July 15, 2017
Following the Shepherd
But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. – John 10:26-28
On a missionary trip to Romania, our group experienced what winter is like there. It was difficult—a lot of snow and extremely cold. One day as we were driving, we saw a shepherd out in a field. In the midst of the storm, he was leading a long line of sheep. He was pressing against the wind and the sheep were following him, single file, through the snow.
Another mile down the road, we saw some shelters and realized this must be where the shepherd was leading his sheep. Left in the elements alone, they would not have survived for long—not only because of the snow, but because of the wild dogs and foxes we had seen out there. But the shepherd knew where they were going. He knew where they would be safe. The sheep could not see ahead because of the hills, but they just trusted the shepherd. Generally, sheep are very skittish—they run away from people they do not know. Yet, those sheep knew their shepherd enough to follow him. They must have learned from experience that he was a good shepherd.
It is sad for me to admit that for the first nine years that I was a Christian, I found it difficult to follow God. I wanted to follow Him, but because I could not see where He was leading me, I would just stay put or figure out another path for myself. Finally I got tired of how my spiritual walk was going, and I felt like the Lord said to me, “Just follow Me and I will take you through.” I determined in my heart to do that. When He would show me a restitution, I would make it. When He called for a consecration, I would give it to Him. I trusted Him with my life circumstances, and talked to the people He told me to talk to. Step by step I followed, and finally I felt like I was progressing. In a short time I was in a place where He sanctified me, and the very next night He baptized me with the Holy Spirit—something I could not see before, but God knew it was just ahead.
The sheep in Romania followed their shepherd because they trusted him. How much more should we trust the Lord? He is the Good Shepherd. He cares for us and takes time to provide each of our needs. If we trust Him, we will keep pressing on, step by step, and He will lead us to eternal life.