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Shaking Off The Snake
7/18/2014

But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. Acts 28:3,5 (NKJV)

In the Book of Acts there is a story where the Apostle Paul is laying a bundle of sticks on the fire, and a viper comes out because of the heat and fastens on his hand.  As I read this story, I can’t help but see a type of picture that the Lord is giving each and every one of us as Christian men and women.  There are several components to this picture.

The first component is the viper—the viper is synonymous with the serpent in the Garden of Eden—it is a picture of the devil.

The second component is awareness—we need to be aware of our surroundings and of what we are doing.  We should never be so complacent in thinking we are immune from attacks from the enemy.

The third component is the fastening of the serpent to Paul.  I believe this represents a stronghold of the enemy.  It isn’t just making a mistake and sinning one time, but it is where we might struggle with an ongoing sinful act—a stronghold.   A stronghold can be just about any sinful practice we continue to do even though we know it to be wrong.  It can be an addiction to tobacco, alcohol, pornography, gossiping, bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, disrespect, or just about any work of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21).

The last component of this story—and I think is really important—Paul had to shake the serpent off.  The serpent didn’t just bite and then release; it had to be flung off by effort.  I believe this is the same for any sinful practice in our life.  We can’t just wait for one day when God waives His magic wand over us and expect to be free from the temptation of sin.  We will always be tempted, but never more than what we are able to bear (1 Cor. 10:13). 

Q:         So how do we fling the stronghold of sin from our body?

First, we must make a conscious decision within our minds and in our hearts to obey the Lord.  Second, we must determine we love God more than we desire to do whatever it is that is tempting us.  Third, it is imperative for us to take every sinful thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5), and choose not to think upon them.  Fourth, we must think only upon the truth of God’s Word and the promises contained within it (Phil. 4:8).  Fifth, we must then ask God to fill us with His Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18) so we can be empowered to walk in freedom.  Lastly, we must begin to walk in faith so God’s power is activated in our lives.  We need to remember God has given us the authority to trample on the power of the enemy.

Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19 (NKJV)

Perhaps you can say that the enemy has bitten you and he is not willing to let go.  Make a decision today to fling off the serpent and choose to be free from any stronghold.

STUDY QUESTION: According to Jesus, what type of authority have we been given with respect to the power of Satan?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Can you see where the enemy has fastened upon you and is not willing to let go?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Make a decision today to fling him off and choose to walk in the freedom God has given you by the blood of Jesus.

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER: Father, thank You for giving me the power to trample on the enemy and to be free of any stronghold.  Help me to see any place where the enemy has fastened upon me.  I choose to be free today.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

 


Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000