“Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.”
Be wise as serpents. Are we walking in wisdom? What is the “wisdom of serpents” that Christ commands us to walk in?
As I typed this originally, my study partner next to me was holding Guinevere, the small green snake. One characteristic of Guinevere is that she never settles down until her tail is firmly attached to something. If she is being held, she always wants her tail securely wrapped around the hand, wrist, watch, or bracelet (or all of the above) of the one holding her. Sometimes she literally ties herself in knots trying to get a firm hold of her keeper. Though she is restless until this occurs, the moment she is securely wrapped around her keeper, she is perfectly docile. She is at rest. She is free to explore the moment, poke her head in curious corners, and generally enjoy life.
This is wisdom. Are we walking in the wisdom of this snake? Are we restless until we find our rest securely bound in love to the one who is our Keeper (Psalm 121)? He holds us in His hand; we are secure in Him – but are we choosing to rest in that security, or are we choosing to flail around wildly, never entering intimate connection with Him? His desire for us is that we be eternally bound up in Him. “They that wait upon the LORD…” are those who are bound and twisted together with Him. It is only when we are bound together with Him that we find security. It is only as we are twisted into Him that we experience rest and peace.
This is wisdom – and this is the wisdom of serpents that we are to walk in. Although it may not be the characteristic that we normally consider when pondering the concept of being “wise as serpents,” it is indeed true wisdom. In ourselves, we possess only fleshly wisdom, which is absolutely worthless. The foolishness of God is wiser than the most eloquent and advanced wisdom of man (I Corinthians 1:25). Apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5) – and unless we are twisted together with Him, we cannot walk in His wisdom. Wisdom is connection with Him – are you abiding in it?