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Thursday, June 30

"SIN is 'Rattlesnake Venom' to the SOUL"

Everything satan and his hoards intend for us is, ultimately, to "steal" our joy, "kill" our passion in pursuing God's purpose for us, and "destroy" our lives.  Jesus tells us, "The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)

"I came away from this experience with a much deeper understanding of just how destructive sin is to the human soul." -Keith
Find this, and more messages like it, in our book LETTERS FROM THE FRONT.

Early one spring, I began preparing to plant my vegetable garden. At the time, I had no idea that a very profound life lesson was on its way. If you are not familiar with the first chapter of our book, "Letters from the Front," which is called, "Sin Makes Ya Stewpit, "we draw the parallel between the toxic effects of snake venom on the human body and the destructive, and eventually deadly, effects that sin has on the human soul. Like a poisonous snake bite begins to bring death to a person's body at the point of envenomization, sin begins to poison the human's soul at the time in which we allow it to enter into our life. Looking back, I wrote about the effects snake venom can have on the human body based solely on my research studies and what I learned from medical friends that I knew. Until the day I was bitten, in my own back yard, I had no personal experience of the truly terrible toll a poisonous snake bite brings. THEN, all of a sudden, the parallel actually made even, the most, perfect sense.
One evening in early August, when I was watering my garden, I reached into the cucumber plants to pick up the water hose, and I felt a sharp, hard, and sudden sting on my right forearm. At that moment, all I could think of was how, earlier that day, I had been stung by a wasp on my left arm, and how, the day before this, I was bitten on top of my right foot by a spider that left a pretty nasty and painful wound. So, when I felt the snake bite me, I figured that it was another wasp or a bee. Only a moment later, my arm started burning. I reached over with my left hand to rub it, and my hand came away from the spot all covered in blood. I bent my arm around, looking to see what was causing all of the trouble, and this is when I noticed two fang holes. Right away I began sucking the venom out of the puncture wounds which, I later learned, was what saved me a world of hurt and, possibly even, saved my arm. Even though I had sucked out much of the poison that fanged creature had injected into me, I was still about to experience the brutal side effects of trauma to my circulatory and nervous system, of damage to my muscle tissue, and of my body's vital organs beginning to shut down. Most of all, I needed to seek treatment for certain numbness, blurred vision, impaired judgment, decreased sense of hearing, excruciating pain, potential unconsciousness and, if not treated in time, permanent paralysis and eventual death.
Once I realized I had been bitten by a rattlesnake, I called my doctor, in hopes that he might tell me that he could just give me some antibiotics or something to avoid any of the side effects. Instead, he took one look at it, directed me to go straight to the Emergency Room, and off I went. My doctor even called the ER ahead of time, to notify them to expect a viper bite victim who is on his way. This is the time I realized the intensity of my situation and my urgent need for emergency treatment.
If you have ever experienced the "horrors" of being processed through an ER, you can understand how the thought of the long waiting period, was actually more frustrating to me than the snakebite itself. After being admitted for treatment, the doctors took a while to make sure that I was in the clear, then they released me to make my way back home. That is when I began, what turned out to be, about a 3-month healing process of some pretty weird side effects from the venom in my body. One thing that happened a few days after the snake-bite incident was, while I was driving home from a trip to the post office, I experienced a serious example of impaired judgment. It's still somewhat blurry in my memory. The snake venom in my system was apparently burning up a mess of my brain cells, causing short-term memory loss.
There I was, on my way driving home, being pulled over by a patrol officer on a motorcycle. I did not think I was speeding, so I was wondering what in the world his reason could be for stopping me. You need to know that, up until that day, I had a spotless driving record and, frankly, I took great pride in that. The officer got off his motorcycle and walked over to my car. My curiosity peaked as he asked for my license. He then began to ask what my reason was for running that red light at the intersection. I was stunned! I had just run through a red light and had no idea that there was even one there. After the officer had written me a ticket, I very cautiously made my way home and called my doctor. The staff at the hospital had not warned me about these strange side effects that were suddenly taking over my ability to use the judgment that normally came naturally to me. Gratefully, my doctor wrote a nice letter on my behalf, and addressed it to the court, to explain my predicament.
In the courtroom on my court date, I submitted a guilty plea, but with extenuating circumstances that were explained in the letter that I then handed over to the judge. The judge read it, and was amazed. He immediately excused my case and said that he would like to hang on to the letter as a souvenir. At that, we all had a good laugh, and I went home. At the end of court that day, although the whole thing was somewhat amusing and nearly unbelievable, the tormenting effects of the snake’s venom on my body’s system turned into a profound revelation. If there could ever be a clear parallel drawn between the things in the natural and the things of the spirit, it is HERE. In the spiritual sense, sin brings pain, impaired judgment, blurred vision, dulled sense of hearing, and pure destruction upon the soul, like the snake venom brings all of those effects to the human body.
Obviously, it took time for the poison to run its course and work its way to leaving my body, for which I had no choice but to wait. This is where my prayer life suffered during the process. It was as if there had been a huge wall built between me and the Lord. The more I tried to focus on hearing His life-giving Voice, the more frustrated I grew. The snake’s venom numbed my senses, impacting my ability to hear not only in the physical, but in the spirit. It kept me from hearing the one thing that means more to me than life itself – GOD'S VOICE.
The solution to the "sin problem" in our life starts with repenting of any sin we may have allowed into our life -- the sin we know of as well as the sin of which we are not even aware. And, if there has ever been a good time to inspect your "hedge of protection" around you, it's now. Fortify yourself with continual meditation on both God and His Word. Stay in continual communication with Him. Don't look on anything unclean. Keep company with people who love God with all of their hearts.
I came away from the experience of this story with a much deeper understanding of how destructive sin is to the human soul. In my experience, I can say without hesitation, steer clear of BOTH sneaky ol' snakes, and anything that tempts you to invite the devastating effects of sin into your life! If we don't want to suffer the traumatic effects of deadly snakebites, don't touch snakes. Likewise, if we don't want to suffer the awful, excruciating separation from God, don't accept the deadly effects of sin by giving in to temptations, no matter what form they may come in.
"But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death." (James 1:14-15)
"Once we have allowed sin into our system, whether we like it or not, it is going to run its painful course, damaging any and everything that it comes into contact with. Never forget, no matter how void of consequence satan may present (or package) sin to be, the truth is... SIN’s results are NEVER without destructive, and eventually deadly, circumstances!" -Keith

For more on this topic, see Chapter 1 in our book, "LETTERS FROM THE FRONT."    


Your friends and servants in Christ,
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