4 - 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 comfort me.
Jesus said He is the Good Shepherd and He referred to us, His followers, as sheep. John 10:11-14
11 - I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
12 - But he who is a hireling and not the shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away. And the wolf catches them and scatters the sheep.
13 - The hireling flees, because he is a hireling and does not care for the sheep.
14 - I am the Good Shepherd, and I know those that are Mine, and I am known by those who are Mine.
A good shepherd takes care of his sheep because he knows their value and they are important to him. He puts the sheep in the best fields for grazing. He ensures there is water to drink. He watches over them to protect them from predators.
Sheep have natural predators: wild dogs, bears, coyotes, wolves, mountain lions, and all of things...eagles, just to name a few. Some of these predators have coats of fur that allow them to be in similar color to the sheep's wool; hence the term "wolf in sheep's clothing." A shepherd's job is to stand watch over the flock and identify threats and prevent predators from infiltrating the flock. He knows his sheep. He knows how many are in his flock so he can know when there is an imposter among his sheep. His sheep know his voice so they respond when he calls out and when he leads.
We are no different. We have a Good Shepherd. The Word says His sheep know His voice. He knows those that are His and He knows who belongs in His flock. (Matthew 7:15-23)
But where we differ from animals, Jesus told us what our enemy's plans are (John 10:10):
- To Steal
- To Kill
- To Destroy
- Rulers of the Darkness
- Spiritual hosts of Wickedness in heavenly places
16 - "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves."
We know the enemy's purpose. We know who the enemy is. Knowing who the enemy's purpose and plan ahead of the battle gives us an upper hand and a victorious advantage. Being as wise as serpents only means we know the moves the serpent will make but we will choose to stay righteous and sinless before the King we serve.
Even knowing who the enemy is and the enemy's purpose, so many Christians choose to remain without armor while accepting the teaching "the battle has been won." This is a true statement, Jesus defeated Death, Hell and the Grave and as inheritors, we too, have the victory as well....if we will reach out and take the gift He has given. Someone can give me something as a birthday gift, but I must take the gift from their outstretched hand for it to belong to me. I own a gift until I take it from someone. The same is true here. Christians can live defeated lives because they do not how to fight the enemy that is bearing down on them.. Christians can live defeated lives because they have laid their weapons down and allowed wolves in sheep's clothing to enter midst without using discernment or testing the spirits against the Word of God.
Please do not live defeated. Know your enemy. Know his plan. Know how to fight him. The only way you can do that is by reading the Word of God and knowing how to use it. Jesus encountered the enemy during His time in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:1-11) During each time Jesus was tempted by the enemy, He quoted scripture to address the situation at Hand. In other words, He wielded the Sword of the Spirit. Then the devil left Him.
If Jesus, the Son of God, had to face the devil and fought him with the Word, then why wouldn't fight the enemy the same way?