What a friend we have in Yeshua
Shake it Off
(#247 from Suffer Well Devotional Series©)
“But he shook the creature [viper] off into the fire, and suffered no harm.” (Acts 28:5)
How often have you considered such things, like Shaul’s (Paul’s) ability to overcome such a seemingly insurmountable physical obstacle? A viper “fastened on his hand” and he just “shook the creature off!” How about things that Abraham, Moses, and David overcame? How often have you thought, “Why not me?”
Let us consider how and why Shaul suffered no physical harm? It was not as you might think or imagine. Take heed loved one; nothing is ever physically achieved until it is spiritually conceived! Many acts of faith propelled Shaul’s ministry, but a recent specific memory of a spiritual promise fulfilled was most likely what inspired him during his encounter with the snake.
Just the night before, Shaul demonstrated amazing faith as he “believed” the promise of things to come even during a storm that was sure to take the lives of all aboard his ship, including his own. Consider his words; “For there stood by me this night a malak [messenger] of the Almighty to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Shaul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed the Almighty has granted you all those who sail with you.’ Therefore take heart, men, for I believe the Almighty that it will be just as it was told me.” (Acts 27:23-25)
Because Shaul could testify that “it will be just as it was told me,” not even a viper bite would mean death for him. Why? Because Yahweh made a promise to him that Shaul was certain would be fulfilled. “You must be brought before Caesar.” Just like Abraham believed Yahweh for his son’s inheritance, “My son, the Almighty will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering,” (Genesis 22:8) Shaul knew he would see the future Yahweh had promised.
Faith allowed Shaul to shake off the viper (mind tormentor) and move forward as if nothing had happened. Literally, he set his mind on things above, not on things on the earth (Colossians 3:2). He knew that Yahweh was his strength and his shield; his heart trusted in Him, and he was helped (Psalm 28:7). He was able to ignore the physical realm, and all of its illusions. It’s never from the physical where power is derived! Remember this! All power is spiritual; and all power is from Yahweh alone. There is no other source of power! (Psalm 62:11)
My soul, wait silently for the Almighty alone, for my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.
In the Almighty is my salvation and my glory;
The Rock of my strength, and my refuge is in the Almighty.
Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him; The Almighty is a refuge for us. (Psalm 62:5-8)