God is our protector. Right now, he’s protecting you from dangers you’re not even aware of. Threats of the enemy you’ve never seen are being slayed by heaven’s armies on your behalf. Occasionally God allows us to see those threats so we’re aware of all he has done to protect us.

I spent an entire week on a 7 bedroom houseboat on Table Rock Lake in Branson, MO. I hosted 13 other women for our July Retreat and we floated in absolute bliss every day. The sun was hot, and the water was perfect. Shortly after sunrise we were in that water, and there we stayed until the late hours of the night, floating and soaking it all in. If you’ve never taken a bath in the lake, put that on your bucket list and make it happen. Your shampoo bottle floats and you will feel totally alive!

On the final morning of our retreat, we loaded up our kayaks and paddleboards from the water, and there coiled up under our lake toys was a massive snake. Not just any snake, a Cottonmouth (also known as a Water Moccasin). This is the only venomous water snake in North America. They are mean and nasty and often aggressive. You don’t screw around with a Cottonmouth, and you certainly don’t swim in their waters with them.

But for 7 days and 7 nights, we had unknowingly swam with that snake. We had shared his water. We had been vulnerable. Oh what God had done to protect us that entire time.

Moments before our encounter with this deadly snake, we had gathered on the rooftop deck of the houseboat for a time of morning worship. The song we sang was “Raise a Hallelujah” by Bethel Music. These were the words we sang:

I raise a hallelujah
In the presence of my enemies
I raise a hallelujah
Louder than the unbelief
I raise a hallelujah
My weapon is a melody
I raise a hallelujah
Heaven comes to fight for me
The battle is real my sister. Your enemy is always on the prowl, and it is your praise of the Almighty that calls heaven’s armies to come and fight for you.

It leaves me to wonder what battles are going on in the spiritual realm on our behalf that we’re never even aware of. What extent has our God gone to protect us from the harm of the enemy? Just how close does the devil sometimes get, and how faithful has God been in saving us time and time again?

God’s desire is not for us to live in fear. He has designed our entire existence to be dependent upon him. When we become aware of the threats, we’re not to hide from living, we’re to draw closer to the Almighty for our protection. This is how fear loses it’s hold on you.

I have no idea how close that snake may have come to us while we swam in dark waters at night. I have no idea how near to it we came as we chased fireflies along the bank one night. But I know we were no doubt under the mighty protection of God. Seeing the threat allowed me to become aware of God’s power in our midst.

But Sis, what have we unknowingly welcomed into our lives that is a true threat? Where is the serpent slithering around in our homes because we willingly let him in, oblivious of the dangers? We may be thinking it’s harmless, but the truth is, it’s deadly.

I’ve shared the story of the woman who slept with her python before. Yes, it’s cringe worthy, but the lesson is a game changer. You need to know about this!

A woman had a pet python which would stretch out from her head to her feet as she slept in her bed. Every night their routine was the same and she never felt threatened. It was her pet. Her friend. Her bed-mate.

One day the woman noticed the snake had stopped eating. No matter what she would do, she couldn’t get the snake to eat. This continued on for a long period of time and she grew concerned something was wrong, so she took the snake to the vet.

The vet asked where the snake slept, and she explained it’s bonding with her as it stretched out by her side in the bed. The vet was alarmed and insisted she must immediately get rid of the snake. It was a true threat to her.

He went on to explain the snake had been sizing her up as he stretched the length of her body. Once it felt it was big enough, it began starving itself in preparation for it’s big feast … her! He was preparing to eat her, all while she is sleeping with the threat, unaware.

Girls, what have we welcomed into our home … what have we allowed to become part of our everyday life … what have we snuggled up next to and made friends with, forgetting it is an absolute THREAT in our lives?

This is what sin does to us. It starts small and innocent. Just a little doesn’t hurt anyone. But it grows. And as it grows we become the victim without even realizing the threat.

