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Mar 15, 2020

214 Be Wise as Serpents and Innocent as Doves A Guided Christian Meditation on Matthew 10:16-18

I'm Chaplain Jared and I work as a hospice chaplain and an ICU chaplain, my purpose in making this podcast is to help you find more peace in your life and to be more open for your heart to be changed by the Spirit of God. By using centuries old form of Christian Meditation named Lectio Divina:

Outline: Relaxation, Reading, Meditation, Prayer, Contemplation and Visualization.

Get into a place where you can sit comfortably and uninterrupted for about 20 minutes.You should hopefully not be driving or anything tensing or unrelaxing. If you feel comfortable to do so, I invite you to close your eyes.

Guided Relaxation / Guided Meditation:

Breathe and direct your thoughts to contacting God. Let your stomach be a balloon inflate, deflate.

Bible verses for Meditation:

Matthew 10
16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
17 Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues,
18 and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.

16 “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.
17 But beware of people, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues,
18 and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans.

Meditation on Scripture:

Jesus foretold that the would would experience tribulation. This included both persecution of Christians but also physical hardships. In light of the worldwide panic that is occuring right now due to COVID-19 I think this scripture brings insight into this situation. Many people struggle between the two extremes of complacency and terror. In this scripture, Jesus suggests another option. Be wise and thoughtful while also being open to the peace that comes from staying faithful to God. God does not desire us to be fearful. Later in this same chapter Jesus says not to fear people who can only destroy your body because God is in control of our immortal souls. The interesting analogy is that the serpent is used as a metaphor for the enemy because of its cunning, the Dove is a metaphor for the spirit of God. Here Jesus says it is good to be wise as long as we yield to the Spirit of God.

We can be thoughtful and cautious while not being fearful. This can be helped by being mindful of where you get your information. There are many people who profit from making people fearful. God is not in that camp. It says in 2 Tim 1:7 God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, and love, and a sound mind. We should not embrace a spirit of panic. In fact we can actively choose the peaceful way while taking appropriate precautions.

Take a breath right now and let go of any remaining fear that is in your heart. Open yourself to the peace of God. When you go throughout your week and you notice fear rising inside of you, remember this moment and remember to allow the spirit of the dove to guide your thoughts and actions. When you feel emotional fatigue of taking wise action, remember to accept wisdom.

Meditation of Prayer:

Pray as directed by the Spirit.

Dedicate these moments to the patient waiting, when you feel ready ask God for understanding you desire from Him.

Meditation of God and His Glory / Hesychasm:

I invite you to sit in silence feeling being patient for your own faults and trials.
Summarize what insights you have gained during this meditation and meditate and visualize positive change in your life:
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Final Question: How do you respond when feelings of fear well up inside of you?

Final Thought: There will be many opportunities in the coming days and weeks for exercising this mindset. As you encounter sensationalized news reports remember to trust the spirit of God as a dove. When you are tempted to with apathy about medical wisdom, embrace screwedness and take appropriate action. As others place their entire focus on a microscopic organism, place your focus on the God of the universe. Our fallen world has disease which will affect many good people. Trust that God has our eternal good in mind and He will always care for that as we remain faithful in Him as the source of our salvation.

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