One Wednesday night a couple of summers ago I sat in my church listening to my pastor, McLean Faw, teach on John 10, the passage about The Good Shepherd. Not one day has passed since that I haven’t thought about that message. I can’t remember it word for word (I am sure I could find it in one of my MANY notebooks somewhere), but the heart of the message from God to me was, “Sheep are led, not driven.”
Sitting there that night I was weary. And I had been weary for a very long time. I had hit the wall again, yes the one that has made my eye wonky, and not only did I know I didn’t have it in me to pick myself back up, I knew I didn’t even want to. Those words, “Sheep are led, not driven,” were like cold water to someone who’d been in the desert way too long.
He went on to explain the difference between sheep and cattle. The shepherd goes ahead of sheep and the shepherd’s own sheep will follow him wherever he goes. Cattle are driven from behind, poked and prodded and pushed. They won’t just follow where they are led, they have to be driven.
I was being driven, by the lies of the enemy and desires of my own flesh, toward what I thought was the life God expected of me – living a life of just TRYING HARDER to be perfect, to make myself acceptable.
Right there in John 10, where Jesus is sharing about the relationship between The Shepherd and His sheep, He reveals His purpose for coming. The whole point behind God putting on an earth suit, submitting Himself to the care of flesh and living apart from His divinity for 30+ years:
John 10:10b (AMP) – “… I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”
Abundant life is following the Lord wherever He leads, not running towards a goal, a destination. It’s focusing on the relationship with Him and others, not striving for a particular result. It’s being wide open to all the possibilities available to us in Him not hyper-focused on the outcomes we desire.
Lord, give us ears to hear Your voice and help us to follow The Way to abundant Life. Thank You that Your intentions toward us are always good and through the blood of Jesus we are righteous.