What snake are we sleeping with? What is growing with the intention of consuming? Where has the enemy slithered his way into your life and you’re so entertained by it, you no longer see the threat of it?

Affairs don’t usually show up in the form of some beautiful, irresistible human being throwing themselves at you. Affairs are the result of a little flirt, a little thought, a little curiosity, and it’s fed. As you feed it, it grows. And as it grows, it sizes you up for consumption. You never even saw the collateral damage it could do to your family, but the enemy’s intention was always to kill, steal and destroy … you just didn’t see it for what it was. You missed the danger in what became normal. You bonded with the very thing that could destroy you.

Are you bonding with the thing the enemy wants to use to destroy you? See it for what it is … this is a work of the one who wants to harm you.

This is exactly how the devil works. This is how sin grips us and doesn’t let go. You’ve heard the saying “dancing with the devil” … well girl, sometimes we sleep with the devil. We curl right up next to his destruction and allow it to become normal in our lives. And eventually, it will grow so big it will consume you.

It’s now normal to spend 5, 7, 10 hours a day on our phone. Seriously, check your screen time and see if that number is okay with you. (On your iphone, go to “Settings’ and select ‘Screen Time’.) That number may make you a little sick. How much of your life is passing while you’re looking at your screen? How many times are you picking up your phone in a day to check it? (That number is there on the tracking as well. Check it – are you okay with that level of addiction to your phone?) Is that really okay with you? Or has this addiction grown to a consuming level affecting your life more than you realized? Just how big has that snake grown, sister?

That little sip of wine to relax and unwind at the end of the day seems harmless. Jesus drank wine. But how big has that grown in your life? Has it grown to an unhealthy level and now a coping mechanism for every day of life? Is it now required to keep you calm and happy? Is a good time only had with a drink in your hand? Are you on edge without it? Oh honey, be aware of that snake. Its intentions are not good.

The crystals and the tarot cards were fun and playful. But those are not of Christ Jesus. They’re a threat to you, an open door for other powers to snuggle up and grow in your life. Don’t close that door honey, SLAM IT. The enemy will sneak in any way he can, and when he does he will seek to destroy every good thing you have. He will have no mercy and you won’t see it coming. He will strike if you allow his presence to continue.

I know it seems harmless, but do you really want to screw around with the one Jesus warned came only to kill, steal and destroy?

Romans 12: 2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Lord, help us to renew our minds and be transformed. Just because the rest of the world does it, help us not to fall into that trap. Set us apart to do your work and follow your will. Show us the snakes and their threats and give us the courage to evict them from our lives. What bad habits, bad relationships, bad thoughts, and bad routines are sneaking into our lives and threatening the future you have for us?

Galatians 5:1 “Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you”. Jesus took upon himself the exact thing you’re struggling with. The very sin that threatens with its grip on you. The very temptation that has slithered its way into your life. Yes, he’s already fought it and conquered it. Jesus has overcome to set you free. It’s been banished from your life already, don’t open the door and welcome it back in. You are not a slave to sin, but you will be if you let that sin in.

What if we prayed a bold prayer today and asked God to help us see where we’ve allowed potential danger to grow?
What if we prayed for clear eyes to see threats that have become normal to us?
What if we opened the doors to every room in our homes and hearts and asked God to examine it for strongholds of the enemy?
What if we stopped nagging our loved ones who are sleeping with snakes, and began praying for them to be free of the threats?
What if we became snake slayers through the power of our prayers and our love?
What if God used us to help set people free from the grips of sin they don’t even see themselves?
What if we lived life truly free, embracing all Jesus came to give us and saw the offerings of the evil one for what they really are … evil. Not exciting. Not mysterious. Not cool because everyone else is doing it. Just evil. And we have no room for that in our lives!

No snakes in my waters. No snakes in this house. No snakes in this bed. I won’t dance with the devil and I won’t sleep with him either.

God has been protecting you, now he’s opening your eyes to the threats and strengthening you to banish it from your life. Now is the time for bold prayers and next steps.

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