Larry Roques

Larry Roques

The Pastor's Journal of House of Joy Church

THE DIFFERENCE WAS DESTINY

              The Difference was Destiny

                               September 14, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acts 28:1-6 NKJV

 

Now when they had escaped, they then found out that the island was called Malta. And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold. But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live.” But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. However, they were expecting that he would swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had looked for a long time and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.

 

 

 

Shake the snake

 

 

Isaiah 54:17 NKJV

 

No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord , And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the Lord .

 

Many of us have so capriciously used this scripture throughout our lives as believers, not realizing what power it contains. The danger of reading half scriptures and “constructing” scenarios in from the Bible has with it the undesirable result of fragmenting the power of God’s word in our lives. When the Word says NO WEAPON...it means NO WEAPON.

 

But this scripture doesn’t stop there. It further reiterates that words spoken against us cannot fly in the face of this destiny. Then it goes on to tell us that this isn’t simply a bonus of being Believer....it is an “heritage”.  That means it is endowed into our lives. Nothing toxic to us, nothing hazardous, nothing threatening, has a legal right to be there. The only reason it can exist is that we do not walk in the faith that keeps it at bay.

 

 

Paul was able to shake the serpent from his arm because he understood that God had given him a word on the ship that he was to meet with Caesar on the other end of this journey. You cannot meet with Caesar if you are dead. Hence, Paul knew that the destiny given him by God would not be circumvented by the mere venom of a reptile. NO weapon formed against Paul could defy the destiny of the Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

Prosper through the poison

 

Mark 16:14-18 NKJV

 

Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.  He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.  And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;  they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

 

 

There is no doubt that a serpent came charging out of the fire and attached itself to Paul’s arm. And...there is no doubt that in the process of that snake bite, a seemingly lethal injection of poison was released into Paul’s body. All watched...all waited....to see Paul slump over and die. To their surprise, he simply shook it off and went about his business. For whatever reason, the venom did not take effect. That is a miracle.

 

Paul, operating in the power of God’s destiny in his life, knew that if something lay ahead for him, nothing that happened on the way could alter that except for his attitude. When you are confident that God is running things in your life, boldness takes root that no poison can stop. The great commission given to us by Jesus, through the apostles, that he had to first rebuke for unbelief and hardness of heart.  Nothing can take root in a place where the soil is not first prepared.

 

Look at the signs that follow believers.  We are to cast out demons. We are to speak with new tongues. Here is where many have questioned...we have power over serpents poison...other types of poisons. And the power that we possess not only overcomes the sicknesses and attacks upon our personal being, it also gives us license to lay hands on the sick and see recovery. God did not endue us with power over physical attack as some pointless spiritual floorshow. He did it to give us a divine destiny for our use in ministering to others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prevail through the persecution

 

 

 

II Timothy 3:10-15 NKJV

 

But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,  and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

 

 

I am watching deception happen to people I know and love right before my eyes. I am seeing Satan burn the midnight oil...working overtime to perpetrate his lies into people who knew the truth as well as I ever have or will. I take this so seriously that I have enacted safeguards into my own life as checks and balances to make myself accountable to other men of great character and integrity. Deceit is a quiet killer. It attacks in the midnight hour behind the closed doors of the eyes. It infects the mind and metastasizes into the spirit. It cripples and distorts the common sense and manifests in twisted perceptions. The sobering thing is that it can happen to anyone who turns from the plow even for a moment.

 

Paul understood how deception worked. He didn’t simply study it, he lived it. His testimony was all about deception, so he recognized it with deadly accuracy. He was beaten, thrown into prison, threatened with execution, exiled; left for dead, mocked, ridiculed, disowned...Paul understood persecution at a level most of us will never know. Here in 2 Timothy, Paul is admonishing his young protégé not to wander from sound doctrine and teaching. Paul remembered the time that snake bit his arm...when he survived the bite...his body supernaturally neutralized the poison...and the people around the fire went from believing that he was a condemned, cursed man...to seeing him survive the poison and prevail over death, causing everyone there to think he was a god. He knew well what he was instructing Timothy to do would be life to his soul.

 

Because of the immediacy of electronic journalism, we are seeing the persecution of Christians up close and personal. We are experiencing on a more real time level beheadings and mass killings and all of the hate associated with radical jihadist sickness. Because it is on foreign soil, we sleep, for the most part, safe and secure. But if it affects one brother or sister across the sea, it affects us.  And though hell belch out in uproar and evil men scream in anger....we still win. Regardless of what we see, or hear, or experience...we must always remember that just like Paul sitting by that fire on a Malta seashore, there is nothing created or that will be created that can rob us of  the Victory we have in Jesus Christ.  Because of his blood...we shake off the serpent...we prosper over the poisons of this life....and we prevail and reign over a Kingdom that has no end.

 

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