Recently, I found myself standing at my bedroom window, looking out at the results of a rare (for Victoria) freezing rainstorm.  As I surveyed my backyard, I spied, with my little eye, a robin flying to land in our cherry tree.  As the bird lit on an icy branch, it slipped and ended up hanging upside down ? its leg twisted and caught between two branches.

At first it tried to flap its wings and get free ? only to give up and hang around some more.  When I called my wife over to look at this unfortunate bird's dilemma, the sight of both of us scared it enough to try to get free again ? with the same upside down results.  It was not until I went out and entered our backyard (hoping to see what kind of a hand I could give our winged victim) that the site of me approaching caused Robin Red Breast to panic and try hard enough to actually get free.

Many modern Christians are like that robin ? trapped in upside down situations and unwilling to try very hard to get free.  The road God has called His children to walk is straight and narrow.  When we slip off to the side of that way, all that waits for us is an upside down trap.  Such snares that wandering believers have become trapped by rarely seem too unpleasant to them.  For instance, though they know greed and materialism are not God's will for followers of Jesus, once embraced there is not much about those snares that motivate their captives to break free of them.  The same is true of sexual sin - a trap that feels good enough to not inspire a sinning Christian to get out of it.

Sadly, like the trapped bird, it isn't until a really big scare comes along that smartens the enslaved up to the peril of their bondage.  It's the realization of a life mostly wasted on the pursuit of the material, instead of the spiritual, that eventually wakes them up.  It's the real potential of loosing family, reputation, ministry opportunities, and health that scares them into sexual purity and spiritual sobriety.  Even sadder is that for these the consequences of the chosen bondage cannot be escaped.  Rather, the successful flight away from the scare takes with it a broken leg, a shortness of remaining life, or the loss of a cherished spouse and family life.

Stay on the straight and narrow away.  Flee slippery branches.>

Rev James Snyder videoPastor Tim has retired from pastoring local churches and is now working alongside his wife to help refugees and persecuted Christians.

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