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The Venom of Fear
4/18/2017

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. Genesis 3:1 (NKJV)

Well, we are just over halfway through April and the rattlesnakes have made their way out of hibernation here in Southern California. A few years back my friend Jeremy had shared how a fairly large rattlesnake had struck at him and hit him in the back portion of his boot. Thankfully the fangs of the snake didn’t penetrate into his foot, but still it was a great reminder to be careful where we choose to tread. 

I remember another time when my wife Carol, and our friend Denise were up in the local mountains riding our mountain bikes. As we were ascending the trail, Denise yelled, “A snake!” This wasn’t the first time she had seen one, but it was particularly disturbing to her this day. I asked her if she wanted to cut the ride short and head back to the vehicles, but she said she wanted to continue. I could clearly hear her words saying, “Let’s keep going,” but her body language was saying, “Let’s not go any further.”

I reminded her of our prayer we had just brought before the Lord—a prayer for protection against anything potentially harmful. I then encouraged her to continue to keep her mind upon the Lord, and to trust Him, because He has promised us a perfect peace if we will do this.

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

I encouraged her to remember how God doesn’t want us to be anxious for anything, but to bring everything to him in prayer, and to think upon those things He has asked us to — those things lovely, praiseworthy, and of good report (Phil. 4:6-8). Denise knew these things, but she was being tempted to doubt, which is an attack from the enemy. As we identified the real source of her doubt and fear, she chose to take these thoughts captive, and a calmness and peace was given to her, and we continued to go forward on our ride.

As I thought about what had just transpired while riding on the trail, I started to think about how Satan will continue to tempt each of us in fear throughout our entire life. Satan will tempt us to stop moving forward on the path God has for us by tempting us to doubt the truth of God’s promises of provision and protection. Satan will try to deceive us into believing we will be safer, or somehow better off, if we just stop or go back when we encounter hindrances and obstacles on our path. But we must remember what Jesus has said.

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (NKJV)

· Jesus has told us Satan is a thief, and he comes to steal our peace. 

· Jesus has told us Satan is a killer, and he has come to kill our joy.

· Jesus has told us Satan is a destroyer, and he has come to destroy our Christian witness, as we stand paralyzed in doubt and fear. 

I want to encourage you today. Keep reading your Bible and continue to keep your mind fixed upon God. Never stop trusting Him. God has a plan for you specifically, and it includes walking in faith, and being filled with joy and peace. Jesus has given you life — choose to live it abundantly. 

STUDY QUESTION: According to John 10:10, what can we learn about Satan’s plan and about Jesus’ plan?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you trusting Jesus completely with every aspect of your life, including those times where you cannot see any possible way to continue?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Seek the Lord in prayer. Ask Him to minister to your needs and to speak to you clearly through the reading of His Word.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your protection and provision within my life. Father, I confess there are times when I look at the things in my path and I begin to doubt and worry. I am sorry for this and I choose today to place my faith in You — In Your perfect plans and timing for my life. Lord, help me to remember this when the enemy comes to tempt. 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