I hate snakes. I absolutely, 1000% want nothing to do with them. Ever.
You can thank my childhood neighbor for that. He thought it would be fun one summer to tell me there was a snake so I’d look. Until the one time I didn’t. He pulled me back by the arm as I had one foot ready to step on a snake in the process of eating a frog.
The fear is so real I don’t like them as cartoons or stuffed animals. I agree with comedian Bill Engvall when he reminds the audience God used a snake as the devil. So believe me, this hate relationship I have has sent me to prayer many times.
And God has been good. I went sixteen years without seeing one live on our property. The last time I did, we were in the process of moving, something I joked would happen if I ever saw a snake..
The streak ended early this summer. As I did that one day with my neighbor, I froze. I had no words, no screams. This time I let out what I can only call a long gasp. It isn’t loud, but when my family hears it, they know they need to check on me.
I was home alone letting the dog out when I stepped over the threshold. And there it was. Not a big guy, but it doesn’t matter. I was so terrified I took the dog and ran out front to another door, forcing the dog to pee in my flowers. Then I remembered I left the garage door open. I was up until 3 am picturing the snake in the garage.
Thankfully he wasn’t in the garage. How do I know?
I had a second sighting.
This time I was mowing with a push mower and I startled him. Although I was just as terrified, I was also angry. I had really prayed not to deal with a snake again. Begged God. So I increased my prayer.
And saw him a third time.
This time was different. I wasn’t terrified, I wasn’t angry, I was resolute. Like John Wayne in a western, I felt like we were having a showdown. There wasn’t room here in this town for the two of us.
And I wasn’t leaving.
Instead of praying, I made a decree. With a huge nudge from the Holy Spirit I used my God-given authority in Christ to announce that this snake may not have this territory. This snake, in the name of Jesus, may not live at this address or execute any plans against us. By the blood of Christ, we are a family anointed to do His work, and we will not be distracted, delayed, or destroyed. Amen and Amen.
I haven’t seen the snake since.
I’ve processed it all in my prayer time and the same feeling comes back to me. It makes enough sense that I don’t think it’s me, but God.
I was waiting for you to stop praying, rise up, and act on My authority.
My sense is the snake lesson is for me to take to the streets. Christians, we’ve been praying hard for a long time. We want to see our prodigal kids come home. Diseases eradicated. Revival touching earth and staying.
I know I’m tired of watching injustice, corruption, and mockery take over my newsfeed.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s time for us to switch from prayer to decree. The words we pull down from all those prayers sent to heaven now proclaimed in faith by the power in Christ on earth. This is no treating Jesus like a genie prayer. This is remembering we have the same power and authority as Jesus when He busted out of the tomb.—Julie Arduini
Oh, how we fail to use that power to move His Kingdom forward.
Since that last snake sighting and decree, I have started being bolder with decrees. When I see a sick person on the news, I declare their healing. When I see corruption, I decree justice. I doubt I’ll personally see the answers. I’m sure some will not go “my way.” But I’m not throwing out the baby with the bath water. I’d rather decree in the name of Jesus than say nothing at all.
How about you? Do you use the power of the decree in Christ?