"Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves." Matthew 10:16
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 1 Timothy 1:7
Last week we were discussing the relationship between hurting others and harming our own life, spirit, soul, mind and body. If anyone would like the specific information on the deeper relational conflicts please let me know and I will either re-post those or link into the archives.
Every one of us will be tested to prove what is inside us. God has made sure we are squeezed just right: pressed a little deeper here, or when we are not guarded there, to expose what is really deep in the smallest corners of our heart, mind and soul. The proof is not really in the test itself, especially when we are such professional actors. The real test comes in how we repent of your own actions before man and God for no reason other than to humble our self allowing Christ to increase within us and the view of others.
Three years ago we did a very shallow studied regarding how Christ sent us out as sheep among wolves, but not slaughtered. We have all matured in the past 3 years and I believe it is time to take another look at this. Christ was not speaking of every Christian, because he was not sending everyone. This was directed to those who were walking close to Him, those who were being trained up by Him for discipleship. He knew that not everyone was ready and that some would be devoured if they were to run into the middle of a pack of wolves. Yet how many times do we as new born babes in Christ toddle out and sit down to pet and feed the wolf-pack?
Charles Spurgeon, writing regarding Matthew 10:16, made note that these men (disciples) had other callings/ prominent vocations such as fishermen; but that the great calling was "Behold, I send you forth." stating "the call of the Lord overrides all other vocations". He goes on to give a strong and loving warning to believers everywhere:
Do not try to teach till the Lord Jesus has first taught you! Do not pretend to instruct till you have been instructed! Sit at Christ’s feet before you speak in Christ’s name—but when once you are instructed, do not fail to become teachers.
This process begins in our own flesh. If we cannot even repent without being shamed, then there is no real remorse. If we cannot be lead by the Holy Spirit as He is shining the light within our own heart, mind and soul, how dare we boldly attempt to be the window into the one (Christ) they should emulate? We push down our own family member, friends, work associates in order to get ourselves up; we deceive ourselves when we forget that the Holy Spirit is right there crying out for the justice to begin within us. Why do you think we are warned of the fact that as we judge, so we will be judged. We are told to judge ourselves, and that as we judge another we have just condemned our self - after all we do the very same thing and think it has gone unnoticed by a Holy God. How foolish, rebellious, prideful....arrogant! And yet we look in a mirror, comb our hair, being satisfied with what we say is fairly attractive. Without Christ image before God's eye we would scream," don't look we're hideous!"
Christ told us that we are not known by what we say or even pray; we are known by how we love one another. If you treat yourself better than the brothers and sisters of Christ, you have proven you are not a sheep, but a wolf in sheep's clothing. If when the holy spirit shows us a renegade action and we are not quick to turn and confess of that unloving thought or deed it is a seed planted for the god of this world and it will grow up, strength, stretch out and bear fruit ......unless righteously uprooted.
God said not to be deceived, God will not be mocked - what ever a man sows, that he WILL reap. This is the reason for full confession, not lying to yourself or to others and for bearing with one another burdens. Love covers a multitude of sins, it is not boastful, haughty, critical, neglectful or wrong doing. But neither does it allow sin to not be called sin when it shows up. Rather it is gracious to forgive the broken in spirit and raise them up to a height which can never be obtained by fearful, godless means. Please never present yourself before another person as speaking for God, if you are not willing to be disciplined by God. We must fear God's strength and good will toward all mankind, and not think more of ourselves than we should.
Christ stated, he did not come to condemn the world but to save the world; but that there was one who comes to judge. He also said that the words we speak with judge us. God promises all of us that nothing returns to Him void and that all words are recorded eternally. If all these words are true, who do we think we are to not be humble, forgiving, reconciling, peacemakers - At times I hear heaven crying out over the world "Is there NO Shame left among the hard heart of men?"
Knowing this is rather long, I will close this off for the day with a excerpt from Charles Sprugeon:
The ungodly roar upon the righteous and seek to bring cruel accusations against them, even as against their Lord. No matter how pure the lives of the godly, the wicked will slander them! No matter how kind their actions, they will render evil in return. No matter how plain and honest their behavior, they will suspect them and no matter how disinterested in their motives, they will be sure to attribute to them the most evil designs, for the wolf comes to kill and to devour—and he will do it to the bestDo not deceiver yourself instead humble yourself and prove your wisdom - may we find joy in the testing, even testing ourselves as to prove we are not counterfeits of His glory. Hopefully we will hit the other side of this soon - God willing.
of his ability.
© 2015 by Candace Huffmaster
Kaleidoscope Butterfly, Inc°