Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Don't Tread On Me

Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.
~ Luke 10:19, ESV ~
What does your enemy look like?  Do you feel like you are thrust out into the world only to be devoured by that foe?

Jesus Christ was the quintessential mentor and leader.  He would instruct, equip, model and then send his disciples forth to practice what had just been demonstrated to them.  In the book of Luke, Chapter 10, we see Jesus sending out 72 disciples to preach the Good News to others that God was in their midst.  Very specific instructions are given along with authority to heal in Jesus' name.

You can virtually hear the smile of the Savior as He gives even more authority to the returning 72 who are gushing with their stories from the mission field.  Jesus reveals to these disciples who their enemy really is, and gives them complete dominion over that enemy.  

You see, the serpent and the scorpion were both symbols for Satan.  Most of us are quite familiar with the devil taking the form of a tempting snake in the Garden of Eden as detailed in the Book of Genesis.  However, it is likely few of us realize that aside from being a nasty, venomous creature, a "scorpion" is also the name of the very type of scourging whip* that was used to torture Jesus before his crucifixion.

Snakes and scorpions engender much fear in us.  They look wicked.  They have the ability to harm us, paralyze us, even kill us.  Often they seem so powerful to us that we are frozen and terrorized merely by the sight of these beasts, before they even strike.

Yet, the Savior of the World has given each of us who follow Him the power, the right, the dominion to tread on the ability of Satan.  You, dear friend, have the power to put your foot on the neck of your opposition just as the Israelites did in Joshua 10:24.  You need not be disturbed that anything can harm you, because God Himself assures you security.  You can resist the devil with confidence, knowing that any pain that comes your way is Father-filtered.  You know the outcome.  If God allows negative experiences in your life, it is to shape your character and for Him to be magnified.  In the end, you win, and Satan loses.

So what is your snake or scorpion?  Is it your child's diagnosis?  Is it the bill collector that continues to hound you until those medical expenses are paid off?  Is it the deterioration of your child's behavior, despite your best efforts?  Where does your enemy work on you?

Take heart, fellow struggler!  You are not alone.  The Holy Spirit who lives inside of you has given you marching orders with the power to trample these enemies under foot.  You know the outcome.  This only represents a season you are passing through.  God has His best in mind for you and those you love.  When you feel frozen and terrorized by your snakes and scorpions, proclaim with the authority given to you, "Don't tread on me!", and move forward in the power of Christ.  You are the head, not the tail!

PRAY:  Jesus, only with your instruction can I learn how to go forward with this day.  Holy Spirit, fill me with the wisdom to follow Your directions, so that the power You give me to handle life's challenges is fully available to me.  Thank You for the ability to walk in freedom and authority, rather than fear and destruction.

*The New Unger's Bible Dictionary, Unger, Merrill, RK Harrison, Moody Publishers; New Edition edition (June 1, 2009), p 1140

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