The Sword and the Dove…

Did you know that there is a time for everything under Heaven? The Bible says plainly in Ecclesiastes 3:7 (NAS) that there is  “…a time to be silent and a time to speak.” It is vital to listen for the Lord’s voice, and to wait upon Him so that you are able to be led by His Holy Presence in all of your choices and decisions in life. It is your choices that will shape your life and lead you to your ultimate destination. The Bible says; “Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD” (Psalm 27:14 NAS).

There are circumstances that may arise in your midst, and the Lord will speak to your heart which decision you should choose. The Bible shares with us that Jesus is our example and the standard for how each and every person should walk out their lives. When Jesus walked the earth, there were times when He would “turn the other cheek,” remaining silent in the face of adversity. There were also times when He would speak boldly, standing in the face of corruption as His Father in Heaven led Him to do. Learning how to balance the “sword” and the Dove” in your life is very important. The sword and the Dove is a depiction used to describe times of strength and times of peace, and the balancing act between the two.

Often the Lord will allow circumstances to arise in a person’s life that will cause them to grow in maturity if they choose the right decision. For example, if you are an individual that is not afraid of conflict, and are more apt to speak than to stay silent; then the Lord may allow a situation to come about that you would normally be quick to correct, but the Lord speaks to your heart to remain silent. At first this may be difficult for you, but “turning the other cheek” and allowing the Lord to correct the matter on your behalf will cause you to decrease, and the Lord’s Spirit will increase in your life because of your obedience.

On the other side if you are an individual that is afraid of conflict, and are more apt to stay silent; then the Lord may allow a situation to come about that you would normally be quick to ignore, but the Lord tells you to speak up and bring correction to the situation. Speaking up and being bold when Jesus leads you to be is important. When you confront a person that is wronging or mistreating you, you are not only dealing with the individual but the darkness associated with their actions. If the devil can he will raise up adversity against you, and even raise up people around you to hurt you in order to achieve his objective. When you stand up for yourself led by God’s Spirit, you are confronting this corruption. The Bible shares that we should “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). You can speak up and still keep your integrity, if you do it in obedience to Christ.

A perfect example of this is displayed in the Scriptures. In Luke 19:45-46 NIV it says; When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. “It is written,” he said to them, “My house will be a house of prayer; but you have made it a den of robbers.” In this passage of Scripture Jesus was confronting the people who were mistreating and dishonoring His house by buying and purchasing items there, when they should have been worshiping there. This was a situation where Jesus did not remain silent, but He confronted the evil that was taking place. In this same way, there are times when matters will arise in your own life that must be confronted. To remain quiet and to allow the injustice to take place would be wrong. The Bible teaches that we should love God; and “…love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39 NIV). This means that loving yourself is important. When you love and respect yourself, you will not allow those around you to treat you in a hurtful manner. This means when an injustice arises that must not be ignored, you should speak up and if need be, remove yourself from the situation.

There are also times when the Lord will speak to your heart to remain silent. An example of this is displayed in the Scriptures in Matthew 26:47-53 NAS it says; While He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, came up accompanied by a large crowd with swords and clubs, who came from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he who was betraying Him gave them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the one; seize Him.” Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. And Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him. And behold, one of those who were with Jesus reached and drew out his sword, and struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?”

In this passage of Scripture Jesus was being betrayed by Judas who was one of His disciples. At this time, Jesus was getting ready to be taken by the authorities to die on the cross. Jesus could have fought back and called upon His angels to save Him, but He did not do this. He remained silent and willingly gave Himself to die on the cross. The Bible says that Jesus was persecuted unto death. There will be times when people will persecute you and bring accusation against you as well, and Jesus will speak to your heart to remain quiet. When He tells you this, it is important to trust Him and know that He will correct the matter in His way, and bring vindication to you in His appointed time. Though Jesus was wronged by those closest to Him, He kept silent knowing He would receive His vindication through His resurrection from the dead. He freely gave His life on the cross for the sins of mankind. This was His purpose and why He came to the Earth. In trusting Him to stay silent during your times of persecution; your “flesh” will decrease, His Spirit will be resurrected in your heart, and your maturity in Christ will grow.

You might be asking yourself; “How will I know when to speak and when to stay silent?” The first step is to know Jesus by accepting Him into your heart. The second step is going before the Lord with a repented heart and allowing the Lord to speak to you the things in your life that need adjusting. When you lay down sin and turn to the Lord, then you will begin to become more sensitive to His Holy Spirit and the still small voice within your heart that He speaks to you and guides you with on a daily basis. Then when matters arise, you will feel the Lord’s leading and know the way you are to go. This day we encourage you to trust the Lord and to look upward to Him. He is there and He will not let you down. You can trust Him and His leading and guidance for your life.

You can start by praying this prayer aloud;

Dear Lord Jesus,

I ask that You would forgive me of my sins and wash me clean with Your blood. I welcome You into my life to be my Lord and Savior. I ask that You would help me to be led by Your Holy Spirit, and help me to follow your leading and guidance in my life. I ask that You would guide me in all my ways and that Your will would be done in my life. I thank You for answers from Heaven and I set my sights upon You this day.

In Jesus Name I Pray,