“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”
Matthew 7:15, NIV
My channel changer flips through the enormous darkness that exists in the world. I’m reminded that Jesus clearly warns His flock of the cold, hard realities of deception and deceitfulness they face.
Trickery abounds and things simply are not what they seem to be.
Darkness has a dark grasp on so many. The devil’s cunning is his ability to adapt to each person’s weakness. Deception has worked well for him for thousands of years. But understand: Lucifer is alive and well and he is prowling planet Earth.
An alert has been sounded by Jesus.
The reality of deception is now made obvious. Sometimes, some sheep will not really be sheep. Our senses are not always trained to look for counterfeit Christians. We get confused by the outside (“it looks like wool to me”). But it’s a lie. The wolf has deliberately taken on the attire of a believer.
Jesus explains what really is taking place around us.
(Oh my, how He wants us to discern!) I think every believer should have a holy skepticism of outward displays of faith. This is not cynicism or negativity; rather it is a cautious faith– one in which we can discern the realities of a world that routinely destroys people. The first-generation Church understood the reality of evil and what it would do when it’s unleashed.
“The first step on the way to victory is to recognize the enemy.”
Corrie Ten Boom
Ferocious” in verse 15 is a sobering word. When I read it, I think of my home in Alaska with its wilderness and its wolves and brown bears; or maybe the grasslands of the ‘Serengeti’ with its lions or leopards. A dangerous carnivore is often hidden by its camouflage.
Ferocity is a ‘predator’ word, a word that intensifies danger. Satan can patiently stalk for days, and maybe even months, and then he springs his trap and ambushes its victims.
“I know that as soon as I’m gone, vicious wolves are going to show up and rip into this flock, men from your very own ranks twisting words so as to seduce disciples into following them instead of Jesus. So stay awake and keep up your guard.”
Acts 20:29, MSG
The Bible tells us that we must understand two critical things:
1) Deception is quite possible for the real believer, that in 2000 years the darkness is still potent. Satan is alive and well on planet Earth.
2) Living in close proximity to Jesus will protect us in the dark. The true Shepherd keeps His flock. He is our complete protection and safe place against evil things we don’t quite see.
When we’re alerted that the enemy is close to us, the best thing we can do is to move closer to our Shepherd. The battle is His, we are His.
“The devil is nimble; he can run apace; he is light of foot; he hath overtaken many. They that would have heaven must run for it.”