Jesus' words to the newly appointed disciples were somewhat conflicting - "I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves." A modern translation of Matthew 16:20 says "be wise as snakes and gentle as doves."
Some years ago I experienced a tough situation. I was asked to speak before our community council on behalf of our local Christian school. Not everyone in the community favored the local school. One of our opponents was expected to attend the community council meeting and speak in opposition to our proposal about the future of the school. He did attend and he stated his differing viewpoints. The council listened to each party's position statement.
Our team believed that God was ordering our steps and that our proposal was in keeping with His plan for the school.
To prepare for the council meeting, our team met together, prayed and gathered the facts. We approached our time of preparation for the presentation with thoroughness and thoughtfulness. We worked on every word of the presentation. We were meticulous in our preparation of the material. But, we were also prepared spiritually.
This team bathed me in prayer. They prayed that I would maintain my composure, regardless of the opposition's remarks. They prayed that the council would find favor with our proposal. They prayed that most of all that when I spoke, I would represent Christ. This was a tough situation - we were sheep among wolves.
When my time to speak approached, God ordered my words. The presentation went remarkably well. I continue to recall how God in a very unsavory situation gave me the ability to be gentle as a dove. I give Him the glory.
Life's circumstances and situations are sometimes not comfortable or easy. When we find ourselves in situations of being sheep among wolves, we are instructed to be wise as snakes AND gentle as doves. This is not an easy situation. But, it is a predictable position and one where we have the instruction manual. Our job is to follow His instructions.
May God bless you today in whatever situation you face.
Council in Resource Development
September 27, 2011