In the book of Acts 28:3-6 we come across a very encouraging incident for us when we are doing God's work, suffer for it but uphold righteousness.
Righteous living means two key things:-
a) Right relationship - this is being in a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I can't emphasis this more.
b) Right Living - this is living uprightly; saying NO to ungodliness and worldly passions and being self-controlled.
Righteousness is one aspect of Christianity least emphasized to avoid being branded judgmental. However, that is wrong because in Ephesians 6:11-18 Paul our subject of encouragement today mentions it as one of the weapons of spiritual warfare.
Back to the book of Acts, we see our beloved Paul, bitten by a snake after lighting a fire using the firewood it had hidden itself in.
An exposition on this verse illustrates several things;
i) The firewood represents a resource God has given you to propel you to the next level. It could be your talent, training, wealth, etc.
ii) The snake represents the enemy who has taken advantage of your fear, procrastination, faithlessness, etc and made your resource his habitation. Very sad.
iii) The fire represents the power of God over your decision to acts on God's will for your life using the resource which he has given you. Your faith is up, your fear is gone and you procrastinate no more.
Immediately the fire heats up or better said the power of God starts moving, it makes the snakes in your life uncomfortable. The witchcraft against you starts feeling the heat of the rising glory and the witches around you starts prophesying.
To Paul they called him a murderer. Where did these witches get that from?
To you the witches in your life won't relent to remind the world of your once broken marriage, rebellious kids, financial woes, past immorality, etc. These witches will accuse you endlessly. They will even says you are facing justice from God.
When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live.” Acts 28:4
The devil wants to keep your firewood dead. As long as it remains stockpiled in your yard, which is your mind, the firewood is dead. Living firewood brings warmth and heat.
Back to Paul, when the snake bit Paul, the witches prophesied his death. Unfortunately, Paul did not swell up or drop dead. Wrong prophesy. False prophesy.
Your enemies are prophesying not just failure but death. They have judged you and condemned you to hell. That is the work of witches.
However, there is no condemnation for thee if you are in Christ Jesus and you are wearing the breastplate of righteousness.
Finally, when the witches realized Paul was not dying the Bible says, THEY CHANGED THEIR MINDS. Yes they did. The Bible further states that they decided that he was a god.
When your enemies fail to bring you down they will change their mind.
Keep going. Shield yourself with Faith as you shake off the snakes biting you. The belt of truth will remind every bite that the word says you shall be bitten by snakes and not die.The breastplate of righteousness will keep you from ungodly solutions and your readiness to stand on the Word of God will leave the witches saying one thing - "You are a god"!