“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)
When our Lord sends us out he sends us into the wolves. We carry the gospel into the land of shadow, of dusk and darkness where wolves prowl and howls of hunger fill the air. They wait for the chance to strike for they have already tasted the blood of the saints and they have found it to be sweet.
Christian, do not mistake the people of this world. There are sheep and there are wolves. Sometimes a wolf will dress as a sheep to lull the sheep into destruction. Other times the sheep themselves will dress up the wolves, feeling better when the wolves look like us. Our calling is not to make wolves look like sheep but to carry wolves to the Shepherd who will turn them into lambs. A disguised wolf is a greater danger to the flock. True transformation is what we seek.
When we face the wolves they will frequently hiss and snarl and lunge and bite. Thus Jesus tells us in John 15:20, …If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you… Again in Luke 21:16-17, You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. If these words stir fear, take comfort in the next verse: But not a hair of your head will perish. They may strike the body but the soul is in the hands of the Lord.
Christian, go into all the world with the gospel of Christ. Know that you are not sent among friends but among wolves. By your faithfulness, some of these wolves may become children of God. And by your faithfulness, some of these wolves may try to silence you. But remain faithful and trust in the Lord, the one who conquered the fiercest enemies of all, sin and death.
Chris Roberts is the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Panama City, FL and he blogs at Seek the Holy. He is married to Sandra and they have three kids.