In today’s episode, we’re going to discuss the importance of why we need to have discernment.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized more and more how important it is to have a balance in life. As a Christian, the balance we strive to achieve can be even more difficult if we choose to take ownership of the labels people attempt to project on us. People strive for balance but more often than not, it’s an elusive treasure very few find. Nevertheless, that shouldn’t stop us from trying to obtain balance; especially, when it comes to our spiritual life.
People these days tend to view Christianity from two extremes. Imagine that you’re holding a stick. At one end of the stick, there’s a group of Christians that take the verse (Matt 5:39) and turn the other cheek out of context. These folks have essentially allowed themselves to become doormats. People feel comfortable walking all over them and dumping their emotional garbage on them with ease. These turn-the-other-cheek folk clearly forgot about how one time Jesus was so upset that he started flipping over tables because people had turned the temple into a store instead of a sacred place for worship (Mark 11: 15 to 18).
At the other end of the stick, you have folks that are so mean-spirited and lack compassion. They enjoy enforcing rules but not abiding by them. These folks are like the Pharisees and Sadducees. A perfect example of these folks in action would be John 8:7. When they brought a woman who committed adultery to Jesus and asked how she should be punished. He told them, “ He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” These folks were so convicted by their own conscience that they left the woman alone. These types of people are hypocrites. Everything they do is to give the appearance they love God when in reality they only love themselves. These folks clearly forgot that anyone who doesn’t receive God’s word as a little child will by no means enter His kingdom.
As you can see both sets of people claim that they are Christians, but their behavior proves that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Both groups lack balance and discernment in their behavior which is what God encourages us to possess. In Matt 10:16, God says, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
There’s a lot of imagery going on in this verse. The sheep are real Christians –emphasis on real– who seek to obey God, treat people with respect and their motives are pure. Wolves are predators that are known for hunting sheep. Wolves travel in packs and work together to distract, attack, and kill their prey. They distract their prey by having one wolf appear visible in front of their prey on purpose. Their prey is focused on looking at this one wolf while the rest of the pack surrounds them and well you can guess how that story ends…
Sadly, many Christians go out into the world like sheep operating from a very naive mentality. Just because you keep to yourself not bothering anyone doesn’t mean that trouble won’t find you. You have to be diligent in making sure that the company you keep is aligned with your goals and lifestyle and are aware of your surroundings at all times.
The moment you let your guard down, don’t be surprised if you see a wolf nearby. There will always be wolves hiding out in the perimeter waiting for their chance to pounce on you. They want what you have but they don’t want to work for it. They just want to take whatever you have by whatever means necessary…even if it’s by force.
This is why God wants us to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. Snakes are clever. They can do just as much damage as a wolf but they are more subtle with their approach. When we think of snakes we think of slimy creatures that are good at hiding, striking, and inflicting pain regardless of whether they were provoked into doing so. Snakes have the opportunity to get close to you because many times you don’t see them.
They hide under the guise of being someone you trust like your family or friends so you would never suspect them to harbor hostile feelings and intentions against you until it’s too late. Again, you don’t have to do anything to attract wolves and snakes in your life. In fact, the more you’re out there living your best life, oblivious to their presence will automatically place you in a position of vulnerability. There will always be wolves and snakes in this world and they want the joy that you possess. Actions speak louder than words and seeing you happy reminds the wolves and snakes of the mistakes in their lives.
Wolves and snakes are lazy, jealous, hateful people who have no desire to put in the work it takes to live an extraordinary life. They are intent on shifting the blame onto everyone else but the man in the mirror. Again, this world is filled with people whose mission in life is to make as many people miserable as they are because seeing people in pain is sadly what brings them joy. That failure to acknowledge and correct their errors is why they would rather just set traps for people to fall into so they can have company as they wallow through the storms they created in their lives.
God warns us in Luke 16:8 that Satan’s people tend to be wiser than God’s children because we fail to use our armor aka God’s word to protect us from their traps (Eph 6:10-18). Satan’s children know their lane. They will lie, cheat and steal to get what they want. They will never acknowledge the truth. In order to protect ourselves, we need to be aware of their tricks so we don’t fall into the traps Satan set for us. The only way you can protect yourself in this world is with God’s word. You need to make sure you pray, daily read His word and apply the knowledge He’s sharing with you to your life. When you do what I just said, you will without a doubt transform into a dove.
Children of light, God’s children, need to learn and embrace our role which is not to compromise while transforming into Christ’s likeness. As Christians, we can’t allow Satan to deter us from our goal. God is omnipotent. Therefore, we need to depend on Him so He can help us navigate the landmines Satan has placed throughout this world.
As a dove, you will not be naive because you’re blessed with a bird’s eye view of the situation. You’re going to be able to see all the wolves and snakes lurking around hoping you will drop your guard and rest in an area that looks inviting but you know it’s a mirage.
In order to maintain your sanity and peace, you need to let God direct your path so He can guide you to someplace safe. Once you arrive where God wants you to be, you will have the opportunity to thrive and truly make a long-lasting impact on other people’s lives that will cause them to want to know Christ as well. The moment you decide to deviate and go a different direction is when you’re going to get lost, become tired, and land in an area filled with uncleared landmines thereby making yourself vulnerable to wolves and snakes.
Lately, I’ve had a lot of good things happen to me. If I hadn’t learned to become more aware of my surroundings and recognized that I was going the wrong way, I wouldn’t be in the position to receive any of the blessings God has given me.
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve been having issues with my crazy neighbors. I’m not going to go into the whole situation, but if you’re interested, check out Ep. 177 How Do You Embrace Seasons of Change.
Now, despite the fact I’m quiet and stay to myself, these idiots took it as a sign of weakness. Let’s not get it twisted. Just because I don’t like confrontations doesn’t mean I’m going to run from them either. When God puts a Goliath in front of us, we must be like David who had the courage to confront his problem head-on. If we stay in faith we will have the victory.
Again, I’m literally surrounded by wolves. However, because I have been diligently training myself to be a dove and see more than what’s in front of me God increased my discernment and blessed me with a very business-savvy mom who knows a lot about the law. God gave me a way to not only escape from the trap they set for me but to watch them fall into it themselves.
It took a little over a year to get to this point, but I’m almost at the finish line. God gave me the strength and the resources to avoid every trap these wolves set in my path. I just kept on flying until God told me where to go, who to listen to, and what to do.
I’ve seen God on more than one occasion in my life (Matt 19:26) do the impossible. It can be frustrating at times because there will be plenty of times when you will feel defeated. The reason why you feel defeated is because you’re allowing your emotions to take control thereby looking around you for a way to escape instead of looking up. The question you should be asking yourself is, “Am I willing to fly?” If the answer is no, you can expect to be destroyed by the wolves and snakes.
However, if your answer is yes, then look up and you will see God is extending His hand hoping you will take His offer for a chance to escape. God wants to guide you to safety so you can live the extraordinary life He has planned for you.
There should be more Christians flying in the sky, but unfortunately like Matt 7: 13-14 says, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Be aware of your surroundings so you can ensure that you’re one of the few folks who finds that path to freedom.