“You Can Go Your Own Way”

(John 10:11-15) 11 I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives up his life for his sheep. 12 Hired workers are not like the shepherd. They don’t own the sheep, and when they see a wolf coming, they run off and leave the sheep. Then the wolf attacks and scatters the flock. 13 Hired workers run away because they don’t care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep, and they know me. 15 Just as the Father knows me, I know the Father, and I give up my life for my sheep.

Why is it so difficult for us to fully trust the Lord?  We like to say that we do, and sing songs about how we do, but our actions speak otherwise.  In God’s word, we have an unparalleled reference for living — the only truth that exists — yet we continually disregard the guidance and wisdom therein.  Instead of trusting the Good Shepherd, we follow every hired hand that comes along.  We are like magpies…distracted by any and every shiny thing that catches the eye. 

When I was little, I remember seeing a cartoon about the Pied Piper.  As I watched all of the children follow the piper from the town, I was worried and distressed.  I had always been warned and trained by my parents never to trust just anyone…and certainly not a stranger!  I feared for the fictional children on the screen!  Why?  Because I had been taught to know and to trust only the voices of my parents and certain loved ones.  Not everyone has good intentions, and not everyone has wisdom.  People are, because of a natural inclination toward sin, flawed.  People tend to lie, be selfishly motivated, and at times are downright evil.  Not to say that no one is to be trusted in the least, but certainly never more than we trust in our Heavenly Father! 

When you are troubled, what or who do you turn to first?  Do you pray?  Do you open your Bible?  Do you call your parents, or a good friend?  Answer that honestly.  Yes, there are those who are placed over us, in the Lord, as leaders who help provide spiritual guidance, but what good can these people do in your life if you haven’t taken the first and most important steps in seeking out what God has to say? 

9 The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed,

    a refuge in times of trouble.

10 Those who know your name trust in you,

    for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.

(Psalm 9: 9-10)

We have to do our part, stop wandering off so much, and stop placing so much confidence in what the world has to offer!  We must develop some discernment and train our ears to the sound of God’s voice…so that we hear His direction and are able to receive from Him all that is offered and promised to us in His word.  When we seek Him, we will find Him.  We will know His name and His voice.  In seeking Him, we come to trust Him…truly. 

As for me, I don’t want to go my own way.  My way has only proven to lead me into places of sorrow and regret.  My way is a path shrouded in the darkness that is my own ignorance.  Proverbs 3: 5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” 

You see, we are not simply a job for God to do…something with which to pass His time.  We aren’t borrowed or rented property.  We have been bought with a price…the price of God’s own son.  We matter to Him…more than anything.  Our Good Shepherd will never leave us to be devoured by the enemy.  We can trust Him…always.  We just have to put that faith and trust into action, and stop giving ourselves and others so much credit.    

Commit everything you do to the Lord.

    Trust him, and he will help you.

(Psalm 37:5)

Prayer:  Thank you, Lord, that when I am a lost sheep you correct me and guide me back to pasture.  Help me to trust you in all things, not just some things, and to come to better know your voice as I endeavor to seek you more each day.  Amen.

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