Driving Out The Bad

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Years ago Martha and I built our “dream house.” We bought five wooded acres on a small river in an out of the way area and secured someone to draft plans. Actually, it was my dream house. I grew up with a farm and room to roam. Martha, who grew up in town, could probably be happy on a small lot in a subdivision.

When Martha’s mother was twelve years old she was bitten by a Cottonmouth and very nearly died. Because of her mother’s stories, Martha has more than normal fear of snakes. She also has numerous snake stories.

One of those relates to the house that we built. Martha assumed that snakes would be everywhere when we moved in. Our wonderful neighbor “up the road” told us about the six-foot King Snake that frequented the area. King Snakes, of course, are non-poisonous and drive out dangerous snakes. Hal, our neighbor, said, “if you see the six-foot King Snake, don’t kill it.” Martha, in all seriousness replied: “Hal, if you don’t want two three-foot King Snakes, keep him on your property!” (Martha Bailey, Putting My Dress-up Clothes Away, Insight press, 2007).

Later, I reminded Martha that King Snakes drive out the bad snakes. In fact, any property can only have a certain number of snakes. It’s simply the law of having enough to eat. A property can only have the number of snakes that it can support with the food supply such as frogs. If non-poisonous snakes take up the food supply, poisonous snakes can’t exist.

This is the way that we live moral and holy lives. Instead of focusing on the bad, we focus on the good. When our lives are filled with the good and holy, we don’t have room for that which is dishonors God. This is what Paul meant when he told the church at Colossae to “. . .set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3: 1-2). To the congregation at Philippi Paul encouraged them to “think about such things” which are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable (Philippians 4:8).

Minds and hearts that are set on God will naturally drive out those things which oppose God. This is how the believer lives a life holy and pleasing to God.

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6 Comments


  1. Rev. John Meyer
    Jan 05, 2012

    excellent illustration dr. “b.” that’s where most people lose the battle in seeking to have a life that is pleasing to the Lord. they want their lives to exhibit the heavenly but spend their time infusing the earthly! it’s like the quote from charles lowery: “if you believe in ‘train up a child in the way he should go, you better be going in that direction already.'”


  2. LaRue Stephens
    Jan 05, 2012

    Nice cottonmouth! Awesome application to practical Christian living!


  3. Waylon
    Jan 05, 2012

    I debated whether to put the cottonmouth on the article, but it does make a point!


  4. Celia Sims
    Jan 06, 2012

    I loved Martha’s book and really enjoyed the snake story. Please let me know when her new book is published. I want one. love you guys and really miss you and Covington.


  5. Waylon
    Jan 06, 2012

    We miss you too. Martha’s next book should be ready early in March. She has great stories.

  6. […] “Driving Out the Bad,” by Waylon Bailey on his blog, with an illustration drawn from King snakes and cottonmouth moccasins and applied to putting our focus on good, not evil. […]

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. — 1 Timothy 2:5-6 (NIV)