On a brisk Saturday walk with Tim on a street that flanks the Willamette River. I lifted my foot to take a step and suddenly recoiled.
“Look! A snake in the road!”
Tim said, “Where?”
“Right here! See?!
I pointed 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 the fatal mistake of gliding into the path of a car. It wasn’t pretty.
When you and I struggle to forgive ourselves, the enemy slithers into our thoughts and pretends to carry authority. But we walk in all the authority of a Christ who indwells us. When we boldly move forward in that authority, we take back ground from the enemy, and willingly accept ourselves, foibles and all.
Did you know that dead snakes are great teachers? That one taught me three things:
- Fear thinks it outpowers us. But in a showdown between a 5,000-pound sedan and a five-ounce reptile, 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:
Jesus tells us to jump up and down on snakes. What fun is warfare unless you get to squish an evil little guy or two? When we were kids, some of us jumped on beds. Now we get to trounce on snakes. And scorpions, apparently, if you’re into that sort of thing.
- 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. Was I scared of the bees? Nope. I said, “Bees, you will not sting me. You will not touch me. Get lost, in the name of Jesus.”When they heard me pray, they wrung their teensy hands, 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.” (John 10:10) 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.
What are you taking authority over today?
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