Thursday, April 18, 2019

A Sheep's Life

This is a small part from one of my devotional readings

"God's desire is to take you from where you are and bring you to where He wants you to be. When He found His defeated followers hiding together in an upper room, Jesus’first word was “peace”(John 20:19). Jesus’first words to you after you fail may also be “peace.” Jesus will find you in despair and bring you peace. Then, He will reorient you to Himself so that you can believe Him and follow Him. Don’t give up if you have failed your Lord. Remember what happened to Peter. God has not yet finished developing you as a disciple."

More often than not, one of Satan's most used phrases to us has to be "you're a failure."  That we messed up so bad that there's no going back.  That God doesn't even love us now that we have...well fill in the blank.

On the other hand his other favorite tactic with believers is to get them so busy with so many things that they don't have time to talk to God. Don't spend time reading the Bible. Don't bring a tithing to Church. Oh go one further. Convince them they don't need to go TO church.  That they are doing ok. Or they let things into their lives that become a silk rope.  A desire or pleasure that in reality is a strong snare or stumbling block.  Convincing them that of what they deserve.  That what they do isn't hurting anybody.

Spiritual reality isn't the same as physical reality.

Spiritual reality is anything no matter how small or how great can come between you and God.  Jesus said to deny yourself. Which isn't for the moment.  It isn't just saying no to something today and yes to it later.  Take up your cross and follow Him.  Think about that. When Jesus picked up His cross where did it lead to?
That is a deep one.  Are we doing things that please the one to whom we belong or are we doing things to please ourselves?

I was sharing what I was shown about Psalms 23.  I realized another underlying message in that first part a few hours later.  All the focus of the sheep is to be on the Shepherd.  Not on themselves.
Jesus said His sheep know His voice.
Back in the day, many sheep from many herdsman were kept in the same pen. When a particular Shepherd came, he called out and His own came to him. Not the rest.

Praying for God to show me more means needing to deny myself.  Means trusting when either Christ says move or to stay.
It means removing bad habits in order to live a life that is in obedience. A sheep went where the Shepherd leads.  King David knew sheep.  His 23rd Psalm was a revelation from God to him about his life.
But God thought so much about it's message to include it in His Word.

What's going on in your world?  Are there obstacles that Satan is using to keep you from being all you can be with Jesus? 

Mark 9:24 "I do believe, help my unbelief!"

That was a person who wanted more from Jesus.  He needed more...and got it.

That part of that verse says a lot.  A sheep who knows who it's Shepherd is has an unwavering belief in that Shepherd. When one goes astray, He leaves all to go find it and bring it back.  What you may not know is that Shepherd breaks the leg of the one who strayed and carries it. To reteach it dependance upon the Shepherd. 

Give up on the negatives that Satan is trying to get you to believe.  Pray the same as that desperate Father in Mark 9:24. Thar Jesus would help your unbelief. That your faith would be made stronger. That you would see for yourself just what habits or parts of your life that aren't compatible with a life that's taking up a cross to follow Christ.  This is what's changing my life. This is a daily surgery.
Letting go of every single thing that is identified as a problem isn't easy. 

1 Samuel 15:22 "“Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams."

You may stumble and fall. But get back up.  Return to obedience.  God does believe in second chances.  He showed it with Peter.  He shows it to everyone who belongs to Him.  Is there something in your life that you know you shouldn't be doing?  Then stop it. Give it to Jesus to deal with.  Are you discouraged?  You are in good company.  How discouraging was it to be through what Jesus did to be crucified? 
Raise up your head. God's not through with you yet.  His love knows no limits.
He will go wherever you are to be with you.  To save you. 

Listen to the Great Shepherd.

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