“Verily I say unto you, He that entereth in not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
But he that entereth in by the sheep door IS the shepherd of the sheep.
To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him; for they know his voice.
And a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood NOT what things they were which he spake unto them.
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
ALL that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
The thief cometh not, by for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:1-10
When you think about these verses, they not only apply to trying to get into the kingdom “the wrong way” but they also apply to the things that come in and try to lead us astray.
All the little things, or sometimes pretty big things that act just as those little foxes that destroy the vine, as mentioned in the book of Solomon.
And as worded to perfection in Proverbs 14:12,13: “There IS a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the END thereof ARE the ways of death.
Even in laughter the heart IS sorrowful; and the END of the mirth (amusement) IS heaviness (grief).”
During our struggles and during dark times while we are waiting to hear that voice calling us to a greener, better place it can be easy to be lulled and tempted into listening to and potentially fatally following those that “climb up” offering a quick secret exit from the sheep pen that we are just itching to escape from especially when they feel they maybe they have been forgotten by the shepherd and they just know that the grass is greener on the outside.
As Proverbs tells us, that “escape”can seem right, that “escape” can seem inviting, exciting, and even joyful but the END will be death and even in the laughter and in times of what the world may call “living it up”, the heart will be full of sorrow, having ran too far away to hear the voice of the shepherd (who IS still calling), sorrow of having left the flock to dwell with strangers, notice the mirth, meaning amusement, sheep running amok in search of amusement and preoccupation suddenly finding themselves no longer amused but filled with the sorrow of death, longing for their Shepherd and a pasture that they have forgotten their way back to.
Doesn’t sound quite worth it, does it?
So what do you do while you are waiting, waiting for the Shepherd to come through the door and lead you to a better place, greener pasture, clearer streams?
Take a thought from James.
James 1:-4: ” My brethren,count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (many trials) KNOWING THIS that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh (produces) patience.
But LET patience have her perfect work, that when ye may be perfect and entire (complete) wanting (lacking) nothing.”
Ever think about that abundant life? Does it mean abundance of riches, abundance of friends, abundance in the fulfillment of all your hopes and dreams?
Or could it maybe apply a little more to things we don’t often equate with the word abundance?
That testing, that waiting in patience will have the perfection in your life, in your faith, and in your trust and relationship with God.
You will have an abundance of that patience which will produce an abundance of peace, peace that only comes from knowing the Shepherd is never going to be that far away and knowing that your joy, when it comes, will be real joy, heart and soul.
And an abundance of faith that he will always lead us to better pastures, maybe not as fast as we’d like but when we allow patience to work we will have all we could ever need, and all that we could ever desire in the abundance of the spiritual things.
Be patient in whatever you may be going through, don’t assume the grass will greener and try to “sneak out” of your sheep pen.
Don’t let anything else “sneak in” and try to lead you out because only one can lead you the right way and he knows the beautiful plans that he has for you.
Have a beautiful week!
Φλογιζω NB 2018