September 26

…a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand…. But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.” Acts 28:3,5

When Paul came out of the shipwreck he must have felt relieved and ready to enjoy a moment of rest and respite from the hardships of the storm. Yet here he is, gathering wood to help build a fire to warm himself and others. Then, in this moment of service, he is once more attacked, this time by a snake – through which he was being assaulted yet again by the devil. The poison of the devil came through the viper’s fangs into Paul’s bloodstream; and that poison can come through other means into our spirits – sometimes through words, events or thoughts. That these attacks will come is a certainty of life, and we must be spiritually armed and ready to take the necessary action. What should we do when he attacks? The answer is to simply shake the snake off into the fire of destruction. It may sound too simple and easy, but so it is with spiritual warfare. God causes us to tread on serpents and scorpions and on all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm us – Luke 10:19. By a simple act of faith we can shake off the awful power of Satan; his attacks cannot cling to a believing heart. His wounding lies and hurtful words will be utterly destroyed forever in the fire of God’s love that destroyed evil on the cross. In a moment, we are free and able to continue in our life of ministry to others. Stand up and shake off the serpent, and enter into the joy that God has prepared for you.