Thursday, May 14, 2009

Out in the Midst of Wolves

Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16 NAS)

Wolves All of us have experienced ups and downs in our lives, but few have heard of the in and out of living the Christian life. This hypothesis however is undeniable, because much of Christian living is about in and out.

When we are out of a job, for example, we tend to be very much in the Lord, because our survival depends on Him. As Christians, we have been exhorted to reveal Christ in our lives and to live out the nature of Christ and Christ Himself in us and through us (Ephesians 5:1-2). Although we are in the world, we are not of the world, because Christ has chosen us out of the world (John 15:19). We have been sent out as sheep in the midst of wolves to reach the world for Christ (Matthew 10:16). Jesus told the disciples that signs and wonders will accompany them, and they will be able to cast out demons in His name (Mark 16:15-18). Peter, while in the prison, was woken up by an angel and taken out of the prison to the city (Acts 12:5-12). All these are just a few illustrations of the many examples and events that show how intertwined the concept of in and out is associated with Christian living.

While I was still a young Christian, I was very zealous in reaching out to the pre-believers to bring them to Christ. After a few months, however, I discovered witnessing was not as easy as I thought it to be because there were many obstacles in the way. As a new Christian yet untrained in the word of God, I was easily shaken in the faith because of persecution from friends and family. Like a sheep in the midst of wolves, I was unequipped to fight the battle because I was lacking in the knowledge of God's word, and I was not shrewd enough to handle the many bombardments from people who were atheists, agnostics, anti-Christians and of other faiths.

Zealousness for the Lord and for His work is important, but we must always remember that without the full armor of God, we will not be able to withstand the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16). Living out and knowing the word of God is therefore crucial, because God's word is the sword of the Spirit, which is a part of the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). Our struggle is "not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12 NAS). We, like sheep in the midst of wolves (Matthew 10:16), must therefore be strong in the Lord to face the attacks of the evil one and his allies. We must be equipped as trained disciples of the Lord to grow in wisdom and in the knowledge of God's word so that we can stand firm and stay unshaken. If we therefore hope to bring pre-believers out of darkness, we must first live in the light and walk in the Lord according to the word of God.

Dear Lord, strengthen us in Your word that we may be prepared to defend our faith as we put on the full armor of God. Help us Lord to be shrewd in handling the attacks of the evil one and his allies, so that we may stand strong in the midst of wolves. Draw us close to You Lord more and more every day that we may reveal more of You in us to show to the world Your everlasting love. Empower us Lord by Your Holy Spirit as we continue to study Your word and grow in You.

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