In life, there are things that exist in places that they do not belong. Often times, we become immune to these things and don’t even realize they are there. Whether it’s a bad habit, character flaws or sin, we often live with these things to the point that we forget they are even there. This sin can be so detrimental to us that it can kill us.
Acts 28 opens with a very well known account of Paul being bitten by a viper he didn’t know what was there. Paul had gathered a bundle of wood to throw on top of the fire that had been started; as he went to throw the wood onto the fire, a viper comes out from the fire only to latch on to Paul. Paul then shakes it off of him into the fire to be killed. The fire existed for this viper to bring it out of the place it didn’t belong. However, it wasn’t until Paul got the pile of wood close to the fire that the viper came out.
What I’ve noticed is the same thing the fire was to the viper, the Holy Spirit is to the sin in our lives. We can walk through our whole lives distant from the Holy Spirit and never know that there are things in our lives that do not belong. But the closer we get to the Holy Spirit, the more sin and things that don’t belong in our lives are drawn out. When the Holy Spirit draws the sin out of our lives, it will try to latch on to us and to stick around. However, this is when the fire comes in to play for us to shake our sin and for it to be destroyed, like the viper did with Paul. The grace of God is to our sin what the fire was to the viper. It’s only from the fire when things are revealed that must be thrown into that fire. When the Holy Spirit reveals the sin in our lives as we get closer to Him, we must shake our sin into the fire of His grace. Don’t run from the flames, embrace the fire and let His grace change us.