“As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand. The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.” But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed.”
Acts of the Apostles 28:3-5 NLT
Paul had just recovered from a ship wreck where he almost lost his life to being bit by a poisonous snake? Isn’t this just like the highs, lows, and extreme lows of business? I can only imagine how true this is for some of you in 2020. For many it has been blow after blow or snake bite after ship wreck. One storm or trial to the next. But God still had plans for Paul so he was protected. God still has plans for you and your business. Paul was “unharmed” meaning the poison didn’t kill him but he was still bit and I can only imagine it was quite painful. What you have experienced has been painful, but like Paul if you remain focused on the mission God has given you, you will survive!
“The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds and decided he was a god.”
Acts of the Apostles 28:6 NLT
When God has brought you through the trials don’t become conceited, See Romans 12:3. When you overcome remember who brought you through. Others around you may look to you in the same way the people looked to Paul, as a god. Don’t forget that God brought you through for HIS purposes and to become conceited in our victory can be more devastating than the snake bite. Give glory to God on the other side of the storm!
“Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.”
Romans 12:3 NLT
As it happened, Publius’s father was ill with fever and dysentery. Paul went in and prayed for him, and laying his hands on him, he healed him. Then all the other sick people on the island came and were healed.”
Acts of the Apostles 28:8-9 NLT
God used Pauls miracles to heal many. If Paul would have thought himself greater than he should these miracles may have been missed. Paul would have been busy basking in his own glory as a “god” to the people. When you make it through your trials, or 2020 in general, keep this scripture in mind and know that God will want to use the victory he gave you to bring miracles and blessings to others.
“As a result we were showered with honors, and when the time came to sail, people supplied us with everything we would need for the trip.”
Acts of the Apostles 28:10 NLT
Paul remained humble and when it was time to set sail to fulfill his mission he and those around him had all they needed for the trip. When we take care of Gods business He takes care of our needs. This is not a prosperity message as the end goal is not to see our needs met and our pockets full but rather to continue on the mission God has entrusted to us. Our needs being met is not the goal, carrying out the mission is the goal and our needs being met is simply the fuel to help us run our race!
So maybe you are in between a ship wreck and a snake bite. Maybe you are wondering how you are going to make it through? Remember that your mission was not to lead that business, your business was simply a tool to carry out your mission which is advancing the Kingdom of God here on Earth. The mission lives on!