Charge the snake head on!
We arrived home from an outing today when our eldest daughter quickly came to us to inform us she had spotted a snake in front of our neighbours yard, just opposite our house.
As we live right next to bush land, this is something we're always weary of when the weather starts to warm up in Australia as the majority of snakes around here are highly poisonous. We went out to inspect and sure enough there was a very large Python looking snake curled up just metres from our house and it was in defence position with its head raised looking agitated, sitting perfectly still. I immediately went into protective mama bear mode and put our girls securely inside (they watched on through the screen) while I went to find something that resembled a pitch fork to kill it or chase it away from our street as lots of children often play there, including our own.
As Nate called various snake catchers in the area, other neighbours came to inspect. They were able to get closer to it from behind and as they did, one pointed out that they thought it might actually be a plastic toy. As we got closer, we realised it was in fact a very lifelike looking toy snake, probably left there by one of the kids on the street.
After feeling rather silly for having gone into defence mode, I felt the Holy Spirit speak to my heart. 'The enemy always looks menacing and dangerous, when in fact, his threats are nothing more than a fake ploy to instil fear into your heart.'
I could have stood there all afternoon in defence mode and it wouldn't have changed anything, but if I had of run towards it, I would have quickly realised it was of no threat whatsoever and thrown it away. (I'm using spiritual connotations here, so don't fret, I wouldn't do that in real life with a real snake.) But again, I felt the Holy Spirit impress to me: how many times have I stood at a distance when the enemy has raised his threats against me and in fear I have held back and remained in defence mode, but silent.
I feel this is true of many of us. The enemies conniving tactics and plans are to simply instil fear in our hearts. Or as the acronym of fear states: (F)alse (E)vidence (A)ppearing (R)eal. The enemy would have us to agree with this false evidence to grip our hearts with fear, distract us and blind us from the truth. In agreeing with this fear and standing in defence of it, we in fact lose strength.
Imagine if I had of stood outside all day in the hot sun, with my resemblance of a pitchfork in hand, waiting to strike, but not making any attempt to attack or remove the threat in front of me. That is what many of us do in the spiritual. We stand in defence, waiting with our weapons but never running towards the threat. The Holy Spirit is calling us as a church united in this season and in our own lives to act in offence (not the bad kind of offence but the good kind of offence, the kind we see in sport). Defence is when you are protecting yourself. Offence is when you are on the attack! Think of it like this: lions are in offence when they hunt their prey, the prey are the ones in defence.
We need to be hunting down the enemy, rather than running from him when he strikes. Satan has strategically used his ploys to have us in defence of fear, defence of each other and defence of our problems, standing at a distance of the threat. His strategies are to have you in defence of the situations that are surrounding you so that you would lose your strength. It is time to turn your strength into attack. It is time to run towards the enemy and recognise the false threats he is putting in front of you.
It is time to rise up in strength, mighty ones! I hear the Fathers whispering to hearts over and over again, 'put on your strength, put on your strength!' David did just that when he was faced with the giant that screamed insults and threats against Gods people. I love that David was not one bit intimidated by Goliath's remarks, his stature or the fact that he could lose his life by his hands. No! He put on his God-given strength and declared: "All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (I Samuel 17:47).
Just as David did, your strength is reinvigorated and multiplied as you run towards the menacing Giants in your own life. Charge at the false ploys of the enemy with Gods Word, and God will deliver the enemy into your hands. There is a reason the armour of God only protects you from the front... Run towards it... Face it head on and you will cut down from before you every one of satans sinister looking plans as he falls to the ground no less powerful than a fake plastic snake.