Shepherded?

Hello family!

I hope you’re doing well and have gotten into the gratitude mood following last week’s activity to think through the goodness of God you’ve experienced over the course of this year. God has been good! Can I hear an amen? In the last week, I’ve experienced an additional load of miracles and I’m truly grateful to God for His goodness over me and my family/ friends. I am intensely grateful to God for the visible things He’s done and for the things He’s done that I cannot see at this time. I cannot start to outline His goodness so far, but I can tell you, without a doubt, that God is consistently good. He doesn’t fail, doesn’t change, and doesn’t lie! Please be reminded that 2020 is still valid and God is still able and willing to do amazing things.

As we round off the year, I decided to write about this subject which God placed on my heart recently. I pray I’m able to deliver it with as much precision as it is on His heart. Alright then, let’s get started.

The Dictionary defines the word ‘shepherd’ (verb) as, “to give guidance, tend, rear, guide, and direct”. The word can both be used as a noun and as a verb, though we tend more to use it in its noun form. Just like the Dictionary defines, the crux of today’s conversation really is discussing who/what guides, influences, and directs the decisions you make – as these in turn determine the outcomes of your life.

Let’s proceed to ask and then, answer a few questions.

Question 1: Who/ What is shepherding your life?

Just like a physical shepherd would do to his sheep – guiding them to pasture, through the meadow, providing direction and setting boundaries, etc.; who does this in your life?

What I am really asking is, ‘who or what has assumed the leadership position in your life? Who sets the tone for your decisions? Who defines your boundaries? Whose voice rings loudest in your life? Whose opinions matter the most to you and who really influences your decision making on the most salient issues of your life?

For some, it may be your parents and family, for others your spouse, your career and work, your finances, your faith, your friends, your fears and insecurities, trends, past pain, people’s stories, popular culture, social media, etc. This may sound funny to some of you but please know that these are important because the loudest voice in your life is likely to be the one you would pay more attention to; and in turn would shape your decisions. Please think of ‘loud’ here not just as volume and attention, but also as influence.

As we end the year, I encourage that we all reflect, identify, and assess the shepherds in our lives. The Bible describes Jesus in John 10:11 as ‘The Good Shepherd’. I can tell you for a fact that He is, and He is the best there is. Would you rather be shepherded by trends that are fleeting; by influencers who are also trying to figure out life, or would you prefer to be shepherded by the Good Shepherd whose plans for you are perfect, has laid down His life for you and given you all that pertains to life and godliness?

Please work to intentionally dethrone these other shepherds and hand the reins over to Jesus. He is truly a reliable and competent shepherd; and it would be great to start the new year on a clean slate.

Question 2: How do you identify your shepherd?

That’s simple! Simply check where your time, energy, focus, and emotions, resources, etc. are going. As I once heard a wise woman say, “energy flows where attention goes”. This simply means that you would naturally channel your energy in the direction of the things/issues that have your attention.

In trying to identify your shepherd, you would realize the things you hold in high esteem and give your best to. Before you quarrel with me on dethroning some of these beloved shepherds, please answer these questions:

  1. Has your shepherd ever created the world by the words of his/her mouth; and does he/she/it have the capacity to?
  2. Has your shepherd guided individuals through the toughest times, and then transformed their lives to be royals in minutes?
  3. Does your shepherd know the end from the beginning – keeping in mind that you can’t show the way to where you haven’t been?
  4. Is your shepherd limited by time and human limitations? Is he or she immortal?
  5. How much experience does your shepherd have in guiding people to a life of peace and fulfilment?

If you truly ponder on these, you will realize that there is no better shepherd to have than Jesus Christ. He is the fountain of life that never runs dry, is not limited by time or natural factors, and can create entities in seconds. This year 2020 has taught us that we need an ever-present, ever-able shepherd who knows all about life’s curveballs, can guide us to green pastures without feeling pressured or overwhelmed to figure it out for His many children here on earth.

Question 3: What Kind of Sheep Are You?

Growing up in church, I heard a lot about the difference between a sheep and a goat; and how the character of these close relatives made them glaring opposites. As an adult, I’ve realized that irrespective of the competency and presence of the shepherd, the sheep’s submission, and willingness to be led is critical for an effective experience.

Often, we say we want a closer relationship with God, that we want to be led by Him, but we don’t necessarily give Him the reins to lead because we have either unconsciously or consciously handed over the reins of our lives to different people, or issues or trends. As we end this year, please take out some time to reflect, assess and identify who/what is really shepherding your life. I know this is a repeated phrase, but it is critical for true progress.

If God is your shepherd, it would be evident because His manner, language, heart, approach, motives, and strategies would be evident in your life. While we are quick to quote, Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want” in times of need; please remember that the provision is dependent on your relationship with Him as your shepherd.

Is the Lord really your shepherd? Because it is only based on this relationship that you qualify to enjoy all the rich benefits in Psalm 23 & John 10.

Please allow Him to lead you in every area and on every issue. He’s more than capable.

As always,

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4 Responses

  1. Jesus Christ our Greatest Shepherd and the Lover of my soul. Great Piece. Thank you for this reminder. GOD bless 🙏 Compliments of the Season. Loves to the family.

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