Be Like the Serpent
Jesus sent out His disciples to the “lost sheep” of Israel like sheep in the midst of wolves (Matt. 10). The problem is that wolves eat sheep and will tear them to pieces. Jesus then revealed how they would turn the tables to subdue and captivate their enemies. He said, “Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves (v. 16).”
To be like a snake, is challenging because we often connect snakes to Satan and as something that is accursed (Gen. 3:1, 14). Furthermore, it’s obvious that we can’t beat evil by being evil or overcome darkness if we too are darkness. So how, then, should we be like the snake?
“Snakes do not rely so much on conventional sensory input such as their eyes, ears and nose. They have specialized sensory organs that pick up thermal readings, vibrations through their jawbones and scent particles in the air with their tongue, which they touch to a highly sensitive organ called a Jacobson’s organ in the roof of their mouth. In short, snakes discern what others don’t see, hear or smell in the natural. Through this organ, the Jacobson’s organ, they translate what they sense in the air. Snakes, therefore, are ‘discerners.’ Furthermore, the meaning of Jacob is supplanter, which is one who overthrows. Therefore one acting like the snake can overthrow an enemy once they discern what is going on in the spirit.”
The Holy Spirit’s gift of discerning of spirits (1 Cor. 12:10) is being released on His church with an increased intensity and authority. This gift is a divine ability to see past the surface and know the spirit and heart motive behind people and circumstances. Jesus is coming back for a church without spot or wrinkle. He is also coming back for a church that is effective in her assignment to disciple nations.
Not only have we been sent out like sheep among wolves, but Satan has sent in his wolves to devour the sheep. Like Jeremiah, it’s frustrating to see demonic encroachment when you are the first one to see it or the only one to see it. Regardless, you are to be like the snake that discerns the wolf and overthrows it. Being a lover of Jesus and His church means that we are to discern well and act as skilled gatekeepers. This stops cycles of unrighteousness from becoming created—cycles that will ultimately destroy our peace. (Source: Jennifer Eivaz)