Yesterday, we talked about how Satan is a defeated foe, and today, I want to share an experience I had a few years back that reminded me of this powerful truth. On Fridays, I often spend time in prayer, and one of my favorite places to go is Rancho Capistrano. It’s a large retreat center that used to be owned by the Crystal Cathedral and now is part of Saddleback Church. It’s open to the public, and it’s just a really peaceful, beautiful, and quiet place to invoke God’s presence. There’s one spot I like especially well, and it’s up at the top of a hill. It’s a bit of a hike, and you go past the church and wind up the mountain, and when you get to the end, there’s a beautiful pepper tree. If you’ve never seen one, they’re very lush, and they look somewhat like a weeping willow. Anyway, someone carved a path through this tree that forms kind of a doorway, and on the other side is a narrow isthmus-type strip of land overlooking the valley below. There’s an almost sacred quality about this spot, and when I’m there, I feel especially close to God. In fact, because it’s like holy ground to me, I have a habit of taking my shoes off when I arrive, kind of like Moses did in Exodus. Well, one day, I left my shoes under the pepper tree and began moving toward the vista when I felt movement under my feet. I swiftly got out of the way, and I realized that I had stepped on a rattlesnake! Talk about a close call. Thankfully for me, he didn’t attack, and I felt like the Holy Spirit used that moment to teach me an important truth. Even though there was no reason for me not to be bitten, because I was in the Lord’s presence — on “holy ground” — the snake fled. This serves as a great reminder of how impotent and helpless the devil is when it comes to harming God’s children. He can instill fright, but there’s no authority in his bite, because in the Name of Jesus, we can send him slithering on his way!
My friend, in the presence of the Lord, there is protection. Because you live, move, and have your being in Him, you are covered by the blood of the Lamb of God, and He is a banner of refuge over your life. While the forces of darkness may linger about, you’ve been marked for victory, and there is nothing the devil can do to harm you. You are sheltered, shielded, and set apart in your Heavenly Father’s family, and He will keep you from all harm and faithfully guide you along the pathway of peace.