“And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm,” (Acts 28:5).
Paul and some other prisoners were sailing to Rome when, “…a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon,”(Acts 27:14) arose and the ship eventually ran aground. Everyone made it safely off the ship onto the island of Melita (Acts 28:1). They kindled a fire and Paul was gathering sticks to lay on the fire when a venomous viper came out of the heat “…and fastened on his hand,”(Acts 28:3). Everyone watched, waiting for Paul to die. Instead, Paul shook the viper off his hand into the fire. The Bible records Paul “…felt no harm,”(Acts 28:5).
Some of you have been through so much, people were watching and waiting to see if you would faint, give up, or curse God. Perhaps this describes where you are now in your walk with Christ. Maybe you feel like giving up. You’re exhausted and you don’t know how you’re going to make another day. Every other scripture and Bible story I provided in this book, while you acknowledge they were good, didn’t minister the healing and deliverance you desperately sought and needed. If this describes you, I want to tell you to shake it off.
Some things hold on to us because we allow them to be so. Some things hold on to us because we’re comfortable with them. I grew comfortable with my depression and fear as they gave me the excuses I was looking for not to pursue my dreams. I grew comfortable in my fear because it allowed me to be lazy. Fear gave me permission to disobey God. Besides, God knew my heart and He knew I was too afraid to speak before crowds or publicly share my writings. He understood what I was going through. And so, I stayed stuck right where I was.
Paul didn’t give the viper opportunity to wrap itself around his arm. The viper fastened on to Paul’s hand and he immediately shook it off and felt no harm. My friend, you’ve been holding on to depression, despair, hatred, anger, unforgiveness, and envy so long they’ve become comfortable to you. Shake off any of these things that may have fastened themselves to you.
God loves you unconditionally. Relax in His love. Embrace His love. Find confidence and assurance in His love. Be bold in His love. Overcome with His love.
Shake off any and everything which comes to hinder your walk with Christ. Walk in the truth in the Lord Jesus Christ and be the Overcomer He came and died for you to be. You are better, stronger, and more powerful than you know. Victory, joy, and freedom are yours in Christ Jesus. And although the enemy will try you from time to time with the same things you’ve already overcome, standing on the Word of God will help you prevail over every attack the enemy brings.
Did you enjoy this excerpt from Aretha’s book, Overcomer: 25 Keys to Walking Victoriously?
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