ADVENT STUDY: Hearing The Shepherd’s Call { Day 11 }

Advent Study: He is Faithful: A Shepherd for Gods People

READ: Ezekiel 34:1-3John 10: 1-18

“I am the good Shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,” {John 10:14}

I confess that I am a recovering billboard person.

One of those people that struggled to lean in and redirect on the first try. It takes me a while sometimes. Often I misstep, misread, misinterpret and unfortunately, at times, it takes a giant billboard for me to have an “oh yeah” moment.

Jesus was addressing a crowd full of billboard people in John 10. He had just finished healing a blind man and the Jewish people surrounding Him were left scratching their heads. The Jews were often referred to as the “people of the Book.” They were Gods chosen who often related to him through the laws, rules and religion set before them. When Jesus came on the scene he repeatedly answered the question we all often ask ourselves, “what is God like?” Before this time, there was nothing humanly tangible connecting the Jews to God and now, through Jesus, the questions were beginning to have answers.

The beauty of this scene is how deeply personal Jesus is when addressing the crowd. He knew that these people would totally understand the illustration of sheep and shepherds. Even though they had just witnessed a miracle before their very eyes, they were struggling to lean in. He even had to repeat himself several times. It was their very own, very intentional, very specific billboard. These were His people and he wanted them to know it. He wants us to know it.

The truth about sheep, in general, is that they are not the smartest creatures on earth. They live with their heads looking down, searching for the next green pasture to graze in. They run with the flock. They even head toward cliffs and steep hills without seeing the danger ahead. They survive on the demands of their stomachs and live on the dire need for instant gratification. Sheep have strange vision and cannot see beyond their noses but their saving grace is their ears. Sheep can hear extremely well and they can detect the sound of their shepherd apart from all the others. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, our brilliant human capacity is often masked by our very sheepish ways.

The beauty of the shepherd is his way of lifting our heads off the ground. How he guides us towards the narrow gate to freedom. How he lovingly hooks his staff around our necks and pulls us back from the cliff. How he leads, restores, comforts and heals the wounded. How he walks with us every single step. How he doesn’t run at the first sound of danger but defends and protects each and every one. How he gathers the wandering and brings them back to the united fold. How he calls our name and we hear him.

In a world full of bad shepherds and a master deceiver behind it all, it is imperative that we know our Shepherds’ voice. “I know my own and my own know me” { John 10: 14 }. That we cling to His truths and promises so that be it through a whisper or a roar we hear Jesus calling.

I have often heard it said that of the thousands of things that God is doing on your behalf, you may only see three of them. In our deepest times of distress and in the seasons when we cannot see the moving and active hand of our Father, we have to trust completely on the character of God as our shepherd. When our heads begin to take on that sheep stance of staring at the ground in front of us, our Savior will call and our eyes can be lifted again.

The truth about shepherds is that they can only be shepherds when they are with the sheep. Be encouraged dear one that God is walking right with you today. He is our warrior Father in every detail. When our sheep eyes fail us and we can only see what’s right in front, may we have ears to hear all the Shepherd says to us.

REFLECT:
  • In your current season, how are you hearing the Shepherd’s voice in your life?
  • Reflect on a time when the Shepherd redirected your path with his loving staff?
  • Our Shepherd is personal, specific and actively working in our lives. Write down a few of the ways you are seeing God’s hand in your life right now!
PRAYER:

Father God, thank you that you are our tender and loving Shepherd. That you never abandon us when danger moves in. That you give us direction, provide a defense and are personally working in every detail of our lives. God, give me the ears to hear you in every way. I do not want to have billboards in my face to SEE and HEAR you. Soften my heart and still my busyness so that I can hear your voice amongst all the others. In your perfect name, I pray. Amen.

 

Lindsay Alexander
Lindsay Alexander

Lindsay is wife to her husband Monty and mom of three blonde-haired and blue-eyed, wide-open and spirited children. Life has been crazy in the Alexander household with two moves to two states in the past two years. Now, she lives in a real life fixer upper house and enjoys the comforts of fried chicken and sweet tea living back in South Carolina. A personal journey of transformation, Lindsay feels called to encourage women to step off the bench and take great risks in the name of Jesus.

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