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Sheep in the midst of wolves

Do you often feel vulnerable as you do ministry? Do you feel like you are in the midst of predators in the marketplace? Do you know how to defend yourself from those predators? 

Let's explore this topic together in today's devotional:

Sheep in the midst of wolves

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” - Matthew 10:16 

Psalm 23 describes our Lord as a Shepherd that ensures provision, care, and protection for His sheep. Yet Matthew 10:16a has the same Lord, our Shepherd, sending us as sheep in the midst of wolves. Why would a loving Shepherd send His vulnerable sheep into the midst of wolves when wolves are predators that love to kill and eat sheep? Sheep are known never to be safe among wolves. They ravage and kill them for fun and food yet our Shepherd, the Savior of our souls, has sent us among them. Why? What does that mean? 

John 17:16 tells us that we are in the world but not of the world, meaning that your place of ministry is the very environment where sin dwells and the enemy roams. In that environment, you have two kinds of people, wolves and sheep. Wolves are individuals who intentionally or unintentionally are used by the Enemy to destroy believers or hinder God’s plan for their lives. They use predatory and ungodly tactics, which the believer is often not naturally equipped to handle. These tactics, when employed against believers, come across as wolf-like strategies and since believers can not employ the same tactics in return but must allow the Lord to fight their battle, the believer comes across as vulnerable sheep. You are to be in their midst, yet, not become like them. Let’s look at the difference between wolves and sheep. 











How then do weak, innocent, vulnerable sheep protect themselves against strong and hungry predators? They cannot on their own. They must trust and rely on the good Shepherd. They must permanently look to the good Shepherd for protection. The sheep is safe only when he is with the Shepherd but never safe away from the Shepherd. Not only must the sheep stay close to the Shepherd, he must also carefully follow the Shepherds’ instructions. The sheep’s safety depends on his or her closeness to the Shepherd and his or her obedience to the Shepherd’s instructions. The Shepherd’s instructions must be followed if you are to be safe in a world of wolves. Other than the first instruction to go out as sheep among wolves, the Shepherd also instructed the sheep to be wise as a serpent and gentle as a dove. The first instruction has to do with our assignment and its destination. Our assignment is the Great Commission and the environment where we carry out that assignment is a dangerous world full of predators who hate us and seek to do us harm. The second has to do with our protection; how we are to safely carry ourselves as we do the assignment. As difficult as that is to understand and walk in, we must trust the Shepherd and follow these instructions. Asking us to carry our assignment while reflecting those two seemingly opposite characteristics (the nature of a snake and the dove) seems impossible, but with God, all things are possible. The grace of God is able to bring the blend of those two characteristics in us, empowering us with the ability to be as prudent as a snake coupled with the gentility of a dove. 

What does this mean for us as Biblical Entrepreneurs and marketplace believers? 

No matter what industry you are in, we are all called to do business in the midst of wolves. Some wolves are evident and can be easily identified, while others, are wolves in sheep’s clothing and can not be easily identified but the Lord, Our Great Shepherd, is right there with us and He promises to care, provide, and protect us. 

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.” - Matthew 7:15 

“…And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Amen. - Matthew 28:20 

He has given us instructions on how to overcome the wolves’ attacks and given us the grace to follow His instructions so we may be victorious. Yes, you have been sent as sheep among wolves, however, remember the Lord, the Great Shepherd, is right there with you. 

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.” - Psalm 23 

My prayer for you today is that God will give you the grace to rely upon Him to provide, care, and protect you while carefully following His instructions so you may be safe among wolves as you carry out His purpose in the marketplace.

Reflection: How well are defending against your predators? 

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Posted on Thursday, 07 April 2022

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