“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,
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. Acts 28.3-6,” NIV
Advancing means an act of moving forward; promotion in rank or standing; preferment. In
practical terms, Advancing or Advancement mean not taking things lying low. Children of God
must be able to exercise their God given authority over negative situations. The word of God
tells us that at a time Jesus prayed and the sweats on His body looked like blood, as He exercises
authority over negative situation and forces of darkness. .
44 And being in agony [deeply distressed and anguished; almost to the point
of death], He prayed more intently; and His [e] sweat became like drops of
blood, falling down on the ground. Luke 22.44 (AMP)
When Jacob was about to face Esau, he went into a lonely place, he prayed hard and then
wrestled with a strong angel and prevailed. The time of engaging prayer warfare is not the time
“ And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had. And Jacob was left
alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. Genesis 32.23-24, KJV
The bible also records the prayers of Daniel for the revelation and interpretation of dreams;
political future of Israel and the world (Daniel 9. 10 and 12), Jehoshaphat set himself to
supplicate to the Lord on behalf of his nation, he took immediate and prompt action after the
Lord instructed him. (2 Chronicles 20.20-23) ,
6 Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of
Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones
received strength. Acts 3.6-7, KJV
Prompt action means acting without delay, in many situations, delay could be dangerous.
When you exercise promptness by your authoritative action(s), you are initiating a governmental
revolution. “Government” is the ruling or governing authority over a particular territory, matter
or space. Spiritually, we can say the negative encroachment over your positive enlargement.
Therefore, by governmental revolution we mean overthrowing everything that does not want you
to make advance or make progress. To launch a governmental revolution, you need
empowerment for positive action.
“ But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else
how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong
man? and then he will spoil his house.” Mathew 12.28-29, KJV
After four hundred and thirty years bondage, the children of Israel cried to the Lord for
deliverance; the Lord heard their prayers. He sent Moses to liberate them, but Pharaoh refused to
let them go. God had to organize a baptism of destruction for Pharaoh and the entire army of
Egypt. (Exodus 14.15 – 31, KJV)
An individual’s approach to a challenging situation will determine its outcome. As shocking as itmight seem, man is of a few days and born into trouble. “People are born for trouble as predictably as sparks fly upward from a fire.” Job 5.6 NLT. The purpose of man’s creation and birth is to praise God by being victorious but you will encounter difficulties and challenges along the way and by His grace you will overcome them all. “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.” (Psalm 34:19, KJV)
What enhances the approach of God to any given situation is his deep knowledge. God is always steps ahead because of his vast knowledge, deep understanding and His unparalleled wisdom. In a game of chess, you need to plan many moves ahead, it is driven by logic. There are many options of what you can do when “if” happens.
In our text, a viper fastened on Paul’s hand, no record was given that he started screaming
frantically or running from pillar to post neither did he go to an oracle, herbalist or seer. All he did was calmly shake the snake off into the fire. Paul had some information, knew and
understood something that others did not know or have.
Paul had Knowledge
To “know” something is to perceive it or to be aware of it, this is Knowledge. Understanding is the ability to correctly order or arrange the pieces of knowledge, facts, truths or information that we possess in a way that makes sense. Think of a jigsaw puzzle. Wisdom comes when we are able to correctly apply our knowledge and understand so that the we take the right and appropriate decisions. The Lord gives wisdom, from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding. He gives knowledge as a gift from His infinite store of knowledge. “Day unto Day pours out speech, night unto night reveals knowledge. Psalm 19.2, KJV.
In our text, Apostle Paul revealed the source of his confidence, lack of fear and ultimate action: "Last night God's angel stood at my side, an angel of this God I serve, 24 saying to me, "Dont' give up, Paul. You're going to stand before Caesar yet and everyone sailing with you is also going
to make it.' 25 So, dear friends, take heart. I believe God will do exactly what he told me. Acts 28.23-25 (MSG)
Paul shook off the snake into the fire because he got knowledge, received understanding and
applied wisdom, finally took action. When where you are does not look like where God has
shown you or what He has said know that what you are seeing presently is only temporary.
Knowledge is the accumulation and familiarization of facts; if forms the bases for Understanding and also for Wisdom. Without knowledge, one can neither have Understanding nor Wisdom.
Understanding is the correct organization and ordering of associated facts, so it can make sense. This is like putting a complex jig-saw puzzle together, picture is better seen when the knowledge is correctly ordered. Mostly when people have the knowledge, they are bereft of understanding.
It is His desire that we have understanding – Matthew 15.15-20, KJV.
Wisdom – is the most important of the principles, it sits on top of knowledge and understanding.
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting, get
understanding.” Proverbs 4.7, KJV. Knowing what to do, when to do it and with who to do it,
that is the revealed ability to make wise choices. Whilst Knowledge and Understanding may be internal, Wisdom has a voice and it speaks. Proverbs 1.20-22, KJV
While knowledge enhances Authority, power is domiciled in what you do with the authority.
There is always a prescribed action for every situation and a right time for every action. Jesus
demonstrated the correct application of Knowledge several times in the Bible; for example, when
a woman caught in adultery was brought before Jesus, Jesus did not answer the accusers a word
all he did was write in the sand but at another time when Peter tried to dissuade him from
fulfilling his mission, “He roared get behind me Satan…” It takes Wisdom to say the right
words. “How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove?” Job 6:25. KJV.
Facts of Life
1. Heights give Heat
Vs 3—Any upward movement in life will always cause uproar. It is when you think
you should be moving up that the viper will show up; the viper came out of the heat.
What you are doing is causing a ripple in the satanic kingdom. It is not everything that
you do that pleases everybody.
Vs 4 –It is guaranteed in life that people will see something even when you say
nothing. When the people saw the venomous beast. How people see is not the way God
sees. In 1 Samuel 16:7, the bible says The LORD does not look at the things man looks
at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." The LORD
doesn’t see things the way you see them.
In the earlier verse it was a viper now it became a venomous beast. The size of
the problem cannot be compared to the power of GodThe size of the difficulty
does not matter to God nor the duration. All power has been given unto Jesus in
Heaven and on earth. At the mention of the name of Jesus every knee shall
The people said, “No doubt this man is a murderer. Earthly summation does not equal
heavenly conclusion. One man’s hatred cannot alter another man’s destiny”
Vs 5—Until you shake off negativity, you do not shine. And he shook off the beast into
the fire and felt no harm. Heaven is waiting for you to shake off the beast into the fire
and by the grace of God you will feel no harm.
Vs 6—Let your action show that your God is mighty and they will change their
minds. People are going to change their minds about you.
Isaiah 35: 10And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and
everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall
Psalm 135:4—For the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar
Zechariah 8:14-15 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Just as I had determined to bring
disaster upon you and showed no pity when your fathers angered me," says the LORD Almighty,
15 "so now I have determined to do good again to Jerusalem and Judah. Do not be afraid.
- Take prompt action on your knowledge and understanding. David took action when Saul started scheming his hurt, he escaped and went to the Chief Priest for bread and armour. He told the Ahimelech “the matter of the King requires haste” 2 Samuel 21.8, KJV.
- Avoid procrastination: Procrastination means putting off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness. There may be many reasons to delay action on some critical life decisions. Some decisions can not wait but many are guilty of indecision.
- Very serious repercussions for not taking action. Saul was warned about his error in performing the role of a priest, he did not take any action. (2 Samuel 1.17-19). Conversely, Prophet Nathan warned David about his sin of adultery, immediately he repented (2 Samuel 12.13), he turned to the Almighty God and asked for mercy. (Psalm 51 KJV). Saul never acknowledged his faults.