This past weekend while mowing, I rode down the path that leads to the edge of the woods. I turned off the motor and sat… I could hear a symphony of crickets and frogs making music. I saw deer and bunnies grazing—it was breathtaking. A year ago that very path had been where I walked and met God at the beginning of my day. I could pray out loud and no one could hear or see me. It was perfect—that is, until that day, last July.
I was enjoying my time with Him, when my cell phone rang. No one ever calls that early in the morning… It was Dale. He said, “Come to the house, now.” Dale never talks like that, so I ran. When I got to the house he was holding his leg and said, “It was a Copperhead snake.” Immediately we both petitioned the Lord for healing for his leg. Healing did come.
There was only one lingering effect. I stopped walking that path with Jesus. I didn’t really give it much thought until this weekend, on the mower, when I saw the butterflies and bunnies crisscrossing in front of me. I remembered how sweet that time was and realized that the fear of snakes kept me from going back.
The Lord led my thoughts to Ephesians 6. It’s the one where Paul gives us a clear defense plan against the enemy. He tells us about the armor that protects us. Anytime we have an unhealthy fear of something, we need to face it with truth and investigate our line of defense in order to become overcomers of it. This is true in the natural as well as in the spiritual.
I decided to walk my path again, but this time with armor on and a defense plan. I’m wearing jeans, boots and carrying a shovel or a machete- just in case. I’ve researched my enemy (snakes) and know where they hide, what time of day they’re out, and their mode of operation. I’ll never forget the seriousness of a poisonous snake, but I will never again let it hinder me from living life to the fullest.
What do you fear? Does it hinder you from enjoying life? Satan (our greatest enemy) wants nothing more than for his prey to live in fear. Fear always threatens freedom and peace. Paul gives us truth in dealing with our enemy.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of the God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end, with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints–“ Ephesians 6:10-18
I never want to be without my armor (my boots, jeans, and machete) when walking in snake territory. But even more than that, I never want to be without the whole armor of God to defend and protect myself from the schemes of the devil.
And I’ll never be without a defensive weapon in dealing with the devil, which is; the sword of the Word. When we use it- no weapon formed against us will prosper! Jesus Himself used the Word of God as His defense against Satan- and so must I!
Every time I walk my beautiful path now, I am reminded that to enjoy life to the fullest, I must never let fear overcome me, but I must overcome it with truth! God has given us offensive and defensive weapons- that in making ourselves keenly aware, we will effectively defeat the enemies ahead! Let’s not allow fear to prevent us from moving forward in any aspect of our lives. Let’s take up our holy armor and weapons… riding forth into the glorious places that God has already prepared for us- if we are willing to follow Him there. We have good reason to be courageous!