Not Shaken

"Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.” 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." Acts 28:1-6 (NIV)

First, notice Paul, this great Follower and Leader of the church wasn’t afraid to get dirty with everyone else and serve. He remembered the words of Jesus, “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant…” (Matthew 20:26). As he was placing a big pile of wood on the fire, a snake bit him. The natives said that it was because of karma that he was bitten. In mythology, Justice was a goddess and she was believed to work circumstantially in determining people’s fate. But mythology is not truth and Paul was a servant of the Living God. No mythological character would determine Paul’s fate, because Paul had already transferred his fate to Another. In the chapter before God promised Paul, through an angel, that he and all the crew on the boat would be safe and that Paul would stand before Caesar (Acts 27:23-26). Because of this promise from God, Paul was not shaken or given over to fear when the snake bit him. Like Paul, we can know that our fate and purposes are in God’s hands if we will simply submit to Him. Psalm 139:16 says, “You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” Like Paul, when we surrender to God’s plans for our lives, God will protect us in supernatural ways. We can trust and not fear, because we know our Father is looking over us, and will make sure we get to our destination. The destination of His will being done in our lives.

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