TITLE: Bugs, Snakes, and Spiritual Warfare
By Annette Agnello
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Bugs, Snakes, and Spiritual Warfare
While watching the discovery channel I saw a spider on a web. I remembered something I had forgotten.
I never liked gardens. The plowed land tended to be uneven with clods of dirt left by tilling. There is no shade, because the plants need the sunlight. Gardens were a summer thing so it was hot work. Everything was near the ground so there was a lot squatting and bending. Mother was adamant that you couldn’t sit on the ground, not that I would want to it was dirty. Then there were the bugs. I always hated bugs.
Bugs could be really small like the chiggers, and gnats, which fly around your face and pester you unmercifully. There were the ticks, which could make you sick, they bit you and latched on to drink your blood like a vampire in a bad movie. Gardens came with all kinds of beetles that fed on the leaves that fed the plants with sunlight through photosynthesis. Most were not dangerous just annoying; the exceptions were bees, armed with stingers and spiders scary in their own right.
When I was a child I followed my favorite aunt into her vegetable garden to help her pick the lima beans she had promised to give us. I didn’t even like beans; but I didn’t get a vote. Mom was picking further down the row. Aunt Sue, had kept me with her to make sure I only picked beans that were “ready” to be picked, and left the immature ones behind for another day.
She was keeping a close eye on where I was and what I was doing. That’s why she saw it. There was a spider just beyond my reach. It was very shiny; jet black, with a strange red mark on it’s back. It shined so in the sunlight it was almost mesmerizing, then it was gone. Aunt Sue had picked up a large rock and crushed it. Then she explained it had been a black widow spider. She described the red mark as an hour glassed shaped. She told me it was poisonous.
She was pretty shaken. She decided, we probably had enough beans for a meal and we all left the garden. I was trying to fix in my mind, what I had seen the shiny spider with the red mark.
In a challenge article soon after I joined I told of almost picking up a baby rattlesnake. Now I am remembering a black-widow spider, which is also deadly. In both cases I was a small child who was in danger and did not even know there was a problem. Was the devil trying to snuff out my life as a youngster? Did he know I would someday pose him a threat? Did he know I would grow up to learn that God gives us weapons to battle the devil?
Let’s look at what the Bible tells us about dealing with the devil. He is called an accuser of the brethren, and a serpent of old in Revelation 12:9-10. God gave all Christians several weapons to deal with the enemy.
First we have the word of God. John 8:31-32,36 tells us to abide in the word and that the truth shall set us free. It also tells how God protects us with spiritual armor in Ephesians 6:14-17. It assures in Isaiah 54:17 that no weapon formed against us will prosper. Imagine the Devil shooting at you and not knowing he is shooting blanks.
Another weapon at our disposal is the name of Jesus as Mark 16:17-18 tells us Signs follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues…they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. Philippians 2:9-11 is of course the verse which says, ”. At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. My former pastor told of a convert to Christ in the Ukraine he had met whose father tried to nail her to the floor, because she had accepted the Lord. She was a new believer and didn’t know much of the word all she knew was Jesus and she cried out His name. Jesus stayed her father’s hand, before long he too had accepted the Lord
The third weapon is a song of praise. Songs don’t sound like much in the way of weapons, but in 2 Chronicles 20:21-22 King Jehoshaphat was convinced to send singers at the forefront into the battle and the battle was won decisively by the army being led by singers singing: “Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.” I first learned of this in depth while taking a class on Worship taught by Paul Freeman, M Div. He helped us envision the troops going into battle. Many probably thought it was the craziest battle plan for anyone going into battle. But the further they marched going into battle praising the Lord the more confident they became.
Another weapon is the blood of Jesus this can be applied in two ways. The first is in taking communion; the second is verbally what is called “pleading or claiming the blood” Communion is far more important than you would imagine it brings unity, can bring physical healing, and is a weapon of warfare in the spiritual realm. The book that explains this “The Meal That Heals” by Perry Stone, Jr. is available on the author’s website www.perrystone.org/home.cfm .
The most well known weapon, of course is prayer. That is the most readily available of all the weapons, and obviously the best known. Prayer has more power than many people realize. You can pray at a moment’s notice. There are a lot of stories nothing short of miraculous about people who have been healed from traumatic injuries or illnesses through prayer. The one that sticks most in my mind is Jerry Savelle’s daughter who as an infant caught her fingers under a rocking chair and crushing them horribly. The doctors said the baby would loose those fingers, the family and friends prayed and the fingers were completely restored. There are thousands of stories like that. God told us in Mat 18:19 "…if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.
You are armed and dangerous! God gave you weapons to stand toe to toe with the devil.
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