Stay Close To The Shepherd Of Your Soul

“For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Pet. 2:25).

According to reports in the Turkish media, a large herd of sheep jumped over a cliff one after the other in IETANBUL, Turkey. The Turkish shepherds, who had left the herd to graze while they had breakfast, watched in stunned silence as a total of 1500 sheep leaped off the same cliff before their eyes. In the end, 450 sheep lay dead on top of one another in a billowy white pile. Those who jumped later were saved because the sheep that went before them cushioned their fall.

I’m sure that we would all agree that sheep are pretty dumb. And it is because of this fact the bible likens believers and non believers unto to these dumb animals. There are many things that we can say about our likeness to sheep, but one that Peter points out is that like sheep we are prone to wander (stray). We are not just susceptible to briefly getting off the path of obedience. If we are not vigilant we can plunge over a cliff of spiritual ruin and destruction just as many professing Christians have before us. Just today I read an article by a well known Pastor of a large church who recently discovered that a staff member and close friend was engaging in marital infidelity. The Pastor stated, “I was crushed. I didn’t see it coming.” The point is that we all are susceptible to straying in ways that we may have never imagined we would stray. When believers stray the problem is never that our great God and shepherd was asleep on the job. Christians stray not because of God’s failure to lead, but because of our failure to follow.

How does God shepherd His sheep? First of all God shepherds us through His word. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice and they follow me…” The author of Hebrews wrote, “Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness,9  where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. 10 Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways” (Heb. 3:7-10). Are you spending time in God’s word and under it’s teaching listening for God’s voice with a heart that’s eager to follow? Secondly, the Lord shepherds believers by His Spirit who dwells within them. Through his Spirit God illuminates his word, convicts us of sin and guides into all truth. Thirdly, God has ordained the church for believers to grow spiritually as they come under the oversight of godly leaders and serve the body. Christians that fall off of cliffs of immorality and spiritual ruin don’t usually decide one day that they’re going to jump for the fun of it. They typically begin to drift away by making small compromises. Among other things, they begin to compromise how they use their time, who they hang out with and what they allow themselves to watch. Its been said, compromises tolerated over a long period of time can lead to major disasters.

One of the major causes of spiritual drifting is neglecting to spend time in prayer and the word communing with the shepherd and nurturer of our souls. When we neglect the nurturing of our spiritual lives we are easy prey for the enemy. “The devil does not sleep, nor is the flesh yet dead; therefore, you must never cease your preparation for battle, because on the right and the left are enemies who never rest.” (Thomas à Kempis). Stay close and under the loving care of the shepherd and overseer of your soul.

©2012 Marco David. Originally posted on Oct. 30, 2012 at Marco’s Blog, Daily Meds.