KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 10:16 KJV “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”
The Lord says he sends us as sheep in the midst of wolves. Sheep in the presence of a wolf is a very miserable state. The sheep is quite a defenseless creature. The sheep has no claws to defend itself or the ability to escape from its predators, because it is not fast in running. The Lord instructs that the Christian must be as harmless as a dove, yet as wise as a serpent. The whole quest, is about surviving in a hostile world. The snake has one of the greatest survival instincts among all creatures. The snake is also one of the most harmful creatures of all time. We can’t be harmful as the snake, so the Lord adds that, the Christian must be as harmless as a dove. This is a paradox, yet that is about the Christian.
AS Christians, our best example of one who survived the dangers of wolves, but was harmless, yet very wise as a serpent, was the Lord Jesus Himself. Heb 12:3 KJV” For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” This verse tells us to consider or learn from his example. He survived a host of wicked treacherous men who schemed to stop him in every way yet they failed.
HOW was Jesus able to prevail in the midst of wolves? His secret was an absolute reliance on the Holy Spirit. They tried to get Him to speak against the law, so they could legally get Him? He always amazed them with answers that was beyond human conception. This is achieved by maintaining a very close relationship or fellowship with the Holy Spirit. The strong prayer life of the Lord Jesus was His way of maintaining that dominance of the Holy Spirit in His life.
Let’s consider the words of the Pharisees about His success over their schemes. John 12:19 KJV” The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.”
The Lord showed further, how He was so successful in the following verse. John 12:24 KJV” Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” The Lord showed that, the only way for the Spirit to have a complete control of our entire being is by dying to Self. When the Lord died we all died with Him. You have to know and maintain that you are dead, so the Holy Spirit can fully take charge over you. (Gal 2:20). The Holy Spirit is the embodiment of success. He can truly make us wise as a serpent yet very harmless as a dove.
By the ability of the Spirit, I am as wise as a serpent but very harmless as a dove. I am crucified with Christ, yet I’m alive with His life. It is the Holy Spirit who now leads me in all I do.
Luke 12:11 & 12 KJV” And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:
For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.”
2 Corinth 5:15 KJV” And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”