Over the past 30 days, the Lord has laid something on my heart. It was during a sermon that I heard a phrase that really struck me…”Sheep are dumb.” It was like a revelation.
Christ refers to us as His sheep many times in scripture. I am his sheep.
So what is he saying?
Am I as dumb as a sheep?
Is he calling me dumb?
Then I realized…yes I am.
I am dumb.
How many times does He try to teach me something and I don’t listen or try it my own way first? And how well does that work out for me? Not very well. I am stubborn and opinionated and like to voice my opinions – sometimes loudly. It took me having four stubborn and opinionated kids of my own to realize what I do to God on an almost daily basis.
As I started to make this connection, I began to understand how gracious and merciful and patient God really is. And much I am not.
So how can we be more Christ-like and less sheep-like? Here are some steps I’ve found helpful in this journey.
1. Read God’s Word – Reading God’s word, whether at the beginning of my day, the middle or the end, helps me keep perspective. God’s word refreshes me and nourishes my soul. I have found that when I ground myself in the truths of the Bible, I am not left wondering what God wants from me. It’s pretty clear.
2. Pray – Increasing my prayer life has blessed me more than I ever thought possible. I have been working more on praying without ceasing to get me through those tough hours and days. Calling on the name of the Lord has power! Pray every day, at least once, and more if you can. It really is a powerful tool in our spiritual battle.
3. Give yourself Grace – I have always been my own worst critic. I am hard on myself to a fault. And eventually it catches up with me and I get defeated and just shut down. Over the past few months, I have been learning to give myself more grace. Grace that God understands we make mistakes and grace to remember…I’m not perfect. None of us are. We are all on a journey to be more Christ-like in which we will make mistakes. It is a learning process, which will likely involve some trial and error. But as long as you’re seeking Him…you will be just fine.
Being a sheep doesn’t have to be all bad though. Sheep follow their Master. Sheep recognize the Master’s voice and come when they are called. As I grow more and more in my spiritual walk with Christ, I can more easily hear His voice. And it is comforting. It is reassuring to know I am running to Him, rather than away from Him.
I also know that sheep are sheered annually. Just as they get comfortable in that warm, woolly coat…it is taken away from them. Now they may or may not feel uncomfortable, but I know I would. I AM! I am uncomfortable when God takes things away from me or things turn in a direction I never expected. However, that is part of the growing process. Sheering my comfy, woolly coat off to start over and grow even more in Him.
So give yourself grace.
Grow in God’s Word.
Stretch your prayer life.
And live for boldly for Him!
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