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Jump-Start Your Day

Tuesday, September 4th, '18

All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson

 

SHAKE IT OFF

"But he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm" (Acts 28:5)

 

We say it to the ten year-old boy who just got hit in the shoulder by a wild baseball pitch, shake it off. Or to the driven Junior High girl who got a B on her typically straight-A report card, shake it off, but advice for the young still works for the older. As Paul was throwing some sticks on the campfire "a viper came out of the heat, and fastened on his hand" (vs 3). While doing a good thing a bad thing happened. The snake "came out of the heat". It was in hibernation until the fire woke it up. In other words, when the fire burns the devil squirms. The heat of revival always rouses sleeping serpents. Snap! Fangs buried in Paul's "hand". Notice, the enemy attacks productivity. He nailed the same hand that in verse eight would bring healing to Publius' father. But not to worry, Paul took it in stride and "shook off the beast into the fire". What was roused by fire went back into the fire. Every plot hatched from hell will be returned to its spawning pit. "And he felt no harm"; another day, another dollar; no big deal. "Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents...and nothing shall by any means harm you" (Luke 10:19).

 

Paul "shook" the reptile off his hand. We are not to allow negatives to cling. It "fastened" on him, like a burrowed wood tick, like road grime on a mud flap or Velcro. The Greek word means "to bind to, to fasten on (hostilely)" (Thayer). Don't let anger, resentment, fear, depression, etc. cleave to you. They are venom to the soul. The natives watching Paul expected him to "swell up or suddenly fall down dead" (vs 6), but he didn't because of a healthy spiritual immune system and because he forbade what was poisonous to latch on. Not all others are as decisive. Many walk around with vipers hanging from their good hands, with effectiveness mobilized and progress stunted. And yes, they are turning blue and swelling; blue with sorrow and swollen with bitterness and pride.

 

Can I shake it off, Kris? Easier said than done, but the first step is to stand your ground. Satan never relinquishes conquered territory voluntarily. To "shake it off" means a violent flailing of the arms, a committal to freedom, an I'm not going to take it anymore act of resistance. "Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). You have to say "no" and mean "no". So shake off jealousy. Shake off depression, fatigue, panic, addiction, that critical spirit, suspicion, thoughts of suicide. When you come through the trial those who expected your demise will quickly change their tune. "But after they had...saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god" (vs 6). Uh, they may not go that far, but your stance and security may well convert their thinking. People are observing how you, as a Christian, deal with venomous assaults. Paul shook it off. Nothing could detract him from his course. When there is a job to do for the Master there is not time to waste on rattlers and tattlers. Keep marching onward. Shake off diabetes. Diabetes ain't gonna beat us! Shake off cancer. Shake off emotional hurt. These are the things that want to cling to you like prickly pears. They don't belong in your life so don't acquiesce to their bully tactics. Show them the door! Then you can go back to that campfire and have a cookout. (They say it tastes like chicken).


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