Hi, this is Joni Eareckson Tada and welcome to "Joni and Friends."
A pastor friend of mine, Randy Martin, tells an interesting story of a time when he worked as a volunteer fireman during Bible college days – he was on a fire truck with his captain doing training up in the mountains and they came across a big rattlesnake in the road. The fire captain grabbed a shovel, and with a hard swing, cut off the head of the snake. But here’s the thing – Randy was amazed to see that the body of the snake kept writhing and moving all over the place, even twitching and jumping. Randy’s natural reaction was to jump back. The thing looked like it was still alive.
To Randy this was fascinating so he stuffed the long body of the dead snake into a paper bag, and stuck it in a side compartment of a fire truck so he could show it to his buddies back at the fire station. When they got back, Randy called his friends over and opened the compartment to see… an empty bag. The snake had wriggled out of the bag.
Randy was shocked because it meant he had to climb back up into the truck and reach for the reptile which had nestled itself down into the hoses. And as he reached for it, he had to keep telling himself not to be afraid. The snake was dead. There were no fangs. It had lost its power to hurt him. He finally found the thing and, believe it or not, it was still twitching a little bit.
Now that is a great story to encourage any Christian because it illustrates how our old serpent, the devil, that adversary of ours, fools us time and again into thinking that he’s got real power over us; power to sink his fangs into us. But the truth is he has no dominion over us (unless we give it to him). When Jesus was on the cross, He dealt the death blow to the devil. Just like it says in Genesis chapter 2, verse 15, the Lord was the one who crushed the head of the serpent. The devil has been mortally wounded. Our conquering King removed his fangs. Jesus broke the power of sin and death. And proof of it was three days later when He rose from the dead.
And for the last 2000 years the devil has been writhing and twisting and twitching and fooling us believers into thinking he has got real authority over us. Listen, friend, he only has power if you give it to him. He only can hurt you if you allow him to. And I have to confess, I'm often like my friend Randy in that I allow myself to get fooled, get tricked into thinking that the devil’s got me. I become fearful, I become anxious, intimidated. That’s when I need to remember I’ve been set free – Jesus set me free. Satan has no power over me. Remember, it’s that issue of power and that’s why Satan is not to be trifled with. He is a mortally wounded enemy who is very, very angry. True, one day he will be cast into the lake of fire, but until then, he’s still roaming the earth, he’s still alive and that makes him a serious enemy. But still, we don’t need to be afraid because we have been set free from his rule, his dominion, and his power over us.
So today, friend, if the devil throws temptation your way, I’ve got two suggestions for you: first, keep listening to this radio station because there is so much good Bible teaching here and you can always be uplifted by God’s word just by tuning in every day; and secondly, think of Romans chapter 6 where it says that you have been set free – you are no longer a slave to sin; the devil no longer has authority over you. He doesn’t rule your life (unless you let him). And as you submit to the Lord, you are under the control of the Spirit of God who lives within you, hallelujah, He does. Remember, friend, that story about Randy and the snake because both he - my friend Randy - and you have no reason to fear.
I invite you to visit me today here at our website joniandfriends.org. Until next time, this is Joni and Friends.
Previously aired as program #7075 on 6/12/09.
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