The Python spirit has become one of the latest demonic rock stars—but this spirit is nothing to toy with. Indeed, a Forest Ranger in India just learned the hard way and his struggle offers a spiritual warfare parallel.

The Washington Post reports:

“The rock python had just killed and eaten a goat, but perhaps more troubling, the reptile had crushed and consumed its meal within shouting distance of a school. Something had to be done. So worried residents in Jalpaiguri, a city in northeast India, called Sanjay Dutta, the local forest ranger, according to Reuters.

“As onlookers stared, Dutta corralled the 18-foot snake with an animal-control pole, then used thick gloves to grab the snake’s head and pick it up. Crisis averted. All Dutta had to do was put it into a sack for quick transport back to the wild, perhaps to the banks of the nearby Teesta River, where it wouldn’t pose a threat to humans.

“Instead, Dutta draped the snake around his neck. It was time for a celebratory selfie. Some residents hoisted smartphones, motioning for others to cram in closer to the forest ranger and the beast he’d captured. One man smoked what may have been a celebratory cigarette. A child sat on a man’s shoulders, craning to get into the picture.”

This is the heart stance too many spiritual warriors take when they “think” they have overcome the enemy. Presumptuous spiritual warriors dance, sing and shout before the battle is won. They celebrate with selfies of victory before the devil is defeated because they haven’t learned to discern the ring of victory in their spirit. They are walking by sight and not by faith, to a degree, but what they often see next is defeat.

Such was the case with Dutta. The Post reports:

“Suddenly perched on the very vulnerable neck area of a mammal, the snake made a few efforts to wrap itself around the man. Dutta batted the snake’s body away, at one point holding the powerful reptile at bay while he smiled for the camera. But moments later, he was clearly in distress.

“The snake managed to wrap one coil completely around Dutta’s neck. Meanwhile, the reptile had jerked its tail free of a man assisting the forest ranger, further entangling Dutta. Scared residents who, moments earlier, had crammed in for a photo screamed and sprinted away.”

Thankfully, Dutta finally got free, but he clearly underestimated the power of his enemy. That heart posture can be a near-fatal flaw in the realm of spiritual warfare.

Take a lesson from David, who knocked Goliath over with a smooth stone (1 Samuel 17). He could have danced, shouted and took a selfie with the fallen giant but he knew the battle wasn’t over. David ran forward not to celebrate, but to finish the enemy off with his own sword.

There’s a time for peace and a time for war. There’s a time to pick up the camera and a time to pick up the sword. Don’t make Dutta’s mistake. Make your victory sure before you lay down your weapons.

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