Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
If Jesus sends us out as soldiers in an evil world, if He compares us to sheep and doves, then we must understand this power. Consider it: As a Lamb of God hanging helpless upon a cross, Jesus defeated Satan.
'Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!' (Revelation 5:12). The lesson? 'The weakness of God is stronger than men' (1 Corinthians 1:25), stronger than Satan, stronger than anything.
As sheep in God's fold, we are invincible.
Being 'as harmless as doves' is a gift of power. Upon Jesus, 'The Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove' (Luke 3:22). When we were baptized, the Holy Spirit descended upon us as well.
As doves in Spirit, we are invincible.
But we are also told to 'be as wise as serpents.' 'Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field' (Genesis 3:1). Paul says not to be 'Ignorant of his devices' (2 Corinthians 2:11). What devices?
1) Satan is a vigilant predator, constantly 'Going to and fro on the earth' (Job 1:7), 'Seeking whom he may devour' (1 Peter 5:8). Therefore we must be vigilant and constantly on guard against him.
2) Satan is a deceiver, 'For he is a liar and the father of it' (John 8:44). He 'Transforms himself into an angel of light' (2 Corinthians 11:14). Therefore, we must 'Test all things' and 'hold fast what is good' (1 Thessalonians 5:21). Not everyone who looks good is good.
3) Satan is a false prophet. He knows scripture and spins It. Jesus says, 'Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves' (Matthew 7:15).
How can we know them? 'You will know them by their fruits' (Matthew 7:16). Therefore, we consider the spiritual fruit versus the worldly fruit of leaders who may be 'Peddling the Word of God' (2 Corinthians 2:17).
4) Satan commands a hierarchy of demons; we fight 'Against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places' (Ephesians 6:12). Therefore, we must put on the armor of God (see Ephesians 6:10-18), and call upon God's defensive team of prayerful saints and warrior angels.
5) Satan is a tempter. He will tempt us with things we want; he will tempt us with negative emotions; he will tempt us with challenging, irritating, or frightening circumstances. He constantly searches for the next 'Opportune time' (Luke 4:13) to tempt us. Therefore, we avoid temptations.
But if temptations get too close, we pull out the Big Gun: God's Word.
Church is no substitute for a daily riflery lesson with the Master, 'Who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight' (Psalm 144:1).
Within the Word of God is immeasurable power. The Word of God is Jesus.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Immeasurable Power series.