There was a virtual reality television show where
six men and six women were chosen to go through training to see which
ones would be chosen to be spies. When they first came to "The Farm" for
their training they were given new clothes to wear and told to take
everything of theirs off and put on the new clothes. This was to be
their new identity.
When we come to Jesus Christ we are to get rid of the old and are given a new identity also:
"Regarding your former way of life, you were taught to strip off your old man, which is being ruined by its deceptive desires, to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new man, which was created according to the likeness of God in righteousness and true holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-24 ISV) ; and "So that if any one is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old state of things has passed away; a new state of things has come into existence." (2 Corinthians 5:17 WNT).
Some of the people thought they could keep some of the stuff that was theirs. They may not have even thought about some stuff like a class ring. Someone did keep a little book with phone numbers in it. If they were actually spies then the enemy could get these things and do some damage to them or to others. Even if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior we may still have some bad habits. Sometimes we may not realize we have them but we may try to hide others. This doesn't work. God can see all of these. The demons can find out you have these and exploit you through them. Become a new creature through the power of the Holy Spirit and leave your old sins behind.
These spies are trained to be just like the people around them. They are to blend in with everyone else so they will not be found out. Some Christians live like this also. They may live an ordinary life but never tell anyone about Jesus. Paul wrote that we are not to be like this: "Don't be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him." (Romans 12:2 CEV).
What is good and pleasing to God? We are to do what Jesus commanded us to do. That includes loving God with all that is in us, loving our neighbors and going to make disciples.
So we need to be like spies in the sense that we need to get rid of the old and become new creatures. We don't need to live like spies in that we are to be in the world but not of it. We are to be different creatures who bring others to Jesus Christ.
By Dean W. Masters
Unedited redistribution approved