By Marni Montanez
New King James Version (NKJV)
16 ďBehold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless (innocent) as doves.
This is an evil and sinful world. It is a place where people push you out of the way to get the last of the newest toy on the shelf. This is where drugs, sex and murder are an everyday occurrence and selfishness deception and greed keep us on the offense. When Jesus said the ruler of the world is coming, He wasnít talking figuratively. He meant it. The ruler of the world is here and he rules with a vicious hatred that is unmatched. And it is in this place of darkness where God has placed us to be the brightest light..
In the bible the serpent or snake is representative of evil. The devil deceived Adam and Eve into giving up paradise for what he was offering; which was nothing and still is nothing. When God is asking us to be as clever or cunning or wise as serpents it is in the context of the ability to stand with confident assurance of the next move not in the devilís evil intent.
Sheep are dumb animals. They go where they are not supposed to go and end up in trouble because of their inability to judge wisely. They need a shepherd to guide them and rescue them when need be. They are completely dependent on their shepherd as we must be. Without a vigilant guardian they can easily be overtaken and ravaged by wolves. But with a capable overseer, they are protected and need not worry about what surrounds them.
How are we to be as wise as serpents?
With Godís wisdom to carry us on, our ability to work our way through the hindrances of this world surpasses the enemyís ability. We must admit that evil exists and is very persuasive in getting us to do what is wrong; we must stand stable in the strength and wisdom of the Lord. His written and spoken word feeds our souls and gives us a supernatural capability to maneuver out of the pits that are set as traps along our way.
Jesus called Nathanael a man of no guile. This means he found no falsehood in him. Nathanael was not fake, he was a man that was true to himself and it was evident to the God of the universe; the one whom no one could deceive. We are to be forgiving, without bitterness or criticism in our hearts. We must walk in such a way that expresses Godís love but without being a doormat. Doves symbolize peace and the Holy Spirit. It is in this place of peace and power where we meet our adversary head on and have the victory. The more steadfast we are in the Holy Spirit, the better able we are to hear the voice of the Lord without internal interference. The Holy Spirit is who guided Jesus and we need Him to guide us in the same manner; with peace in our hearts and communion with Him. Without this intimate dialogue with the Holy Spirit we easily become overwhelmed and could miss many important things He wants to show us.
Challenge: See the truth about yourself in this world. We are in the world but not of it.
God bless you
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.