Though we may deceive ourselves and those around us, God will not be mocked. We may have avoided a few traps, but we have jumped right into the most damning trap of them all, and there is only one way of escape.
If the Greeks had delivered their gift to the people of Troy and said, “This is a huge wooden horse filled with soldiers ready to kill you.” the people of Troy would have known what they were getting. Instead, a real Trojan horse involves deception; it involves treachery you would not see coming.
Here is the problem with deception. As much as we try to see the snares laid out for us, there is often someone more clever than us trying to trap us. What might look like a snare may be a cleverly laid decoy to move us right into another, more dangerous trap.
Take, for example, the temptation to cheat on your taxes. Suppose something came across your path that showed you a way to fudge the numbers and not only avoid paying the government but receive a windfall from them instead. It is foolproof, and after all, we have all heard people say taxation is theft. This act would be a way to take back what is rightfully yours.
After careful consideration, you wisely avoid the temptation. Even if you could get away with it, you realize that it would put your family at risk, destroy your peace, and, more importantly, be an affront to God. You file your taxes as you should, you give Caesar what is Caesar’s, and you breathe a sigh of satisfaction as you do it.
You have successfully sidestepped temptation, and you thank God for it. “Lord, thank you that you have made me righteous enough to avoid these temptations.” As you live out your life, there are many moments like this. Snare after snare, trap after trap, you are a bird that always seems to escape the fowler. You protect your nest, and your family lives a long and joy-filled life because of your decisions and guidance.
Others are not so wise. As you go along life’s journey, you hear story after story of shipwrecked lives on the sea of temptation. As you watch some of them pick up the pieces, you see them beat their breast before God and say, “Lord have mercy upon me, a sinner.” Then they claim to have found it. They claim to be a friend of God. You do not exactly know what to do with those claims, but if it gives them peace, so be it. You are only glad God gave you enough wisdom to avoid their fate.