I was praying and asked God a pointed question, I heard the Spirit speak to me concerning the person I was praying for, He said “say this to him, Shed your skin and start again” to say the least I was startled, what kind of thing was that to tell someone? I wondered what that meant, but then I saw something that made it make sense to me. I walked outside and saw something on the sidewalk that startled me, it was the skin of a snake! I came in the house and ran a search on why snakes shed their skin and watched a video of a Corn Snake doing just that. They start by rubbing their mouth and nose against hard and rugged objects to make a tear in their skin and continue to rub against these hard objects until the skin begins to roll down and they are able to just pull out of it, quite a sight! Then I went to Ask.com to find out why they do this and how often. I found that it is for their growth; they cannot grow until the old skin is gone so they can stretch out and even after they quit growing they continue to shed to replace old or broken scales. I put on my thinking cap, starting to get the point, 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become NEW!
We pray for a new move of the Spirit in our life, or for a new inspiration, “Lord help me grow in the Spirit, teach me to know Your ways” and then we find ourselves with our nose up against a “grindstone”, rubbing our skin raw, we begin to feel like we are between a rock and a hard place and wonder why! We have prayed so hard, “why am I having such a hard time?” Again we find an answer in nature, we, like the snake, are covered with scales of our old life, our un-productive or sinful life, the dead skin cells of our old dead (how many times I have said that) life and we wonder why we cannot grow, are you beginning to see it now?
So we learn we must welcome the “rock and the hard place” and let ourselves by scrubbed hard against them be rid of our old, rigid ways. In one of the commentaries, talking of snakes that you keep and watch, it said to make sure to examine the dead skin to make sure the “eye caps” are on there, if not, the snake cannot see. “Open my eyes Lord, I want to see Jesus”. Malachi 3:3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver… We must be refined in order to be pure, like fine gold or silver; all the dross burned away that is a hot fire! Are we alone in that fire? A silver refiner sits over the pot, right there in the heat of the fire and watches the silver as it heats and the impurities come to the surface (the way I make yogurt), the way he knows it is finally pure is when he can see the reflection of his own face in the silver.
Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. 3. For I am the Lord, your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Are you asking, “What’s the significance?” The significance is that we want to ask for gifts from God without being refined or shedding the “old” part of our nature that would interfere with doing God’s will and work!
Don’t be afraid of the rough, hard, rugged places that will “buffet” you, and don’t be afraid of the refiner’s fire, “Have Thine own way Lord, Thou art the potter, I am the clay”, mean it before you sing it! Pray then shed your skin and start again!