Watch for Snakes | Walking Worthy: Watch for Snakes

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Watch for Snakes

I can still hear my mom’s voice: “Ashlee, watch for snakes.” In rural New Mexico (where I grew up) if a snake bites you, you might die before ever reaching a hospital.  It’s serious and something you don’t take lightly. When you watch for snakes you observe your surroundings, you listen for a rustling in the grass, you are diligent and aware that a snake can be anywhere and they are dangerous.

I thought about watching for snakes recently as spiritual warfare rose up around me. Everywhere I turned I had another conversation with someone who was in a battle.  My heart grew weary and heavy.

The Battle is Strong
Sometimes the battle seems stronger than me and threatens to overwhelm my heart. I wonder, do we recognize the battle? Do we understand what is happening around us? 

1 Peter 5:8 tell us “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 

I wonder if we understand this image. Do we comprehend the image of a hungry lion looking to devour someone? Devour means “to swallow up or destroy”.  The enemy wants to destroy us, that is not a game, that’s battle language.

Don’t Fear - Be Aware
We should not walk in fear of the enemy. 1 Peter 5:8  says that we need to be of sober mind (free from the influence of intoxicants) and to be alert (to be vigilant, give strict attention to, be cautious). We need to be actively be aware that the battle is strong, it’s serious, and the enemy want to destroy us. We should not walk in fear of what the enemy might do, but we must be on guard.

Resist the Enemy
1 Peter 5:9 goes on to say “But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.”  Resist means “to set oneself up against, to cause to stand.” This word is in the active voice, which means it’s something we should do. In Ephesians 6:10-14, we see this same idea, Paul calls believer to stand firm against the enemy. The word stand firm means “to fix or establish, to cause a person or thing to keep its place, to uphold or sustain the force of anything” We have an active role in the battle, it is to resist, to stand firm, to hold fast against what the enemy throws our way.

We are NOT Alone
As we stand firm, we are not alone in the battle. Exodus 14:14 tells us “The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.” 2 Chronicles 20:15 says “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” The Lord God is a Mighty Warrior, and the battle is His. We must actively stand firm while clinging to the Lord and looking to Him to be our strength. He will faithfully fight on our behalf. We cannot walk alone or by our own strength. We need the ultimate Warrior King who is capable of anything.

Rest in God
God is bigger and greater than the enemy. The battle may feel like a great multitude, but it is not bigger than God. I believe the Lord allows the battle to feel great, so we seek Him and remember how desperately we need Him. In the weariness, I am reminded of what David says in Psalm 61:1-3

Psalm 61:1-3
Hear my cry, O God;
Give heed to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been a refuge for me,
A tower of strength against the enemy.

When you grow weary, seek the Lord and rest in Him.

Remember the Word
The word is vital in battle. It is the Word that reminds us how to walk, encourages us to turn to the Lord and renews our mind. You cannot walk in battle or stand firm without it. Never underestimate the power of the word of God in battle.

Don’t Stop Fighting
As God restores and refreshes us, it’s important that we get up and keep walking. We must continue our vigilance and once again watch for snakes. Not fearing, but always trusting. The cycle repeats itself: Watch, stand firm, rest in God, stand up and do it again.

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