Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)
TITLE: Out in the Midst of Wolves
By Edmond Ng
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When we are <i>out</i> of a job, for example, we tend to be very much <i>in</i> the Lord, because our survival depends on Him. As Christians, we have been exhorted to reveal Christ <i>in</i> our lives and to live <i>out</i> the nature of Christ and Christ Himself <i>in</i> us and through us (Ephesians 5:1-2). Although we are <i>in</i> the world, we are not of the world, because Christ has chosen us <i>out</i> of the world (John 15:19). We have been sent <i>out</i> as sheep <i>in</i> the midst of wolves to reach the world for Christ (Matthew 10:16). Jesus told the disciples that signs and wonders will accompany them, and they will be able to cast <i>out</i> demons <i>in</i> His name (Mark 16:15-18). Peter, while <i>in</i> the prison, was woken up by an angel and taken <i>out</i> of the prison to the city (Acts 12:5-12). All these are just a few illustrations of the many examples and events that show how intertwined the concept of <i>in</i> and <i>out</i> is associated with Christian living.
Many years ago while I was still a young Christian, I was very zealous in reaching out to the pre-believers to bring them to Christ. After a few months, however, I discovered witnessing was not as easy as I thought it to be because there were many obstacles in the way. As a new Christian yet untrained in the word of God, I was easily shaken in the faith because of persecution from friends and family. Like a sheep in the midst of wolves, I was unequipped to fight the battle because I was lacking in the knowledge of God's word, and I was not shrewd enough to handle the many bombardments from people who were atheists, agnostics, anti-Christians and of other faiths.
Zealousness for the Lord and for His work is important, but we must always remember that without the full armor of God, we will not be able to withstand the flaming arrows of the evil one (Ephesians 6:16). Living out and knowing the word of God is therefore crucial, because God's word is the sword of the Spirit, which is a part of the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). Our struggle is "not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12 NAS). We, like sheep in the midst of wolves (Matthew 10:16), must therefore be strong in the Lord to face the attacks of the evil one and his allies. We must be equipped as trained disciples of the Lord to grow in wisdom and in the knowledge of God's word so that we can stand firm and stay unshaken. If we therefore hope to bring pre-believers <i>out</i> of darkness, we must first live <i>in</i> the light and walk <i>in</i> the Lord according to the word of God.
<i>Dear Lord, strengthen us in Your word that we may be prepared to defend our faith as we put on the full armor of God. Help us Lord to be shrewd in handling the attacks of the evil one and his allies, so that we may stand strong in the midst of wolves. Draw us close to You Lord more and more every day that we may reveal more of You in us to show to the world Your everlasting love. Empower us Lord by Your Holy Spirit as we continue to study Your word and grow in You.</i>
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