Almost surely you have noted the many forms in which the devil comes or at least is depicted as: There is the half-human, half-beast, very common. At Fatima a beast from hell was seen exhaling fire. There is the leviathan (a sea monster). There is the bat. There is the goat. There is, most famously, the snake. This is the classic depiction.
“Pray the Lord to take the serpents away from us,” pleads Psalm 102.
“Behold, I give you the authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you,” said Jesus (Luke 10:19).
Why is that? A snake: what is the meaning?
Right off, of course, we think of where a snake resides. It is of the ground, the dirt, the earth. When we are worldly, we have a foot or both on its terrain. When we stray into brush, we can’t see them. They are hidden, like sin. Holy Week is special for rooting out this wrong hiddenness. Of special interest, in this regard, is what some, referring to problems in life — on this earth — call the “spirit of python.”
Why would evil be named specifically, in some cases, as a python?
It is among the most frightening of snakes, for what it does is squeeze its prey to death. It wraps around. It breaks bones. It suffocates and strangles.
We think of “big”: the record so far for a python is twenty-six feet. In the Florida Everglades, where they are wreaking havoc (let loose there by those who once had them as imported pets, or from zoos damaged by storms), they have been known to kill and devour alligators.
Last week, in India, it devoured an adult human.
So we are dealing with a formidable adversary, if we are dealing with the “spirit of python.”
Those in deliverance point out that it is one of the only named spirits in the Bible, and what it tries to squeeze out of you is prayer, faith, and the Holy Spirit — your lifeline, the breath of Him.
“Symptoms of a python attack may include weariness, a loss of passion to worship and pray, feeling pressured, overwhelmed, helpless and even hopeless,” notes one such expert. Reminding you of past sins — making you obsess over them — it knocks the wind out of you.
It is occultism — going to the wrong “tree.” It is intermingling evil with good. It is disobedience. It is seeking to be immortal and all-knowing in the flesh as a sinner. In Acts 16:16 is the girl possessed by the spirit of “divination.” In ancient Greece, python was another word for “diviner” or “soothsayer” — fortuneteller, false seer, psychic. (Below, the longest python in captivity in the Guinness Book of Records at a haunted-house attraction in Kansas City, Missouri, called “The Edge of Hell. Prayer need)
Despite its size, a python is hard to find.
Although officials suspect there are thousands and possibly tens of thousands slithering wild in the Everglades, one recent campaign involving more than a thousand hunters turned up only 106.
“When python is operating, look for heaviness, sorrow, depression and oppression,” says another who deals in this realm. “There will be manipulation involved and people will not be completely open to correction. They will try to control every situation. Customs and traditions may be strong and have to be torn down. Visions and creativity will be choked. Python will cause people to become fearful, weak and weary. People will start questioning their own vision, position and calling. He tries to squeeze out of you everything God has called you to do.”
It will beguile you. It will lay eggs in many places. It is the ultimate expert in lying in wait. It can operate in water as well as dry land. It can swallow whole. An actual python can devour a pig! It is large enough to hide other snakes under it.
It can be the spirit of money. There is self-ambition behind it.
It can be false prophecy — relying on private revelation more than the Bible.
It often takes its time killing.
Gradual evil — graduated darkness — is the spirit of python.
It will linger as long as it takes!
It will constrict your chest, your head. Slowly but surely, it will choke off the Holy Spirit.
Here are questions one evangelist uses to detect it:
1. Have you or your spouse been feeling a sense of unusual tiredness recently or for a while now?
2. Have you or your spouse been experiencing bouts with procrastination, laziness, and a non-desire to complete tasks and assignments?
3. Have you or your spouse been feeling as if you’re not getting enough sleep. In other words, even after a long night’s rest you feel even more tired when you awake in the morning?
4. Have you or your spouse been experiencing symptoms of feeling drained, depleted, confused or not having a sense of direction or having so much to do you don’t know where to start from?
5. Have you or your spouse lost your desire to pray, read the Bible or seek God about things that you’d normally seek him on before. Instead you’ve replaced seeking God with constant complaining and speaking negative about everything?
6) Have you or your spouse been challenged with finding pleasure in doing things that you know you should not be doing at that particular time such as watching TV, playing a video game, listening to songs, when you should be working on assignments. However, when you do finally decide to attempt to do those assignments you become tired, sleepy etc?
It has to be yanked out — and this comes by casting out in the Name of Jesus; casting it out by name. Who is an expert at stepping on snakes? The Virgin.
Somehow, being specific (“The Lord cast you out, spirit of python, to the foot of the Cross to be disposed of according to His Will, never to return, sealed against”) grants far more power to such prayer.
Bring it to the Tree of the Cross, which has replaced the tree that hid the serpent.