Tim and I are taking a brisk Saturday walk down a street close to the river. I lift my foot to take a step and suddenly recoil.
“Look! A snake in the road!”
Tim says, “Where?”
“Right here! See?!
I point to a snake the same color as the street. A sort of dead snake. Okay, a very dead snake. And this one hadn’t been very smart. He’d made a fatal mistake by gliding into the path of a car. It was not pretty.
Did you know that dead snakes are great teachers? It’s true. This one teaches us three things:
- Fear thinks it outpowers us. But in a showdown between a 5,000-pound sedan bearing down on a five-ounce slitherer, guess who wins? Fear has no authority. When we speak out Scripture, we squash fear because we’re heavyweights. Here’s a good one to speak out:
Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. (Jesus, in Luke 10:19, ESV)
Jesus tells us to jump up and down on snakes. What fun is the kingdom unless you get to squish an evil little guy or two? When we were kids, some of us jumped on beds. Boing! Boing! Boing! Now we get to bounce on snakes. And scorpions, apparently, if you’re into that sort of thing (or not into them, as the case may be). Joomp! Joomp! Joomp!
- The sting of danger hovers near death. But it can’t touch us when we exercise authority over it. I’m allergic to bees. While we shot these photos with my smartphone, bees swarmed the snake and I had no other choice but to share him. Was I scared of the bees? Nope. I said, “Bees, you will not sting me. You will not touch me.” And they hovered, but didn’t sting. A bee heard me pray, wrung his hands, then panicked and buzzed off.
- “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (Jesus, in John 10:10, NIV) When the devil tries to put us in harm’s way and to mess with us, he unwittingly puts himself into a battle he cannot win. When we operate out of our true authority in Christ, the enemy gets smashed in the process. He stands no chance against the power of God Almighty expressed in us.