Serpents, Dark Paths, & Bare Feet

Serpents, Dark Paths, & Bare Feet

One evening last summer while vacationing in Hilton Head, I was walking from the beach back to our rented house. It was pitch black dark, and I didn’t have a flashlight. My friends in front had a light, but they were so far ahead the light did me no good. All of a sudden, I heard one of them yell, “Snake, snake.” I almost had a heart attack! There was a snake on the path we were walking, and I am TERRIFIED of snakes. I began to run in a zig-zag sort of pattern in hopes of not stepping on the creature. I couldn’t see the ground. There was no light. So, my only choice was to run in fear, with only the hope of avoiding the snake.

In John 8:31-32 Jesus says, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

The context of this Scripture helps us understand to what Jesus was referring. The Pharisees had been questioning Jesus about His authority and validity. They did not understand who He was or at least they did not want to accept the truth of who He was because of their own preconceived notions of who the Christ should be. Many heard Him teach at the Feast of Tabernacles and declare that He was the Living Water, then as a trap, the Pharisees brought before Him a woman caught in the act of adultery. Next, Jesus declares, “I am the Light of the World.”

Scripture says in John 8:30 that as He spoke many believed in Him. So, in response to their belief, Jesus said these words of encouragement and assurance. “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

The truth of God illuminates our hearts and minds, helping us to walk in obedience and in the knowledge of Him. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and light to my path.”

So often we walk in darkness because we fail to go to the illuminating truth of God’s Word. Basically, we turn the flashlight off and you know what happens then. We stumble into sin, fall into fear, or trip over the trifles of life. In doing so we often end up hurting ourselves, our relationship with God, and with others.

But this passage from John 8 tells us how we are to walk. We are to walk in the light of Christ. He is the Word of God in the flesh, the Light of the World. He is our flashlight, our lamp and light, showing us the way.

So, what did Jesus mean when He said, “and you will know the truth, and the truth and the truth will set you free?” He meant that living in the truth and light of His Word, brings freedom. Walking in the light is always more comfortable and satisfying than walking in darkness.

Had I been resourceful enough to carry a flashlight on that dark path, I would have been able to walk in freedom, knowing that I could find my way safely home. Light equals freedom; darkness shackles us with fear and frustration.

Did I mention that on the path I was barefoot? That’s right. Not only was it dark, not only did I have no flashlight, but I also had no shoes on my feet. So, had I stepped on that snake … I can’t even think about it!

My point is this, the light and truth of God’s Word leads us to places of freedom and abundance. The sneaky serpent, known as the devil, leads us on dark paths of deception and defiance, causing us to walk in fear not freedom.

So, what will you choose today? I recommend shoes and a flashlight, especially if you’re walking through a weedy path in the dark. I also recommend starting your day with light and life by going to God’s Word and asking Him to light your path for the day.


Have a blessed day!

Jacqueline Heider

Director of Women’s Ministry, 

Prayer and Together at Warren