us and keep us from stumbling. But should you stumble, just take it immediately to the Lord. Let Him clean up your scraped knees and help you stand back up so that you don’t get caught in the enemy’s traps!
5 traps that hinder God’s blessings
Learning to recognize the traps of the enemy is the best way to avoid the traps. I am very allergic to poison ivy, therefore I know exactly what it looks like and have trained my kids to know how it looks as well. A great book to learn more about the traps of the enemy is The Bait of Satan by John Bevere.
Pass down what you learn.
Remember we go through these times so that we can help others when they stumble and fall. As you learn from the Lord, don’t forget to teach these truths to your children. Give them the same grace that the Father gives you when you stumble and fall. Show them how to fight and stay on the narrow path of God’s abundance and promises.
I hope this word has encouraged you. Recently, I had to pull out my sword and cut myself down from the web of the enemy. I am so thankful to my Savior and for Godly friends He has given me to journey with. Also, I am so very thankful for you! I would love to hear from you or to know how I can pray for you. There is a place to leave comments below.
Blessings from our family to yours,