This month's teaching : Repentance

Being shepherded is a very difficult position for most religious individuals to hold. To be divinely shepherded by the great Shepherd requires humble submission and simple obedience. So long as we provide the answers, and find ourselves capable of living them out on our own, we stand in great personal lack in the eyes of our heavenly Shepherd. Along our path of pilgrimage, we often face times and places where we desire to hold onto everything except answers that truly settle our questions.

True sheep rarely know exactly where to go and must almost always be led to secure places. When sheep are led into a building, they are generally incapable of making sensible judgement of where they should go until they are in the sheep stall. Most buildings look dangerous to sheep until they find their stall. The sheep stall can be in a field, valley, or cave; on a hillside, or in a building great or small. You see, the sheep stall is near the presence of the Shepherd and offers a place of peace and safety that no other can offer. Spiritual people will see the parallel in their own lives and the places into which they are led. There is tremendous comfort in being led by a greater hand, unseen, yet trusted. It is a hand of protection, comfort, and peace. So few people understand this experience because they are in charge of their own lives, having their own ambition and controlling their own territory. Matthew 9:36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. It is obvious that there are many who refuse the Shepherd because of an inner condition that resists the unknown.

True sheep don’t possess the need to know, therefore at times they live with so many questions, bringing them into states of perplexity and even bewilderment. God knows that when a sheep is bewildered the Shepherd’s voice will be heard clearly when He speaks. Imagine the weeping of a bewildered lamb, not hearing anything beyond its own cries of mourning, as it strains to hear the sound of a distant shepherd. It seems that often the saints of God mourn for the voice, the touch, and the presence of the Messiah as they gaze into the distance, yet He is next to them in unfelt presence. At once, in a long and lonely valley, the sheep is touched by the invisible hand, hearing that familiar voice of peace and comfort.

Our master Shepherd loves for us to desire Him. He longs for our patience to endure and for our peace to be perfected in Him. He loves to see our joy multiplied as we endure things that are difficult beyond words. Our own understanding is often perplexed and found unfruitful. Our great Shepherd will never leave us, nor will He ever forsake us, but He will cause us to seek after Him. It is in this condition that He can lead us to the streams unknown by goats or those of rebellious nature.

Jesus was led as a lamb to the slaughter and became the Savior of the world. Once the lamb-nature prevails within a saint, they can be led to usefulness beyond measure. The disposition of a lamb is one of following unconditionally because their trust is won, and they never allow distance between them and the Shepherd. The old nature tends to seek answers before it seeks the Shepherd. Those who are led by the Spirit of God are led. The security of this is feared by the majority as too flimsy to live by. When we are being led, the Shepherd is in control. He is being trusted and honored and will therefore lead us in the path of His own righteousness for His name’s sake. This is the place where David found that he could be led by the great Shepherd and not fear evil, even in the valley that had shadows of death and appearances of abrupt endings. Life goes on if you follow the great Master of Life, and He will most definitely lead you into deeper waters of restoration where even evil is not feared because you have learned the hand of the great Leader! Hallelujah!

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Shepherded – Part 2