I love how a new year brings hope to many of us, it is almost like we have a clean slate and we can write a new story. As 2014 came to an end, I realized it was one of the hardest years I have gone through in the recent past. It had its amazing moments, but all in all it was a tough year. Yet I can confidently say ‘all that the enemy meant for evil, God has turned for good’. There were many land mines in 2014, many moments when the enemy threatened to destroy my soul, to destroy my destiny, to derail me from the plans God had in stock for me. But God stood in gap through it all. This song makes a lot of sense, ‘Mercy said no, I am not gonna let you go, when darkness threatened to steal my joy, my peace away, Mercy said no’
So as the year begins, it is at the feet of this Lover of my soul that I desire to be. I recognize I am nothing without God. I recognize I desire none of it if the Lord is not at the center of it. I recognize that above all, more of You Father and less of me. As the year begins Lord, the song in my heart is take the wheel; lead me to where You want me to be this year. Lead me Lord.
A season of service
Then He says something that I sense will be the story of my year and of many who He has called in this season for His service. Matt 10:16 “Behold I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves; be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent (harmless, guileless and without falsity) as doves.”
This year God is sending us out like sheep in the midst of wolves. When God sends you out like sheep in the midst of wolves, you have every reason to be still and listen what this means. Why, because the natural thing that sheep do when faced by wolves is take off is run away as fast as their short legs will allow, yet God is in effect telling these sheep, ‘do not run away, I am actually sending you in the midst of those wolves’.
I have found myself asking God why He would be sending us out like sheep in the midst of wolves. This is the answer I have gotten: the work I need to do, the evangelism, the service, it is not for the sheep, it is for the wolves; it is for those who are lost. God wants us out doing the first assignment He gave us, ‘go and make disciples’. He has reminded me disciples are not found among the sheep but in the midst of wolves.
The second answer He has given me on why send us in the midst of wolves has taken me aback. This is the second reason: The resources you need for the work ahead is in the midst of wolves. Ha! What God has then told me is not only am I going to serve in the midst of wolves, but the resources to do so are in the midst of wolves.
Ps 18: 43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people; you have made me the head of nations. People I did not know now serve me, foreigners cower before me; as soon as they hear of me, and they obey me.
How do I that?
Convinced then that I must step into the world of wolves, I have asked God to walk around the wolves, how to occupy this territory of wolves. He is a faithful God, He not only sends, but He give the weapons for success as well.
How will you get through this land of wolves? “….be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent (harmless, guileless and without falsity) as doves.”
The only way you and I will survive this land of wolves is if we are as wary and wise as serpents. Think about it, it is a serpent that can meander through such dangerous zones. It is wary enough of the dangers ahead, and wise enough to know the steps to take. We must also be wary, we must know we are in dangerous grounds and therefore not slacken at any moment. We must be very wise.
As I think about wisdom, God reminds me of one Daniel “When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon, Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact.He asked the king’s officer, “Why did the king issue such a harsh decree?” Arioch then explained the matter to Daniel. ”Daniel obtains information from king’s guards through wisdom and tact. Wisdom and tact will get you through many things.
We need a dose of wisdom and tact in 2015. Where do we get it, the same place Solomon received wisdom beyond his years. We ask God for the gift of wisdom. Lord, I look into the 2015 territory and I recognize without wisdom I will not get by. So Daddy, please give me wisdom beyond measure.
Wisdom is the x-factor in the many things God has called you to this year.
There is more
But wisdom is not all we need. “….be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent (harmless, guileless and without falsity) as doves.”
We must also be harmless, innocent and without falsity as doves. When a serpent applies wisdom, it only has survival in mind, it cares less about the damage it leaves behind. It is nothing close to harmless or even innocent. You see if this word had ended with just us being wise, we would have gotten away with many harmful, manipulative and lying things that we would do in the name of conquering the land of wolves.
We still are to represent Christ as we apply this wisdom. One of the things I have found that I apply as the Body of Christ, is a lot of wisdom in evangelism, whatever it takes to bring people to Christ. However, in the process, we have forgotten that we are only seed planters, He alone can grow the seed. We therefore must remember there are limits to even the wisdom we will apply in 2015. It must BE HARMLESS, it must be INNOCENT, it must be WITHOUT FALSITY.
This one is even harder Lord. The balance between being wise yet remaining harmless and without falsity is actually really hard. At my workplace, how do I apply wisdom yet remain harmless? How do I bring my family to Christ? Through wisdom, yet I must remember no falsity or harm is allowed.
How is that possible? Only if God leads, only if God is at the center, only if I die to self daily.
My 2015 conviction
As I have sought God over 2015, God has convicted me that He has great exploits planned for many of us in 2015. This will be a year we will remember for many years to come. He will accelerate many journeys, He will make a way where there seems to be no way. This is year for the body of Christ. Oh let’s enjoy it. But as we do that, as we excel, as we move from one glory to another, let us remember to have Christ at the center of it all.
So Lord, for 2015, we thank you. We give you our plans. We give you our desires. We give your our all. May You establish us. May you take away our selfishness. May You alone lead us. Build this house Lord. We cannot wait to see all that you will do.
I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.