“THERE’S A SNAKE IN YOUR GARDEN”
Iron Eyes Cody was the Native American who appeared in the old Keep America Beautiful TV commercials. He told an Indian legend from many years ago. Indian youths would go away in solitude to prepare for manhood. One youth hiked into a beautiful valley with green trees & bright flowers. He saw the surrounding mountain and decided to test himself against that mountain. When he reached the top he stood on the rim of the world. He could see forever, and his heart swelled with pride. Then he heard a rustle at his feet, and looking down, saw a snake. Before he could move, the snake spoke. “I am about to die,” said the snake. “It is too cold for me up here, and I am freezing. There is no food, and I am starving. Please, put me under your shirt and take me down into the valley.” “No,” said the youth. “I know better. You are a rattlesnake and if I pick you up, you will bite and kill me.” “Not so,” said the snake. “I will treat you differently. If you do this for me I will not harm you.” The youth resisted for a while, but this was a very persuasive snake, with beautiful markings. At last the youth took pity on the reptile, picked it up, tucked it under his shirt, and carried it down into the valley. There he laid it gently on the grass, when suddenly the snake coiled, rattled, and struck—biting him on the leg. “But you promised!” cried the youth. “You knew what I was when you picked me up” said the snake as he slithered away.
The truth is, we often allow people access into our lives that we know mean us no good but they promise like the snake, “I will treat you differently.” They say the right things, appear to be harmless, and you fall for the “okey doke”. The next thing you know, you have bought in to their low lifestyle and your once close relationship with God seems like a distant memory. You don’t pray anymore, you don’t go to church quite as often, your commitment to God and His church is fledgling at best. The trick part is, once they get what they want they turn on you. These people are seductive in their serpentine ways to strategically separate you from God. This has been Satan’s mission since the beginning of time. He seeks to bring chaos and confusion and chasms to God’s children that result in shame and separation from God!
The book of Genesis gives the first account of how Satan ruined a relationship with God. The biblical account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is a clinical case study on why we should protect ourselves from relationships that separate us from God. Adam and Eve had everything they wanted and needed until they allowed a snake to charm them into doing what God instructed them not to do. As a consequence, they ended up shamed by sin and separated from God all because they listened to a snake in their garden.
What do you do when confronted by a snake?
1. Don’t Listen To His Lies: Jesus told the Pharisees one day in John 8:44 – “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”
2. Don’t Look In His Direction: Paul said in his letter to the church of Thessalonica in 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 – “ Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.”
3. Don’t Long For What He Offers: James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
4. Don’t Linger In His Presence: 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
The bottom line is never trust a snake!!! At the end of the day, you can’t walk with God and hold hands with the devil!
Because of Him,
Dr. Oscar T. Moses