Acts 28:1-16, vs. 5, “But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm”
We have been created with a desire to be accepted, have a sense of belonging. Who does not want someone to say nice things about them? We all love compliments and affirmations. There is power in spoken words. It’s interesting to note how you can receive 10 compliments and one criticism is enough to outweigh the 10 compliments. You shift all the energy on the negative.
Let’s find out how Paul dealt with a situation that could break many folks. Paul and a few people had just survived a shipwreck, God preserved them. They landed on an Island called Malta and the natives of that Island showed them unusual kindness. They then made fire for them to keep them warm just like everyone desires to be shown kindness wherever they go, a sign of acceptance. While keeping themselves warm, Paul went about collecting more sticks for the fire.
As Paul was throwing sticks he had gathered into the fire, suddenly a snake leaped off the fire because of the heat and fastened itself around his wrist. Imagine surviving a shipwreck, and out of the fire a venomous snake coils around his wrist?; we would be quick to say, Paul was having a bad day.
As you walk with the Lord, hungry for more of Him, fueling your spiritual life, it would be like putting sticks in your fire. Well do not be surprised if you see snakes leap out the fire and fasten on your wrist. If anything, only the heat of the fire can reveal them. In your life, God will reveal things that could not be revealed in any other way but by fire. Not only that, people’s words and actions will leap to get hold of you. The question is, will you let their venom run through your system and kill you? The more I serve the Lord, the more I become a target to the enemy and the more I need to know to endure so do you.
Vs. 4, “So the natives saw the creatures hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow him to live”. Remember these people showed them kindness, this new situation changed their mind about Paul referring to him as a murderer. People can change their minds in seconds if something happens to you or if you stumble no matter what. You cannot live by people’s acceptance to make it in life. You have to know who you are in Christ to stand. Just because some people do not accept you for you does not change God’s mind about you. I cannot find anywhere where God looks for votes from people to see if He should bless you or not, you are the one who needs to forget those things which are behind and press on forward with God for a blessing.
Paul already knew God was keeping him a live to serve Him. He had already survived the worse at that time compared to this challenge. Regardless of what they thought of him, he was not moved, he shook the snake off his wrist and into the fire, that is where to send everything against you. He did not care what they thought of him, He thought of Him who cared for him. Everyone was waiting for him to drop dead. In your life, something happened many are waiting to see what will happen to you, but you got to shake it off into the fire. Shake off men’s opinions. Shake off confusion, frustration, bitterness, resentments, worry, fear, doubts, and brokenness into the fire. These are things that try to coil themselves around your wrist when you are adding more sticks into your fire. Don’t sit and analyze the snake and see what’s going to happen, shake it off at once. You do the shaking.
They waited for Paul to fall and die, the snake’s bite had not effect on him, so they changed their minds about him. Paul could have sat there and tried to defend himself for not being a murderer but his actions proved he was a man of God. You may never change the minds of people even if you explain, your reaction and actions will silence their mouth.
What has leaped out of the fire to coil around your wrist today or of late sending venom of worry, doubt and fear in your system? be of good cheer it’s a sign your fire is burning therefore shake off what is holding onto you back into the fire burning Jesus name and keep living for God. Blessings Ev.