Jn.10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.” [with emphasis]
The presence of the shepherd brings real freedom to the sheep. However, in order for Jesus to be your shepherd and for you to experience real freedom, you must first be a sheep. Shepherds do not tend goats; you cannot be a goat and want God to be your shepherd. Shepherds do not tend dogs; you cannot be a dog and expect God to be your shepherd. Shepherds do not tend wolfs; you cannot be a wolf and want God to be your shepherd. Shepherds tend sheep. There are huge benefits in having God as your shepherd. Yesterday, we learnt that the shepherd is responsible for your feeding, your care, your healing, and keeping you on track [Ez.34:2 & 4]. After seeing all these values, benefits, if you want God to be your shepherd, you have to be willing to be a sheep.
If you do not become a sheep, then you are not qualified to receive Him as your shepherd. You have to be willing to become a sheep. Growing up, my grandmother would say to us, it is the child that lifts up his hands that the mother would lift up. Three children are playing in a room and an adult steps in, all three of the children look at the adult but two go back to their toys. One does not only look at the adult, he lifts up his hands. Which of the children would the adult carry? As simple as this appears, it is the struggle of most Christians. We struggle with becoming the sheep because it can be humiliating, makes one vulnerable and appear weak. Becoming a sheep is putting another in control and most people do not want that.
We struggle with becoming the sheep for three reasons. The first reason is, Sheep are dumb. Sheep are not sharp. You cannot teach sheep tricks like you can teach dogs, monkeys, or even lions. So, asking the Lord to be your shepherd means you are admitting to how limited your intelligence is. Saying the Lord is my shepherd is admitting that God is all wise and compared to Him, you are not very sharp. We like to think we are sharp, so we struggle to be sheep. But if you look at scripture, we all are actually not very sharp. Why do sheep stray? It is because at some point, the sheep begins to think that it is sharp and that it can actually see greener pastures. So, the sheep decides to go in its own path, instead of following the shepherds leading. But that is a dumb thing to do. Isa.53:6 “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own.” [with emphasis]. We are all guilty, and we are all sheep.
Prayer: Father, today I acknowledge that You are full of wisdom and knowledge and I am not. I am Your sheep and I need Your Shepherding desperately, in Jesus Name. Amen!