Acts 28:3 – And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.
If you’ve ever worked at clearing land of trees, shrubs, brush, and the like, you have likely experienced at least a small portion of what Paul encountered as he gathered dry wood for fire. If you’ve ever camped and had to build a campfire, you’ve had similar experience. In both instances, you have gathered sticks for burning. You may not have encountered a venomous snake, but you were likely exposed to some kind of poisonous plant (poison oak or ivy or sumac), and if you’ve lived long enough, you’ve surely encountered thorns or briars. The point is simple; when you’re about the business of just living, obstacles, problems, and even attacks will arise against you.
At this point, the key question is this. When those attacks come, what will you do? A point I often make when speaking and writing is this. Every attack that comes against you in life, be it satanic or not, Satan will use as a tool in his attempt to steal from you, kill, you, and destroy any possible righteous influence you can bring. After all, that is his modus operandi, or his M.O. I urge you, for that reason, don’t deliberately say or do things that make such attacks possible. There will be more than enough for you to battle in life to prevent Satan’s John 10:10 description.
Once again, I submit this question to you. When lethal attacks come at you, what will be your response? We see Paul’s. He simply shook the serpent off into the fire, trusting the Lord, and went on without any ill effects. But let me become a bit more focused. What was Paul doing? He was building and maintaining a fire necessary for warmth and survival. My friend, in the church today, that is still the work of every man and woman of God. You have the Consuming Fire (Holy Ghost) living inside you. What fuel do you offer to keep that fire burning brightly, intensely, in its consuming capacity, and in its purifying capacity? The world about you is in darkness. it’s cold out there, and sadly, the chill seems to be doing more than simply spilling over into the church. In some churches, the fire has all but gone out. Let our prayer be this; no matter how many serpents may rise from the fire, no matter how desert-like the world around us is, we will build the fire, keep it high, and bring others to it that their life, too, may become ignited by Holy Ghost. Don’t fear death. Handle it like a child of God, with boldness, with authority, with fire.
Manna for Today – Acts 28:1-10; Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-20; John 10:10