Caught In a Snare: Overcoming Sin’s Firm Grip

Caught in sin's firm grip

“My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare.”

I have something that I need to admit to all of you… I’m a sinner. I’m sure that comes as no surprise to you, but I was always taught to start with the truth. The reality, which I’m sure that you’re also already aware of, is that we’re all sinners. Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Another reality that we know to be true is that although our spirits have been saved and sanctified by Christ’s work on the cross, as long as we’re alive our flesh will continue to struggle with the temptations of this world.

At this point, you may be thinking to yourself, “That’s great, but why are you telling me all of this?” I say all of this as a prelude to what I’m about to say next, and I hope that it may be helpful to some of you who are right now in a desperate struggle. Some sins are easily overcome, and some seem to hold you firmly in their grasp; unwilling to let go no matter how hard you attempt to make an escape. They torture your mind with thoughts of fear, panic, and guilt and they destroy your body as you spiral uncontrollably toward desperation, destruction, and death. How do I know all of this? Because I’ve been there.

So, if you’re like me and you’ve been caught up in sin’s spin cycle, I pray that this will bring you some comfort and hope.

Sin Is Something Meant to Trap You, And Once It Does, It’s Difficult to Escape

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes a trap as, “often consisting of a noose for catching birds or mammals.” We’ve all seen movie depictions of a poor animal caught by the leg in a trap, struggling with all its might to escape. It’s an unpleasant scene, but a perfect visualization for the grip that sin can have on our lives. It seems to hold some supernatural power over us, that once we give in to its temptation, it becomes very difficult to break the cycle of rinse and repeat. In fact, Jesus goes so far in the scriptures as to liken it to slavery when He says, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” But why does sin seem to hold such power over us?

The simple answer is because that’s what the devil wants it to do. In 1 Peter 5:8 it says, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we make it easy on him and fall into sin without much prompting, but since the time of Adam and Eve it’s been the sincerest desire of the father of darkness to see humanity sin our way into death and destruction. If he catches you in it, he wants to keep you in it. He whispers in your ear that you’ll feel so much better, enjoy life so much more, and make so many more friends if you’ll just fall for his tricks one more time. And when we do, the cycle of guilt and despair begins all over again. Or for some, maybe you’ve been caught in it so long that you don’t even feel the negative effects of your sinful actions any longer. You may even say, “If sin has its advantages, then why stop?”

Here’s why:

The Longer You're Caught in Sin, The More It Begins to Destroy Your Life

Sin has consequences. The longer you’re trapped in it, the more it begins to erode both your physical and spiritual life. The physical consequences of sin are mostly obvious, but the spiritual consequences may be more difficult to discern. Living in sin makes it harder to have a right relationship with God, opens you up to additional concessions in other areas of your life, and destroys your witness to nonbelievers. “But it’s just a little white lie or a quick internet search that isn’t hurting anyone,” you might say. As we’ve already discussed, just a little sin leads to more sin, and then before we know it, we’re so deep in the pit that any attempt to escape feels futile. James 1:15 tells us that, “after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” When we make room for sin in our lives, we make room for the devil to get a foothold. And once the devil has a foothold, he’s more than reluctant to let go.

It may seem an overdramatization to say that death lies at the doorstep when sin enters in, but does scripture not tell us that “the wages of sin is death?” Don’t misunderstand, I fully believe that the Bible makes it clear that once you belong to Christ, you are His for all eternity. In John 6, Jesus solidifies this point when He says, “And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.” It’s also fact that until that last day, sin will remain a part of our carnal condition. But, if you don’t yet have a relationship with Christ, the truth of sin and its consequences should resonate with you in a real and impactful way. As the writer of Hebrews states in chapter 10, “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of truth, no sacrifice for sins is left.” And, if you do belong to Jesus, and you continue in your sins, then though the consequences may be different, the damaging impact to your life is real.

So, if sin has such a firm grip and the consequences are so grave, how can we possibly break free?

You Need the Help of Someone Else to Get Free

Returning to the illustration of an animal desperately trying to escape a trap, once you’ve been caught in a snare, it’s impossible to get out on your own. So, is there any way to break free from sin once it has a hold on your life? In 1 Peter 2:24 it says, “’He himself bore our sins’ in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; ‘by his wounds you have been healed.’” You see, you can’t release yourself from the death grip of sin, but there’s another who can. Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the One True God, by the power of His death and resurrection on the cross has been given the authority to break the chains of sin and set us free. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:21 that, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus, God incarnate, came down and dwelt among us, lived a sinless life, and then gave Himself up on a hill called Calvary for our righteousness’ sake. I don’t know about you, but to me that’s an earth-shattering revelation.

But why would Christ die for a sinner like me? He had one motivation when He carried that cross up Calvary’s hill… love. God makes it powerfully clear in the Gospel of John when He inspires His apostle to write, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Remember the game we all played as a child when you’d ask your parents, “How much do you love me?” and they’d stretch their arms out as wide as they could and say, “I love you this much.”? You have a God who loves you all the way to the cross. But there’s more great news: that cross and the grave could not hold Him. Our Triumphant King conquered death, rose up from that grave, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father. Death is defeated, your sin is no more, and by the power of the One who loves you this much, you’ve been set free!

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

So, the question for each of us is, “Are we going to let sin rule in our lives, or will we let Christ cleanse us from our unrighteousness?” If you know Him as your Lord and Savior, but sin seems to have a hold on you in some area of your life, then pray a prayer of repentance and ask God’s Holy Spirit to provide you the strength to resist the temptation to come. If you don’t yet know Jesus in a personal way, but you want to, then I want to help you take that step today. Simply pray the prayer below and invite God into your life to be your Lord and Savior.


Holy God,

I know that I’m a sinner in need of a Savior.

And, Jesus, by your death and resurrection, I know that you’re the Savior I need.

I pray for your forgiveness today, and I ask that you come into my life and be my Lord and Savior.

I give myself fully to you today, and I want to live all my days for you.

I pray these things in the name of Jesus, my Christ and King,



If you prayed this prayer, congratulations, and welcome to the family of God! I’m so excited for you. The next step in your journey is to get a Bible and begin reading, and to find a church where they preach through the scriptures. And, as always, if you leave a comment, I’d be happy to chat with you.


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