A sailing trip that began smoothly ended up a shipwreck on the island of Malta.
The cool night breeze demanded a fire so Paul “gathered a pile of brushwood and as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself to his hand.” (Acts 28:4)
When the friendly islanders saw the snake dangling from his hand they assumed “This man must be a murderer for though he escaped the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.” (Acts 28:4)
“But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects.
The islanders expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead but “after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him decided he was a god.” (Acts 28:5-6)
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible refers to Satan as the “Serpent.”
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals God had made.” (Gen 3:1)
“That ancient serpent called the devil or Satan, who leads the whole world astray” (Rev 12:9)
A venomous snake has just latched on to Paul biting him with all his might.
Paul should’ve been terrified and could have died but neither happened.
He simply shakes the serpent off and moves on. No panic, fear or flinching.
No attempts to reason with, understand, communicate with or ask the serpent “why?”
Acts 28: 1-6 is a textbook case of how knowledge and faith in God’s Word kills the enemy. It’s “Defeating the Enemy 101.”
Paul was a man educated in the scriptures. (Heb 3:5)
He knew that “no weapon formed against you shall prosper.” (Isa 54:17)
“You will tread upon the lion and the cobra, you will trample the great lion and the serpent.” (Ps 91:13) and “In your Name we trample our enemies.” (Ps 44:5)
For most, a deadly snake bite would evoke uncontrollable panic but Paul knew God’s Word said he would trample the snake and he does with a swift flick of his wrist.
No serpent was going to keep him from fulfilling the calling on his life.
Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10) but his attempts on Paul’s life failed that night because Paul’s actions said “No devil, not today!”
No debate or discussion.
Satan’s venom is filled with fears and poisonous lies shrouded in distorted truth because he knows doubt, unbelief and deceit are faith killers, joy stealers and destiny destroyers. (Gen 3:1-5)
“Girl, you have always tried to (fill in the blank___and never have. What makes you think you can now?” “You have always been ____.”
“It’s just who you are, in your family, the way it is.”
“You can’t” “What if you fail” “You aren’t ____ enough.” “Your sin is too great or your mess too messy to be forgiven, for you to be healed, restored or loved.”
Even Christ calls Satan “a liar and the father of lies” proclaiming that lies are his “native language” (John 8:44)
So whatever Satan is telling you is a lie – always has been and always will be.
James tells us to “resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (4:7).
Paul’s slinging off the serpent is equivalent to us swinging the “sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God” (Eph 6:17) and that is how we shake off the serpent that is Satan.
Interestingly, Paul never suffered a single symptom of the snakebite.
His faith in God’s Word provided the antidote which will always render the enemy’s venom powerless.
Never listen to Satan and “resist” giving him your attention. Don’t allow him to linger in the sacred space of your mind for even a second.
Don’t try to reason with him and absolutely do not fear him. He thrives on fear, chaos and drama.
Quickly and firmly shake him off with Scripture because while our words may not scare Satan, rest assured he is terrified of the active, alive, sharp, powerful Words of his Creator – God Almighty. (Heb 4:12)
No Devil. Not today!
Sandra Hubbard – Christian Speaker/Writer/Teacher