Spring had finally arrived, and with it, the long-anticipated warmer weather. It was the perfect day to enjoy nature, and once church was over, we took some of the youth for a trek through the woods.
The young people couldn’t stop talking about a special lake they were familiar with, and after much prodding on their part, we packed our swimsuits for the trip. I was more than a bit sceptical. The weather may have been warm, but generally it takes several months for larger bodies of water, especially ones as deep as that lake, to lose their winter chill! Brrrr!!!!!
The long trek required to arrive at our destination left us sweating, and I had to admit that the lake was, indeed, beautiful and inviting; but I still didn’t want to go for a swim! How could I get out of it? Hum. Maybe I could pretend to faint. Or even better, just pretend I wasn’t feeling well! Nah. The young people would be quick to identify those excuses for what they really were: lies!
Suddenly one of the boys spotted something swimming towards us. Only its small head was above the water, and at first we had a hard time figuring out what it was. It seemed to want to satisfy our curiosity however, so it swam straight towards us. That’s when, to our horror, we realized that it was a water snake!
As it neared the edge of the lake, it slithered into a hole of some kind, but it kept sticking its ugly head back out of the ground. Was it trying to defy us?
Is it any wonder that no one went swimming that day?
But wait a minute. If such a tiny creature can keep so many people at bay, shouldn’t we also be running away from the filthy temptations the “serpent” (AKA the Devil) throws our way? It doesn’t matter what the trap may be, whether it is stealing, swearing, drugs, pornography, booze… It is a trap nonetheless, and his intention is our destruction. The apostle Paul clearly warned us about him: “I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless.” (1 Thess 3:5 NIV)
Joseph knew how to face filthy temptation: he ran away! (See Gen 39:12) He knew that the tempter is only after the destruction of our faith, and without it, we become hopeless and useless for the Kingdom!
Let’s face it: All of the Serpent’s temptations are based on lies, filth and self-abasement (see John 8:44), a trap set to ruin us for life (see 2 Tim 2:26). Only through God’s power can we stand firm and victorious. Only though the power of the Holy Spirit can we see those traps for what they really are: An attempt to alienate us from our Maker! But the good news is, that power is at our disposal!
“This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (1 John 5:4-5 NIV)
Would you like to swim in a snake-infested lake? What? Doesn’t it look appealing anymore?
(To access the entire “The Slimy, Slithering, Beady-Eyed, Forked-Tonged Serpent” devotional series, please click here.)