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Shake off temptation

  • Acts 28:6- The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead, but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.

    Mark 16:18- they will pick up snakes with their hands, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will be made well."

    Do you know what venom from a poisonous snake does to blood? Within seconds, and as much as minutes the area where the bite occurs causes blood to harden into an almost solid state. 

    This is obviously not a good thing. It will eventually cause a clot that could cause shock, and without anti-venom a person could die from it. 

    We see from scripture that snakes and man do not mix. In fact the first encounter with a snake was in Genesis with Eve. The tempter. A snake is not just a symbol of evil, but of temptation. The snake in Genesis tempted Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The snake tempted her into wanting to  be like God instead of depending on God. This is pride and what happen was the blissful grace, the easy fruit to pick from, the abundance of peace were all gone in an instant. Sort of like the blood getting clotted after an influx of venom. These scriptures are literal, and I believe them in a natural and super-natural sense. I don’t know that I would test the Lord and go looking for poisonous snakes to pick up, or poison to drink. That is exactly what the point of what I want to share.

    Temptation can come in many forms, and sometimes we don’t recognize it, but when it gets to a point, we ultimately know. The temptation, like the snake is cunning and smart, opportunistic, and potentially deadly. And the full fruit of temptation is the action of doing something the enemy suggests for our ultimate destruction. 

    It is not in our best interest to snuggle up with either a temptation or a snake because of the potential harm it can do.

    Paul was sent to Rome for a trial, and along the way the Lord had a plan for him to stop in Malta, where the viper bit him. We all have a call on our lives, and we who have accepted Jesus Christ have nothing to fear when we are following our call from Him. We can get bit by snakes, drink poison, and not be harmed. We have Jesus in us all the time and we are protected. The larger point here is that Paul didn’t know the viper was in that bundle of sticks that was fueling the fire. He was not out looking for snakes to handle. The snake latched on to his hand. That is how we should treat temptation. We have the anti-venom in grace through Jesus, but why would we look for snakes to handle. If a temptation comes out of nowhere and latches on to us, then we know that grace will consume all that temptation, overtake it, and protect us. We don’t need to go digging for a snake to prove to others that we are infallible through Jesus. That is asking to get bit, asking for problems in our lives that don’t belong there. We must go through life in freedom knowing that we are protected, that we are cared for, and if something comes along that latches on to us, Jesus will protect us, and we will ultimately be used to heal others just like Jesus tells us in Mark, and just like Paul does in Malta. We know that we will be well because of grace, because of Grace the person, Jesus. He is our Grace, our anti-venom, our healer. Don’t go out looking for snakes to handle, (unless of course you are in fact a snake handler, then obviously you have a job to do) but if you’re like me, know that snakes may come along even when we aren’t looking for them. If temptation, like a snake latches on to you, do like Paul did. Shake it off and keep it moving. (Acts 28:5-But Paul shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no ill effects).  Don't get caught up in whether or not it will kill you or take you out. Know that we have the truth of Jesus Christ in us, and sometimes these things happen. Trust that Jesus through His unending grace, has the anti-venom for each and every one of us.

    Father, we thank You for providing the cure for all things that look to harm us. We thank You that we can walk confidently in this life knowing that we are safe from death through Jesus Christ. Keep us Lord from all temptations, especially the ones that look like blessings. Father we look to You for all things, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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