Last week, we looked at some promises from John 10 we can use to comfort our hearts. God is indeed our loving, faithful shepherd. Yet, this cannot be a one-sided relationship. I, the stumbling (and sometimes stinky), sheep must be responsible for some things too. John reflects on these:
I must be willing to follow the Shepherd
I am the one being led (not the one in charge). This implies that I must continually yield my desires for His, my expertise for His, my “wisdom” for His true wisdom.
To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice ~ John 10:3-4
I must come in the gate
I must follow the path He set up instead of doing my own thing.
I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture ~ John 10:9
I must know Jesus
Any relationship where one person knows the other well but that other is clueless about the first person is not a real relationship. Please do not misunderstand me – at the beginning of our Christian walk, fresh from the waters of baptism, confession and repentance, we need not know everything about Christ – but we must know Him – His lordship, His suffering on a cross for our sins, and His resurrection and victory over death! And as we grow in our knowledge of Christ, we deepen our relationship with Him.
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me ~ John 10:14
I must believe what He says and does
Or the inverse – if I do not believe Him, then I am not His sheep!
but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep ~ John 10:26
I must choose to listen to Him
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me ~ John 10:27
Beloved, who are you listening to today? The Good Shepherd – or someone less reliable? Only He holds the words of truth, and only He can lead you safely home.