Day 23 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltiness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.” – Matthew 5:13 Additional reading: Galatians...
“Behold, I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves; be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent (harmless, guileless, and without falsity) as doves.”
– Matthew 10:16
God, as our Good Shepherd, wants us to realize that we are as ‘sheep in the midst of wolves.’ We need to be aware that as we go about our daily business, the enemy is always looking for an opportunity to steal us away from our Heavenly Father’s flock. What can we do, as His sheep, to prepare?
In an earlier devotional, we touched on being ‘wise as a serpent,’ and trusting in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit that comes from spending time with God, through prayer and in His Word. But even though God wants us to have some of the qualities of a serpent, He follows this by instructing us to also be ‘innocent’ (harmless, guileless, and without falsity) as doves. Doves, unlike snakes, don’t strike out, bite, spit, constrict, or poison others with their venom when they feel as if they are being threatened or attacked. So God wants us to approach the world as a wise serpent, but then to interact and react to the world as a dove. God describes doves here as innocent (free from moral wrong, without sin, no evil intent or motive), harmless (without the desire to do physical or moral harm or injury to others), guileless (sincere, honest, straightforward and frank), and then as if to address the role of a serpent in the Garden of Eden, God says that doves are ‘without falsity.’ So the definition of ‘honest’ is (honorable in principle, intentions and actions; upright and fair, respectable; having a good reputation). Wow! No wonder God chose a dove to represent how we should conduct ourselves in the world. How many of these qualities above can we honestly say that we have in common with the dove? I encourage you to circle or highlight the characteristics that you feel you may need to work on, in conjunction with cultivating wisdom into your life. Find scriptures to stand on that will encourage you to do so! Do this diligently in order to properly prepare, to confidently dwell and survive and thrive, ‘in the midst of wolves.’
Fight the good fight of faith!