Friday, December 15, 2017

When the Wolves Howl from a Sheep’s Mouth

August 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Manna, Monthly Articles

When the Wolves Howl from a Sheep’s MouthI told my friend Susan a perilous ministry story about meeting and dealing with wolves in sheep’s clothing. I told her how I’d read all those false prophet scriptures and the wolves passages, never realizing that I’d interact with one directly in ministry one day. I guess I thought those warnings were for “back then” when the church was new.

We walked a long stretch of the Pacific ocean, she listening, me spilling my story.When I first met the wolves, they appeared so sheeply I felt sheepish in their presence. I didn’t measure up, certainly not to their standards. And I felt the weight of their judgment. Everything they said sounded like a sermon–a good one. Slick, polished, beautifully presented.But then fissures formed. Their actions didn’t match up with their words. At first it was subtle, but after a few months everything came out.

Lies. Deception. The real truth about the state of their hearts.But these were leaders. In ministry. They’d been leaders for years. Surely I must’ve read things wrong.As their story played out, I realized I’d met wolves, wanting to use people for gain. It broke my heart. Jaded me. Made me cynical. All their words sounded Jesusy in the beginning, and I had believed them, took them at their word. You could point to them  as examples of Christendom. And yet, they were far from  Jesus.In the end, they exemplified this:

Matthew 7:15-23:“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Not   everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of   Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will  enter. On  judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord!  We prophesied in your  name and cast out demons in your name and  performed many miracles in  your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’

The end of things was messy. Terrible. Confusing. Painful. Lots of wreckage and heartache.

I tried not to cry when I told Susan the story. But tears leaked, as they want to do.

Walking back to the car, I looked down in the sand. There, a small white figurine peered up at me. It looked like our cat, Madeline. I thought of my youngest, how she loved little things like this, and bent down. The “cat” was a wolf. A white wolf. A plastic white wolf that looked like a white sheep. I kid you not.

So Susan and I walked back to the shoreline. I wondered at the irony God placed in my path, how that white wolf peeked out from the sand at such a moment. With all the strength my wimpy arms could muster, I threw the wolf into the Pacific, watched it sink beneath the waves. And a little part of me felt free. But another part felt sad that there are wolves in the first place.

How about you? Have you ever met a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

* Above excerpt from “Beautiful Battle” to be released January 2012 (Harvest House) .

 

 I’m a writer, speaker and book mentor who took a long path to publication. Ten years spent in obscurity. Years and miles of unpublished words. I’m the poster child for Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, where he shares the secret of “genius.” (Here’s the unglamorous truth: Genius comes from 10,000 hours of practice.) So I wrote my 10,000 hours, then started finding success in small venues–regional magazines, a local paper, then national magazines.

Twelve years after I started, an agent signed me, and I sold two books. I’ve currently published 12 books with various publishers. I spent two and a half years church planting in France. And now my family and I are stateside as I continue my writing, speaking and mentoring ministry.

To contact Mary or view her work, she can be found here: http://www.marydemuth.com/contact/

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