Ive recently stayed on a farm for a few days. It was totally God-appointed and the things that changed in me were subtle and profound.
I rounded up sheep (by myself!) and helped around the farm. It was a fab experience. As I looked at the sheep looking at me, I learned so much about Jesus Christ in His role as our Shepherd.
Sadly, He says that not all sheep are a part of His flock and not all of His sheep have been gathered to Him yet.
As you read about my insights into what it means to be a part of His flock, what it means to have Him as your Shepherd, ask yourself if you have these things, and if not – no matter how long you have been a Christian – ask Jesus Christ to be your Shepherd and by your choice, go ahead and choose Him as your Shepherd.
I had many insights, I will list them quickly, one by one.
I saw how God sees us as lost sheep, needing a Shepherd, needing a Shepherd who doesn’t leave (as under-shepherds do for dinner and sleep times), instead He protects constantly – for as long as we are (by our own choice) His sheep in His flock.
I saw how I had read so many books, learned things from conferences, and generally thought more highly of my ability to navigate the world than is in fact true. As sheep are unaware of their limitations, I am unaware of mine!
I realised that I need a good Shepherd, One Who will never leave me or forsake me!!
One who has a rod to to beat off the wolves which keep outfoxing me, One who can use His crook/staff to gently guide me in the way to go, as I walk aimlessly, face down, eating, full of self confidence and self reliance – until once again I’m caught in something far beyond my ability to foresee.
I saw how easy it was for the under-shepherd (me!) to guide, to anticipate problems, to speed the sheep up, to slow them down, to turn them, to take them to better pastures.
I did all of this while zooming around on my motorbike! I joined four small groups into one big group of 600+, and then three more people arrived to take the whole group to another farm. This seemed like a metaphor for the church, and individual denominations, as He gathers us up and moves us around. Its impossible for us, but oh so easy for Him.
I saw also that many sheep had not joined themselves to Him and were easy prey. I saw that groups of sheep may be off together, relying on their ingenuity, also not having joined themselves to Him. They don’t recognised their need of His Shepherding. Being in a group is better than hiding in a thicket alone, but having a Shepherd who has a mean rod to bash the baddies and who NEVER leaves you – that’s the best solution!
I saw that teachers in the group of sheep teach the sheep in church wrongly, they teach self reliance, teach reliance on the under-shepherd, teach reliance on the herd – but it is He alone who has promised to NEVER EVER leave us or forsake us.
Leaders, friends, family and churches will sometimes be unavailable to help us, but in these past few days, every time I have bowed my head in a time of challenge, acknowledging I am a part of His flock, He is my good Shepherd and I think about how much more He is able to fend off danger, far more so than I could do for those sheep which I tended for a few days.
I was an under-shepherd, I went home for lunch and dinner to eat and sleep. What happened while I was gone? What we need is a Shepherd who will NEVER leave us, One who has a bit long solid rod to beat off the enemies, One who can see where the good grazing is, One who is patient as I plod slowly as sheep do!
I’m saddened to say that until this time in my life I had never really understood my inability to care for myself. I had swallowed the satanic lie of self-reliance and self-exaltation. The persecution during this last year showed me the limits of my “faith-power” and taught me a hard lesson, that I instantly recognized when I looked at those sheep. They have no awareness of their need for a shepherd… but they certainly DO need a good Shepherd who never leaves them.
If you know you need a good Shepherd, if you are ready to discover the meaning of David’s words “thy staff and thy rod, they comfort me” (the staff is for guiding, the rod beats off wolves), if you know this is true for you, then pray wirh me now.
Lord Jesus Christ, I have seen my limitations, my need for protection, I want to be guided by You to better pastures. I join myself to Your flock. You are my Shepherd. Please take care of all my needs, most of which I can’t even see or understand. 🙂
For more posts related to our need for Shepherding, please read these:
- Stages of change towards countries seeking the Shepherd – 10 24 10
- My role… pastor/shepherd – 03 31 10
- Different metaphors for our relationship with Jesus Christ – 09 09 10
- Governors of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Florida prayed – and received! – 07 19 10
- During the tournament… there was no crime – Jacob Zuma – 07 14 10
- And the miracle keeps on… but a warning – 05 27 10
- Manufacturing for South Africa and other prophecies – one year on! – 05 18 10
- My sheep hear my voice – 03 09 09
- The good Shepherd – 03 07 09