Serpent: Friend or Foe?
By Veronica Johnson

God said to the serpent, "I will make you and the woman hostile toward each other. I will make your descendants and her descendant hostile toward each other. He will crush your head, and you will bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15 (GWT)

A church that I once attended had a "deliverance" service each month. The odd thing was that the exact same people went to the altar each month with the same problems and complaints. As time progressed, one of our pastors addressed this situation. He explained the reason many Christians were not set free from ungodly habits and behaviors. He said, "God promised to deliver you from your enemies; many of the things that you come to the altar for have become your friends." WOW! Imagine the shock on the faces of the congregants. I was astonished at the wise words. I would like to examine whether we really do make friends with what we should abhor.

In Genesis 3, God is pronouncing judgment on everyone that played a part in the Fall of Man.  After speaking to Adam and Eve, He turns His attention to the serpent. Jehovah God declares a perpetual war between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. Many translations use the term, "enmity". Enmity denotes a positive hatred. Positive hatred is an animosity so strong that it promotes constructive behavior on the part of the hater. We have established that there is God-ordained dislike in this relationship. Is there anything that would cause us not to act in an adversarial fashion toward the enemy?

Luke 10:19 tells us that Jesus gave us power to tread upon serpents; however, when we tread upon the serpent, we have to use our heel. In our heel is all of our carnal nature. According to James 1:14, when we are tempted, we are only attracted to the temptation based upon our own sinful desires. Temptation is presented to us. Like Eve, we are so attracted to the enticement that instead of crushing the serpent, we allow him to go free. Why?  Because we enjoy what he offers. This is a tough pill to swallow for a child of God. We often say that we are, "dying daily" and "crucifying the deeds of the flesh."  While we are making these verbal declarations, we are fostering ungodly alliances with the enemy of our souls. We like our heels because they are what support us. We use the desires in our heels to stand on instead of the Word of God.  The problem is that in our heels are such attributes as anger, jealousy and bitterness. Why do we choose to stand on characteristics such as these? I reasoned at one time that my heel would protect me.

Recently, I was hurt by someone that I love dearly. In order to keep the person from hurting me again, I refused to forgive. Grudges have been in the heels of my family for years. The Holy Spirit dealt with me for months about crushing the head of the serpent presenting bitterness. My question was, "how will this affect me?" I was rebuking the enemy with my lips but, my actions were in alliance with what he was presenting. One day, I fought no longer. I crushed his head but, my heel was bruised. My pride was wounded because I now needed to seek her forgiveness for my behavior. This is the true crushing that God desires.

I now see that the pastor was incredibly accurate. In trying to protect the flesh, we allow the serpent to run rampantly in our midst. If we crush his head as God ordained, we would in turn take power from our flesh. If we take power from the flesh, we grow in the true likeness and image of Jesus Christ. It will no longer be lip-service; we will unequivocally die to self.

                    Remember that it is only when we resist the devil that he flees.

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