Oct28ThuOctober 28, 2021
SHAKE IT OFF! A prophetic word for the Church by Cindy Knoll
“Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold. 3 Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. 4 When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.” 5 But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. 6 The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god. 7 There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days. 8 His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him.9 When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured. 10 They honored us in many ways; and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.” (Acts 28:1-10)
This morning, I was led to this passage in Acts. As we read through chapter 28, there are a few things that stand out! During imprisonment, Paul and the other prisoners experienced a terrible storm at sea where they ended up shipwrecked. The prisoners and guards that were on the ship made it to shore on the Island of Malta. The scripture says that “once he was safe on shore”, Paul found that the natives of the island were very good and kind people. As they were building a fire for them, a poisonous snake latched onto Paul’s hand. The people of Malta immediately thought this was God’s judgment on Paul for something he had done. After all the trials that Paul had already endured, now he’s dealing with a deadly snake bite and accusations against him. What does he do? He shakes it off. He simply shakes the snake off into the fire and that was the end of it. The island people wait to see if he dies and surely, he doesn’t because God had a plan for him being there. Because Paul “SHOOK OFF” this attack and stayed focused, the natives saw the authority he had. Paul ended up healing “ALL the other sick people” on this island and the people blessed him abundantly with everything that he and the others stranded needed for their trip!
I believe we are in a season right now of SHAKING OFF! God’s people need to recognize and discern what to accept in their lives and what to SHAKE OFF! We are not called to just accept anything and everything. This will end in a spirit of defeat. We have been given the authority of Christ! “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.” (Luke 10:19) When the enemy attacks, it’s usually to throw you off course from something big ahead. After Paul “shook off” this attack, ALL the sick people on the island were healed because of it! ALL! He did not allow the trials he had just endured to stop his ministry and God’s plan. He stayed focused on what God was doing even through strange, unusual, inconvenient and hard circumstances! God continued to show Himself faithful and provide everything Paul and the others needed to continue on their journey. In verse 10 it says, “As a result we were showered with honours…and supplied with everything we needed!” There is always a blessing on the other side of hardship and doing the will of God. We need to endure through trials and hardships and there is a SHAKING OFF that needs to happen in order to move forward. If we succumb to discouragement, defeat and weariness, we will miss what’s up ahead.
Another example of this is found in Luke 4:29-30. Jesus was teaching in the synagogue and the people became furious with His teaching, so much so that they “drove him” out of town and were ready to throw Him off a cliff. What was Jesus’ response? “But He walked right through the crowd and went on His way!” He literally “shook this attack” off and went on His way! He didn’t argue with them or start a debate that He was right and they were wrong! (can you imagine?) He simply walked right through the attack and kept going. We are in a season where God’s people need to have a “thicker skin”. Trials, attacks from the enemy and accusations will come and we need to take our example from scripture on how to respond. If we are constantly needing to defend ourselves, have a pity party, or put way too much focus on what the enemy is doing, we are going to miss what God wants to do!
In the last 2 years, the enemy has come in strong against God’s people to bring enormous distraction and to try and wear us out. This last season has been hard but I believe that in those hardships, God is moving in new and unexpected ways. We need to be very watchful right now through the trials. What is God speaking and where and to who is He leading you? We need to SHAKE OFF the plans of hell right now and move forward church! There is a harvest of souls waiting on the other side!