Living Faith-Attentive

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“Be on guard, Elaine. You’re going to see a snake. Be looking for a snake.”

God’s voice couldn’t have been clearer in my spirit yesterday afternoon while I was out for an afternoon stroll. His certainty forced my immediate, audible response.

“Yes, Lord, I’ll be watching for the snake.”

One lap around the block, then two, almost three before a thunderstorm blew in and interrupted my search. No snakes in sight, just a caution in my spirit that lingered inside of me throughout the nighttime hours.

“Be on guard, Elaine. You’re going to see a snake. Be looking for a snake.”

Morning came, this Sabbath morning. My body ached, and my heart was heavy. Not today, Lord. Can’t I just call in sick … sit this one out? I’m not feeling it. I want to live in, not out; stay close, not expand.

“Be on guard, Elaine. You’re going to see a snake. Be looking for a snake.”

There it was again. A reminder to stay vigilant. Watchful. Faith-attentive.

And so I did something I don’t normally do on Sunday mornings. I grabbed a pen and began counting the fish—the blessings in my life. I kept writing and writing until it was time for us to make our way to corporate worship. My body still groaned its resistance, but my heart was lighter. Faith had taken the lead, while my feelings took a break.

With the van loaded and spirits lifted, we backed out of our garage. It was then that I saw it out of my driver’s side mirror. A water moccasin slithering its way across my driveway and up the Crepe Myrtle planted next to the basketball goal. I watched it for a long time. Thought about it for a long time. I’m thinking about it still on this Sabbath afternoon – a time normally reserved for napping.

“Be on guard, Elaine. You’re going to see a snake. Be looking for a snake.”

And I’m thinking on it. Pondering snakes—the ones that slither through our front yards and the ones that slither through our hearts. How often they go unnoticed in our lives, camouflaged and quiet in their approach. Real and present danger close at hand and, most of the time, we’re caught off guard because we’ve missed the warning.

“Be on guard, Elaine. You’re going to see a snake. Be looking for a snake.”

Oh the vigilance of the faith-attentive heart! For eyes to see, ears to hear, and a willing heart ready to receive and believe the voice of God’s Spirit as he speaks.

I don’t want an overgrown heart full of weeds and worries and wickedness that block the ear-splitting whispers of the Holy Spirit. I want the thunderous clap of God’s clarity ringing in my soul as I walk this earthen sod. I’m weary of the world’s words—those clattering, clanging, and banging cymbals of nothingness. God save me from those hell shrieks—those sounds that will never speak me into the folds of heaven but, instead, hasten me into the bowels of permanent torment.

“Be on guard, Elaine. You’re going to see a snake. Be looking for a snake.”

Be on guard, friends. You’re going to see a snake. Be looking for a snake.

It will come quietly in the night; boldly in the day.

It comes now.

May God grant you his voice, his protection, his direction, and his strength to stay faith-attentive as these days are growing shorter. The kingdom draweth nigh. Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.

Peace for the journey,

Image credit: mihtiander / 123RF Stock Photo

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17 Responses to Living Faith-Attentive

  1. Guess you might have heard that Grayson got bitten by a snake this afternoon! We were up on the Grayson Highlands State Park, Virginia. HORRIBLE experience. Park rangers and rescue squad were quickly sent and God had been good and she is OK. She enjoyed the hour ride in the ambulance to the ER.

    • No, I hadn’t heard. What kind of snake, Hattie? This is the 3rd snake story I’ve heard about today. Prayers.

  2. Living in the world of rattlesnakes during our 10 year Arizona sojourn, this gave me shivers. It also blessed me powerfully, knowing how clear the Lord’s voice can be. He has obviously trained your ear.

    I also thought about the human kind of snakes, thinking perhaps He was warning you to be vigilant about the people near to you.

    Whatever, I’m praising God for His personal grace to you.

    • I’m thinking about those snakes as well, Sassy. I can take care of a water moccasin with a hoe. People-snakes? Not so easily. But I took this as God’s caution to my heart – not just where people are concerned, but with personal attitudes/sins that creep into my life.

  3. Ugh, I hate snakes worse than just about anything. My heart is tuned in extra sensitively right now because THE snake, Satan himself, is trying very hard to tear a local church apart and he is using the pastor of the church to do it. As you know I have recently finished leading the Vital Signs: Lessons from the Seven Churches of The Revelation study. I am absolutely convinced that the Lord had me and others studying Jesus’ words to the churches in preparation for this very moment of battle. I, and so many others, are fighting this battle on our knees. I’m so thankful that God is stronger than Satan. We are relying on HIM.

    • Where can we go but to our knees? Unfortunately, we find many substitutes where our knees/prayer are concerned. Praying for you as you cross the finish line on your new book. I know the enemy is prowling around, but God’s Spirit is flooding over you. Our Father has the final say. Keep to it, friend.

  4. You do know it in your spirit if it is the Father speaking. And in your case, he said the warming words several times over. And then it is not just the snake per se, but what it represents. And because you were warned several times, you could not afford to ignore the warning. God reveals Himself to the waiting heart!

  5. wifeforthejourney:

    What a gracious vision God has given you, and sound advice for us to all be on our guard. Whether you live (as we do) in an area where there ARE some snakes around, or not, from a spiritual perspective, temptation and sin are always lurking for the unprepared.

    Love you,
    Billy

  6. Oh, how we need to be on guard. And we need to remind one another to stand firm. And to encourage one another. Thank you!

  7. A lesson well-taken to heart. My husband catches snakes up at our house quite often. He got bit last month – fortunately NOT by the rattlesnakes that he catches from time to time.

    As far as that wily old serpent, he’s always snaking and sneaking around. Often we don’t hear the *rattle* until it’s too late. Thank goodness for the wise and timely voice of the Holy Spirit.

    Be alert. It’s a spiritual *jungle* out there.

    GOD BLESS!

  8. Such wisdom here! We live in a very rural area and just last week saw a very large poisonous Copperhead dead on the gravel road. I’m positive he didn’t die of old age. I’m sure he was intentionally taken out before he could hurt a person or a pet. We (I) should be intentional also to take out the spiritual snakes in our lives!
    God uses you often to touch my heart in dramatic ways my faithful friend!