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Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 22 : Be Wise as Serpents | Day 154

Outsmart the Wolves!

Jesus did not send us out among the wolves to be eaten up by them, but to outsmart them! That is why He tells us to be as wise as serpents! For example, what approach could be taken to get past the guarded walls of a secular university to rescue the sheep from the wolves in the classrooms? It would certainly be a challenge, but evangelist Ray Comfort found a way to do just that!

He invited an atheist professor to a debate on evolution. He promised him $100 for just giving his side of the argument. Hundreds of students came out to listen to the debate. Ray introduced the professor, allowed him to present his view, gave him his $100, and then proceeded to give a powerful and well-received Gospel message to the audience. This tactic was so effective that he repeated it on other campuses.

Our goal in life should be to get as great a harvest as possible, not just to survive among the wolves.

There is a law in physics which states that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. Therefore, we can expect opposition when we take steps to gather the Lord's harvest. Our human efforts at harvesting can be both ineffective and frustrating; we must have the power of God to overcome the natural laws that oppose us.

God tells us to look on the harvest, then pray for the harvest, then go to the harvest. He will call us to a field of ministry, then He will train us for it, then He will send us out to it. Many who receive a call rush out to the harvest before they are trained and end up in the mouths of wolves.

Jesus understood His call at the age of 12 when He said, "I must be about my Father's business," but He did not go out to the fields until He was commissioned by His Father and the Holy Spirit at the age of 30. In between ages 12 and 30, He “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52).

Ray Comfort understood God's call on his life many years ago, but before major public ministry began he gained experience from the Lord's training ground by responding to the hecklers in open-air preaching. He learned how to creatively present the Gospel to those who were not inclined to listen.

The need for training is emphasized by the fact that "many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14).

In your journal this week, identify the field of ministry to which God is calling you. Then list the training that you need in order to give a clear and convincing message of the kingdom of God to them. Finally, identify the wolves in your field that need to be outsmarted and overcome by God's power. This exercise will give new meaning and direction to your life. It will also bring great encouragement and guidance to your spouse and children. May God bless you with cunning wisdom and persuasiveness.

“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard