Matthew 10:16-"I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
This is that movie moment, where the leader takes his place in front of the crowd, giving them direction, instruction, and most importantly, inspiration to take on any and every challenge to their goal. It’s Aragorn in front of the army of men, William Wallace in Braveheart, and Steve Rogers calling for “Avengers Assemble”.
Now, I’m guessing this moment with Jesus and the disciples didn’t have the cinematic scene or soaring soundtrack playing in the background, but neither were necessary. The words of the King to his appointed 12 were more than enough. Words for us to hear and apply even today, especially today.
“Shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves.” At first, this seems like an oxymoron, but when I ponder on the imagery of both I see Jesus asking His followers, His disciples, to be mindful of a few things as we go out and preach the Gospel to all.
- Be snakelike! No, not sneaky and deceiving! Today, I feel the Holy Spirit saying that we need to put on our best Mamba Mentality and continually grow into the best versions of ourselves, what God has called us to be. Yes, I know that’s a stretch as Jesus wasn’t telling us to be like Kobe, so in more practical terms, being shrewd as a snake means for me today to be quick to get out of the way when harm is on the horizon. I don’t know much about snakes, but from what I’ve seen on the Discovery channel is one minute they’re there and the next “poof”, they’re gone. Most times this quick disappearance happens when they’re threatened, attacked, or compromised. As we “go, therefore” opposition and challenges are inevitable. While God is mighty to overcome any attack of the enemy, we also must be wise, shrewd, to know when to go, when to pause and when to just stop.
- Fly like a dove! While doves represent hope, new hope, as we evangelize to all corners and crevices of the earth I’m reminded here to stay pure in intent and innocent of agenda. Again, the enemy is a head hunter, so to stay on mission we can never compromise or paraphrase the Word of God. As we remain alert to attack we must also remain awakened to His promises. And as we do both, we then act in love, grace, humility, and purpose.
Jesus, thank You for this word. May it’s heart sink into mine and inspire to action. With You as my Defender, all is good! May I always lean on Your strength and not my understanding, Your promise, not my plans.