Intro… Being strategically or tactically Spiritually smart or wise. Too often I find Christians too willing to believe, to trust, to be naive, to be foolish in a world that worships evil, deception, what I want and what I want NOW and the Great Con! Like lambs led to slaughter, we don’t see the evil coming…the great betrayal…the fall. Like Christian ostriches with our heads buried in the sand, all too often, we refuse to see the obvious. But Jesus warned his disciples to be shrewd as serpents as they were also seeking to be innocent as doves (Matt. 10). Do the right thing…be innocent, but at the same time, DON’T BE STUPID. BE WISE! Why? Because the world is both, NOT INNOCENT AND CRAFTY. Jesus calls us to be different, INNOCENT AND CRAFTY. The common trait is to be wise, crafty, shrewd and smart when dealing with man’s evil, sin and immorality. Assume people…assume your family…assume those you love and know, are SINNERS, WILL FAIL, WILL LET YOU DOWN, WILL LIE, WILL DECEIVE in order to cover up their sin. In fact, they are NORMAL. We all cheat. We all fudge and we all attempt to cover up our sin to those who would hold us accountable. WE ARE SINNERS. WE ARE NOT PERFECT! NO ONE IS! Thus, Jesus’ warning to his disciples to be good, do your best, strive to be righteous, but understand man’s propensity to mess up…understand man’s weakness and be prepared to fight a little fire with fire. Jesus was constantly doing this with his religious opposition. Just watch his deeds and words. He is very shrewd. He tells truths in cryptic parables so that only those who have the interpretive code or key will really know what he is talking about? When asked a trick question in order to entrap himself, he often answered with another question. Christians, STOP BEING FOOLS! STOP BEING NAIVE IDIOTS! Be aware; be wise; be vigilant. And NOT so that you will NOT be taken advantage of. That’s NOT the issue at all. But to wage a smart war against a craft enemy…or to recapture the captured. This is a war, and you might as well accept it. The enemy plays for keeps, and we must be willing, righteously of course, to play for keeps back. Over the next few chapters, you are about to witness one the great examples of being innocent, but wise. Watch, observe, listen, ponder well, because it may be that close friend or brother or sister in Christ, your child, someone you care deeply about…that indeed you may have to be very Spiritually crafty at in confronting their sinful imperfection and waywardness. Lives, families, even friendships are at stake in this Spiritual war of denial and deception.
Recently, we began a new unit or section or person of study…the life of Joseph. Essentially, the story of Joseph, is for the most part, our story. Chosen by God for a special purpose, Joseph must first endure much suffering and injustice before arriving at his God-ordained purpose and calling, and what a purpose it will be.
As we read, I want you to continue pondering, your special identity in Christ, and that just because you may be going through difficult days, your suffering…your waiting is NOT in vain. As God’s child…as God’s children, just as with Joseph and his brothers, you…we…all have a purpose in Christ (Romans 8; Eph. 1; 1 Peter 1).
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