Friday, October 23, 2009

The Day The Snake Got Loose In Our Church

While growing up, one of my Dad's favorite story tellers was a man named Wendy Bagwell. Over the years I've probably heard this man's retelling of his encounter with a back woods snake handling church close to a hundred times or more. If you want a good laugh, you can check him out here on Now, Westlake Fellowship is not a snake handling church. And it was obvious by my "handling" of this snake that it was not something I did often.

Fortunately for all the members of Westlake, this snake encounter happened on a Saturday when I was the only one in the building. It all started while I was on my way out of the door to put up some signs. When I opened the door, there in front of me was a nice size water moccasin. I won't try to guess the size as I'm sure in my mind he was at least 5 feet longer than he actually was. Now, my first instinct when I see a snake is usually to kill it. This day was no different. Because I was headed out to put up signs, I had two large poles in my hands so I used them as my weapon. While still inside the door, holding one pole in one hand, I attacked with the other. However, the snake was not in defense mode, but he himself was in attack mode. He lunged for the pole in an attempt to strike it. Every time I tried to hit him with the pole, he leaped into the air trying to strike it. After a few futile attempts at hitting a moving target, I was thinking of a new strategy, when all of a sudden that crazy snake came in the building. Not only did he come in the door, but he proceeded to come after me. I was retreating to safety up some stairs, trying to think how I was now going to get that thing out of the building. The snake on the other hand was not taking time to think. He just kept coming. Up the stairs, mouth wide open, this snake just kept coming after me, leaping in the air trying to strike me.

At this point, I began to sweat just a little bit. Thank God I had a couple of long poles in my hands, but the fact is this snake was extremely fast and I didn't want him to get upstairs and crawl somewhere where I couldn't get to him. In my mind while attempting to keep a safe distance from him, I was thinking of the possibilities of what could happen come Sunday morning if this crazed snake was still in the building. I had to get him out. I finally dropped one of the poles before I put a hole in the wall and went back into attack mode determined to get this intruder out and then deal with him appropriately once outside. Somehow, someway I managed to get enough of him with the pole that I was able to sling him down the stairs and out the door. Once outside, neither he nor I relented. He attacked, I attacked and when the dust had cleared, my opponent lay motionless on the ground in two pieces. Ok, if you've ever killed a snake they aren't really motionless at first, but I thought that was really a good line.

I stood there chuckling for a moment thinking to myself, "Did this really just happen?" I mean this was a crazy encounter. I have come across numerous snakes in my lifetime, but never had one come after me like that. Here weeks later, the memory of that snake with its wide open "cotton mouth" striking at the pole and at me, is still extremely vivid. At the time all I knew was I had to do whatever was necessary to get that thing out of the building.

In scripture our enemy is referred to as a snake or serpent. There are times in our lives when like me, we open the door and we allow him to enter. Maybe we didn't want him to, but the truth is once the door is open, he doesn't ask permission. Like that crazed snake that day, our enemy just storms right in. Perhaps, it was something we saw on the Internet that opened the door, or perhaps it was an unhealthy thought we meditated on too long. It could have been endearing yourself to a co-worker of the opposite sex, rather than with your spouse. Maybe, it was a choice we made to compromise in an area, or a time we let our eyes see something we should never have allowed them to see. There are thousands of ways we can open the door to the enemy and once he's in he can be very difficult to get out.

One thing is true, once the enemy has made his way in the door, the intensity at which we war with him has to increase. Like me on that day facing that snake, it is at this moment we have to determine to do whatever is necessary to get the enemy out. If we do not, trust me, it will eventually effect every person in that house. Perhaps, we need another hand in the battle with us, and we need to swallow our pride and solicit the help of a trusted friend. Whatever the case, if we choose not to go into attack mode and deal with the enemy, his work of destruction will be evident everywhere.

Although, that snake had me backtracking at one point that day, the truth is I didn't take it all that seriously until that happened. It's when I quit playing around and got serious that I defeated that snake once and for all. The same holds true for us when dealing the devil. As long as we don't take the fight seriously, he'll have us backtracking. It is only when we begin to take the fight seriously that the enemy starts to encounter defeat.

1 comment:

  1. Really Great lesson Mr. Tim Opened my eyes Thanx