We often think of Jesus as the kind and gentle shepherd, cuddling and patting His sheep as in a petting zoo. In reality, this was not the main role of a shepherd — they existed to protect sheep from predators! This involved carrying weapons and knowing how to use them.
As leaders, it is important that we also know how to protect our flock — how to spot wolves, how to discern evil from good, and how to act when we do.
“Keep watch over yourselves and the entire flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.” Acts 20:28-30.
The devil (Greek -diábolos) is the “slanderer,” “accuser” and the “father of lies.” This is his only real strategy… but it works. As such, we need to fill our hearts and minds with truth and to stand firm in the love of Jesus.
This is the third in a series of talks by Tim Keller on spiritual warfare (Ephesians chapter 6). We will discuss this as a group in October.