They come in all forms, at moments when we least expect and least prepared. Thanks be to God, who comes to our rescue, when we submit in obedience to Him.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Lions and serpents
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and serpent you shall trample underfoot. Psalm 91:13
We northerners live among few dangerous animals, unless you count the deer tick. If we’re not careful, we may be adversely affected by them. We may encounter spiritual dangers, too, including the metaphoric lions, cobras, young lions and serpents listed in Psalm 91:13. How do we identify such foes?
Lions of nature are bold and loud, and they hit their prey with great force. The ones we face may include a car wreck or accident, a dire report from the doctor or an unexpected bill in the mail. They hit us with sudden force, catching us unprepared. The young lion of Psalm 91 may refer to the subtle, negative thoughts we allow to enter our minds. Like little foxes, they can grow bigger and bigger.
Nature’s cobras are quiet and clever. Such undercover attacks in the spiritual realm may include marital problems not dealt with until too late. Like the puncture wound from a cobra’s fangs, the poison of a damaged relationship can travel through our minds because of the unwillingness to forgive. Ignored offenses can bring sudden destruction of our faith.
Serpents, like imaginary dragons or sea monsters, represent unfounded, phantom fears which can be as deadly as real fears. They may include fear of the unknown, fear of facing the future alone or fear of loss. Such fears keep us living in the past, keep us from experiencing life today and perhaps keep us running away from certain people or situations.
The word tread means to press down or crush. God gives us the authority to tread on our enemies, even the so-called lions and snakes and serpents in our lives. When Jesus sent His twelve disciples to preach the Gospel and heal the sick, He “gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.” (Luke 9:1) Through God’s Spirit, we followers of Him are given the same authority, the same power that allows us to tread upon any problem or evil we may face.
Whenever we face foes, whether visible, emotional or imagined, we need to pray against them and then use our God-given authority to trample them. Jesus often prayed at night, but during the day He took authority over sickness, disease, demons and death. We need to follow His example.
Thank You, Lord, for the power of Your Word and Your Name. Show us when to heed Your warnings so we can pray and then take authority over the destructive evils we face. In Jesus’ name, amen.