“I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” John 10:1-4
Every shepherd has a distinct call they use for their sheep and the sheep will only respond to that distinct call from their shepherd. I once saw a video where a shepherd instructed several people on how to call his sheep. Each of the three people tried to imitate the call of the shepherd. One by one, they perched themselves at the edge of the pasture fence and called out. Not a single one of the sheep moved. They didn’t even look up to see what was going on.
Then the shepherd got up. The moment he began to call the sheep, a few of them perked up their ears. After a few calls, some began to take their first steps. And only a few moments later you could see the entire herd of fluffy white clouds running towards the shepherd.
When Jesus says that the He is our shepherd and that He calls us and we follow Him, He is taking a beautiful analogy from nature and applying it to us. So how can you and I learn to listen to and follow the voice of our Good Shepherd Jesus? Let’s take a few lessons from the sheep:
1. Spend time with the Shepherd. The reason why the sheep know the shepherd’s voice is because they spend time with him. They know what the shepherd sounds like. They are not confused if another shepherd comes with another call. They know who they belong to.
2. Admit your dependence on the Shepherd. Sheep are not independent. They are fearful. They are insecure and they know that without the shepherd their future is not bright. We, too, must humbly admit our need and dependence on the Spirit of God to guide us.
3. Trust the Shepherd when He calls. When the shepherd calls, the sheep move. They don’t question it, they don’t stop and hold a press conference, or take a vote on whether they should go. They move. Why? Because the shepherd has never led them to their death or demise. In that very same way, when God calls you, you should trust and obey that whatever He is calling you to will be a place of blessing and growth.
Make a commitment this year to be more of a sheep in your walk with Christ—to spend time with Him, admit your dependence on Him and be willing to follow when He calls.
Posted on Tue, December 22, 2015
by Sam Petitfils