Any time we begin to fulfill God’s purpose for our life or our ministry, the enemy will do what he can to try to stop us. He will launch one attack after another in an attempt to steal, kill and destroy God’s will for our lives. But what was meant for evil, what the enemy tries to use to his advantage, God intended for good and will carry out His plan in our lives.
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Paul is Shipwrecked
Acts 27 tells about how Paul was a prisoner on a ship that was headed for Rome with other prisoners on board. He was put in the care of a centurion named Julius.
Acts 27:1-2 says:
“When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius, who belonged to the Imperial Regiment. We boarded a ship from Adramyttium about to sail for ports along the coast of the province of Asia, and we put out to sea.” NIV
After making some stops along the route, they set sail and were met with a Northeaster. Paul warned them to stop but his warnings went unheeded. After some time, they ended up shipwrecked on Malta.
“The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. The rest were to get there on planks or on other pieces of the ship. In this way everyone reached land safely.” NIV
What was Meant for Evil God Intended for Good – Paul and the Viper
The islanders they encountered were very friendly and kind. They built them a fire to keep them warm because it was rainy and cold. Paul went to gather wood and, as he was placing the wood onto the fire, a viper that had jumped out because of the heat of the fire latched onto Paul’s hand.
The islanders swore Paul must be some sort of murderer that had escaped justice so now “the goddess Justice” had not allowed him to live by causing this snake to kill him.
However, Acts 28:5-6 says:
“But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.” NIV
Paul shook it off!
He didn’t panic and he didn’t worry about his life. He just merely shook it off!
A Healing Hand
Acts 28:7-8 goes on to tell us:
“There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days. His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him.” NIV
Paul was bitten on the hand by the viper. It was intended to kill him. But, that same hand that the viper struck, Paul laid on Publius’ father and healed him.
What the devil meant for evil, God intended for good.
The hand that the enemy attempted to use for death, God used for healing.
God Intended for Good – Shake it Off
The very area the enemy attacks you with, the are of your life, the area of your ministry, the area of your marriage, God can turn it around and use it for healing! The very hand the enemy bites you on, will be the hand that heals!
Your story, your struggle, is not in vain! That struggle is what God will take and use for His purposes.
For people who are faith bloggers, we share our stories and our lessons because it could help someone else. It could bring healing to them.
We make a ministry out of sharing the things that we struggle with. These things are the ‘hands’ that are bitten by the viper!
And like Paul, when that bite happens, we need to shake it off!
Paul was able to shake off that snake and not fear death because Paul knew God had a plan for him. God wasn’t done with Paul. Paul had his marching orders. He knew it wasn’t his time to die.
Trust God’s Plan
When we go through attacks and trials from the enemy, when we know what our calling is and we know what God’s will for us is, we can just shake it off. We know that God has us. We know from His Word that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
If we are called to our ministry, do we lose faith and hope when the enemy comes against us? Do we trust that God has a plan and a purpose that he will carry out?
Shake Off the Snake
You have a story to share that is someone’s healing! Shake off the snake and tell your story!
There’s an old saying that I love; “Speak the truth and shame the devil!”
So speak your truth! Speak out with your story!! Place that snake bitten hand on someone and heal them! What God intended for good cannot be stopped by the enemy!
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Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™