Shake off the Viper!
March 8, 2020 (Post #30)
(From Journal #2: September 7, 2005)
In Acts 28, Paul made it to the island of Malta. All on the ship were saved because of him. He gathered brushwood and as he put it on the fire, a viper driven out by the heat fastened itself to his left hand! The islanders thought he must have done something to deserve it, that it was a punishment. The people expected him to swell up and die, but when he didn’t, they changed their minds and thought he was a god. Paul had so much faith (fire) that he didn’t panic or fear the viper. But Paul shook off the snake and suffered no ill effects! The people then knew Paul was different and that something special was on his life. He then, through the power of Jesus, healed everyone on the island! Then Paul did much traveling to get to Rome. The Lord sent some brothers who invited Paul, Luke and the others to stay with them. The Bible said that at the sight of these men, Paul thanked God and was encouraged. Even though Paul had been through so much and seen God’s faithfulness many times, he still needed encouragement and God provided it!
I see a parallel: It was raining and cold. Life can be such. But when we fight back and build a “fire” in our heart with the Word of God, and keep putting “brushwood” on it by studying/meditating/growing, the vipers in our life will come out of the fire and attack us. As Christians, the more we grow, the bigger the threat we are and the more the viper (satan, the enemy) wants to attack. You see, if we don’t apply any heat, the viper remains comfortable and unthreatened. But when heat (the Word, faith) is applied, he will attack. And people are watching. They’ll make assumptions about why things come against us. They’ll blame God or think we deserve it somehow. People expect the worst when you say “cancer,” but because of Jesus, I choose to shake off that cancer viper, praise God! And just like Paul, You’ve encouraged me so many times, especially since the lymphoma diagnosis. I am healed; I know it. But during this journey, You have sent people to encourage me with a Word of confirmation You’ve give to them. You bless me so, Lord! Thank You so much!
Acts 28:5: But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.
Acts 28:15: And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to see us… When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.