Part 2: Continued from last blog.
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” -Jesus
If one is innocent without the cunningness of a serpent they may be powerless. If one is cunning without the innocence of a dove, they may easily abuse their power. If we look to the innocence of the Garden of Eden, the serpent was a representation of Satan who had lost his innocence but still had his wisdom from his time with God, mixed with the evil of his heart. He then went after innocence to make it powerless in the lives of those created in the image of God.
The serpent is a great picture of what happens when shrewdness is without innocence, thus it is where a “wolf mentality” enters in, which seeks to destroy people by making them powerless or comfortable with lack. The other side is that it wants to keep people powerless in their innocence with God, which can cause people to attack the standards of heaven’s wisdom. We are to walk in the innocence and purity of God combined with the direct shrewdness that confronts evil powerfully and creatively.
We are sent in the midst of wolves. Innocence combined with power offends those who live by a lesser standard. This is where a wolf’s influence tries to creep in by offense which brings to the heart jealousy, bitterness, judgment, doubt, etc. A life that genuinely walks with God will naturally bring confrontation to those who are comfortable with lack, as well as freedom for those who are humble for more. Jesus was a great example of this. Being innocent and wise gives you the power to not enter compromise.
More Milk and Meat
In the last blog we talked about the meanings of milk and meat. The following is great insight for those who have been used to drinking milk and why they may get offended. It exposes the influence of a wolf that gained entry to keep them powerless and hidden from the substance of deep truth.
Some people get offended when meat is presented before them. Instead of seeing a truth that can set them free, they react to the shrewdness of a serpent while misjudging the innocence of a dove. They deny the meat in the offense of its presentation and judge it as negative, instead of taking the invitation to the freedom that it actually is. It is a form of pride, which is traced back to a wolf’s influence. When the shrewd serpent/wise dove mentality is understood, the larger picture can become clear. Someone said, “God is not afraid to offend the mind to expose the heart.” The meat of revelation can be embraced by getting through the offense of its appearance. Man judges the appearance; the Lord and the spiritually discerned judge the heart of a matter.
The Power of Offense
Jesus said, “Blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” One time he referred to “offense” after telling people they must eat His flesh and drink His blood to live. This was hard for some to hear and it even offended his disciples. Jesus’ mentality was wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove. He never downplayed the truth. He invited people to eat the meat of His life, which is where all true knowledge and discernment flows from. He believes in people too much to allow them to be stupefied by lack and fear. The balance of wisdom and innocence can never be underestimated.
Jesus has food that many are unable to chew, but for the few that do, their lives are positioned for transformation and revelation. Deep calls out to deep and the wolf tries to keep people from the deep revelation of God and His heart. A wolf will criticize, judge and seek to expose people instead of spiritual realities and will also accuse you of doing the same.
A shrewd person without innocence will seek to offend people just for the sake of offense. Woe to this person through who the offense comes because the innocence of the heart is missing. Jesus said offenses are necessary but woe to the one who uses them to cause another to sin.
He longs for His people to rise up with true innocence and shrewdness that naturally offends lack, while inviting people to more. It is not good for those wanting more to be offended with lack. Those who defend lack or powerlessness cause others to sin, so in their offense and defense, they bring about more offense. The offense that comes is not harnessed by a devotion to the truth and it is dressed up in sheep’s clothing or even passion in the name of truth.
Offense is a powerful place to either mature in God or succumb to a wolf’s influence. It is a place to know whether you’re building on the Rock or on the sands of partial truth that causes great houses to fall. Don’t waste offenses by using them to build and strengthen character.
The Dynamic Duo
Too often innocence gets mistaken for weakness when it is actually a foundation for true power. The mentality of a wolf is destroyed by the Courage of a Lion, the very animal a wolf tries to imitate. Courage is needed to walk in the unified state of a dove’s innocence and a serpent’s wisdom that shakes those in and of the world.
The world has often seen the Church as innocent doves, which to them has meant weak and powerless. This is partly because in the past the Church has trained people in powerlessness. It has raised people both to NOT be in the world and to not be of it. We are supposed to be of the world of heaven while tranfoming the world of earth we are in.
True discernment can see God in all things, yes even in the wisdom of serpents that stole their insight from God and labeled it a certain way to keep people from it. It is this heart of the Lion that sees through this and has no fear to be in the midst of wolves to get what is rightfully theirs. These are the ones that shine as lights in the darkness because they live in the midst of darkness to transform it.
Truth is often hidden behind the wisdom used by the serpent that was originally given to the Church. We need both wisdom and innocence to complete our calling or else we will be like those who are saved but hide their light under bushels. We need the Dynamic Duo of both working together so we can understand true love and discernment. From this place we can genuinely love and honor those of the world made in God’s image without compromising truth.
Both the Church and the World are waiting for innocence and wisdom to be combined. This combination is not only what sets the Church free to be the powerful people they are supposed to be; it also positions them with the power for the world to be transformed. It is this foundation of shrewdness and innocence that turns the world upside down. It is the foundation for genuine boldness and love that has answers for the world’s problems. Those who listen will find answers to the problems that a wolf’s mentality creates in the lives of the people. Their ears will no longer be tickled as they are opened to cunning truth. Cunning also means attractive.
Extinction and Transformation
When the world as some know it, is turned upside down, the standards of heaven they once trampled on become the attractive path they value. They then trample on the wolf’s mentality that used to be above them, exalting itself above the knowledge of God and is now under their feet. Not only are they able to be strong in the midst of wolves, but they can actually cause wolves to become extinct. Instead of courage becoming extinct, truth reproduces and repopulates cities, thus making wolves scatter into the hills of extinction.
God still invites ALL, the offended and the hungry, to sit with Him at His table and eat the choicest meat in the land, His Son. It is a place where one can leave the wolf’s influence behind and put on the true nature of righteousness that is naked with truth, with no need for clothes to hide. For some that are sheep in wolves clothing, take of the disguise, because you’re innocent. The mentality that hid you from the light is the mentality that will set you free when you know you’re innocent.
May you turn the world upside down to make it right. You can influence the transformation of wolves into doves. You can give true peace, joy and righteousness in the power of uncompromised love and truth. You will also realize that many wolves don’t actually want to keep people from the truth, for they actually want to be transformed from the false to the true. They want to be both wise as serpents and innocent as doves. The invitation remains.
May you drink the milk of innocence and the meat of wisdom together,