“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.” Matthew 10:16.
All we have to do is turn on TV, or pick up a newspaper and read the front page.
What we see and read about is a culture saturated by confrontation. Spouses confronting each other, kids confronting their parents, teachers, and other authority figures, criminals confronting police, co-workers confronting each other.
Confronting others is something many people don’t like to do. Some of us are so afraid of confrontation that we do everything we can to avoid it. We would rather be trampled under foot than stand up for ourselves, or share our faith in the face of ridicule and scornful non-believers. The enemy loves to get us into confrontations to destroy our testimony and our confidence.
What kind of confidence do you have to confront your enemies? The principle at play when our enemies attack us is called “fight or flight”. If you’ve allowed something to get into your life that you’re not willing to confront (fight), you’ll surrender to it (flight). When you confront you conquer. When you shrink from confronting, you ultimately surrender. Sometimes, to avoid confrontations, we allow ourselves to get to a place we want to be even if it’s not what God wants.
If we’re going to be the people God commands us to be, we must be willing to step into confrontations with our culture. We need to be willing to go where others won’t. We also need to be prepared. That means knowing what we believe, maintaining our personal, intimate relationship with Jesus and remaining in His presence. Once we are prepared, God desires our obedience, however costly that might be.
We are cast into a world of wolves (Matthew 10:16). We need to be shrewd as serpents. In other words, we need to be at the point of having a timely response. We need to make a serious attempt to achieving the right goal — doing the right thing at the right time in the right way. We can only confront in that way if we are being obedient to God’s word.
Jesus also tells us we must be innocent as doves. Innocent is the opposite of abrasive. We need to be discreet and confident about how we say things.
Part of being prepared is recognizing that Satan will challenge us in every corner of our lives. We will meet confrontation everywhere. We’ll be ridiculed for our faith. We’ll be confronted by religionists, subjected to a godless government, face challenges from our own family and from a callous society.
But as our faith grows, we understand something: If we are obedient and trust God, we won’t have to say a word in any confrontation we encounter. The Spirit of the Father will speak for us (v. 20).
What a comfort it is to know that each time we confront a troubling issue or adversary in our lives, God will give us the strength, the wisdom and the preparation to glorify God with our words.