According to doctors at the Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, rattlesnakes thought to be dead can still strike, bite, and kill you. Doctors in Phoenix said they have a large number of patients admitted each year suffering from bites from rattlers thought to be dead. Sometimes the snakes were shot and their heads cutoff; but, the snake head retains a reflex action. In fact, one study showed that snake heads could still make striking-type motions up to sixty minutes after decapitation.
Satan, that old Serpent, was defeated at Calvary—his head was cut off. Hebrews Chapter 2 says that our Savior, by His death, destroyed him who holds the power of death. But for a season Satan can still strike and wound us. He can still hurt us and poison our relationships and spread his deadly venom into our homes and lives.
Paul admonished the Corinthians to take great care in this area, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices” (II Cor. 2:11). Although this may have been true in the apostle’s day, we are not sure it is the case today. It seems to us that many believers are unaware they are under attack. Satan can be very subtle and his devices are well planned. While his devices take on many forms there is one in particular that he uses quite effectively— worry! If the enemy can keep you off balance in this area he can successfully hinder your service for the Lord.
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” —Phil. 4:6,7
Do you worry? I didn’t think so, but there are some who struggle with this problem. Paul says, “Be careful for nothing.” In our modern day language we would say, “Don’t worry about anything.” The Greek word behind the term “careful” here is merimnao, which means to pull in different directions, to distract. This is exactly what worry will do to you—it will tear you apart both emotionally and physically. It can be one of the leading causes of ulcers, which is something else to worry about!
Worry always dwells on the future in regard to what may or may not happen. It mulls over every worst-case scenario imaginable until you are tied in knots. We might say it this way: the past belongs to the ages, the present belongs to us, but the future belongs to God.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.