Do Not Stop Trapping Evil!
This title could be applied to Paul’s encouragement in 2 Corinthians 10.4-6: ‘…bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ….’ Interestingly, the Aramaic word for ‘prayer’ means ‘to set a trap’. You can set traps for good, God ideas and for bad, satan ideas. Trapping good, God ideas is illustrated by Peter and John’s actions in Acts 3.1-16 and Acts 4.29-31, which is the subject of the study titled, ‘Imagine the Possibilities’.
Jesus’ Parable of the Persistent Widow in Luke 18.1-8 will encourage you to set traps for bad, satan ideas.
Understand the characters and context of the story.
- The heroine is a woman of great faith because of what she said and to whom. ‘Tenacious’ and ‘faith-filled’ would be words to describe her. Further, she clearly understood what she wanted and would not settle for less. She imagined freedom from oppression and pursued it with endurance!
- The second character is none other than satan himself; note in verse 2 that he did not fear God or regard/respect man. satan is described by God in Isaiah 14.12-15 and by Jesus in Luke 13.16, to confirm his statement about himself.
- Apparently, the third character is one of satan’s demons which he has assigned the task of tormenting the widow; the ‘adversary’ in verse 3.
- The greatest characteristic of the widow reveals the weakest characteristic of satan, in verse 5. The scene is best illustrated in Judges 16.16-17.
- Like Samson, satan reveals his vulnerability to being trapped – endurance!
And, that is Jesus’ point of the parable.
- As He says in verse 1, ‘always…pray’ and never ‘lose heart’. In other words, do not stop trapping satan; be persistent! he will give in! Actually, he must when you use the name ‘Jesus’ against him. See Philippians 2.9-11.
- Defend yourself, your minor children, and all who ask your help from satan’s torments of stealing, killing, and destroying (John 10.10a).
- In verse 6 of the story, Jesus calls your attention to what satan said; to paraphrase: you will wear me down by standing firm in the faith you speak! Remember Mark 11.22-24 and James 1.5-8.
- Jesus’ other point in the story, in verses 7-8a, is that you do not have to continually ask God for what you need. He does not need to be talked into giving it to you; no begging. He just needs to see your faith; see Hebrews 11.6. He, even, tolerates your little faith! He will move ‘speedily’ to protect and provide for you! The greater your faith, the faster He acts!
‘Nevertheless’, that is, however or in spite of that….
- In spite of the facts (1) that satan can be overcome by persistent words spoken in faith and (2) that God answers quickly, especially when He sees faith (like that illustrated in Matthew 9.22), will Jesus find great, little, or no faith when He returns for you?
- Will He find you pushing satan out of your life and away from your property, employment, and relationships? See James 4.7.
- Will He find you calling upon the only name by which you can be saved in this life and for eternity? See Acts 4.12.
- Your assignment is to trap and implement the good, God ideas He gives you and to trap and defeat the bad, satan ideas he uses to torment you.
Keep Praying/Setting Traps!!! Remember Luke 21.28!!!